Former Vice President Joe Biden has apologized for telling The Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God that undecided black voters "ain't black" if they supported President Donald Trump's re-election. The comments instantly caused backlash online, with some suggesting it showed how Democrats were taking black voters for granted during the 2020 presidential campaign. Biden said he should not have been "such a wise guy" during the appearance.
The interview with Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, aired Friday morning. Charlamagne confronted Biden with his record on race throughout the appearance, asking about Biden's support of the controversial 1994 crime bill and if he is vetting potential black female politicians for his Vice Presidential pick. Late in the interview, Charlamagne asked Biden to appear on the show in person whenever he visits New York because he has more questions. "You've got more questions?" Biden said. "Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black."
On Friday evening, Biden apologized for the remarks in a campaign call with black business leaders, reports Politico. Biden said he was "much too cavalier," adding that he understood it sounded like he was taking black voters for granted. "But nothing could be further for the truth," he explained. "I've never ever done that and I've earned it every time I've run. I was making the point that I have never taken the vote for granted. And in fact, I know in order to win the presidency I need the African American vote. And it was the driving force as I said in the beginning of my campaign year ago, to my being able to win in the first place and win the primary. And it is going to be critical to my winning the presidency."
The comments from @JoeBiden were truly offensive, but a rare and honest insight into liberals thinking.
Liberals believe you really can’t be black, Latino, female, or intelligent unless you support their liberal agenda.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 22, 2020
Immediately after Biden's comments on The Breakfast Club gained attention, Republicans seized the opportunity to criticize him. "If you think about the numbers, 1.3 million African Americans voted for Trump. He’s saying [to] the 1.3 million African Americans that you’re not black," South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said on Fox Business Friday. "Who in the heck does he think he is?" Scott's fellow South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham also slammed Biden on Twitter.
Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign and leader of its Black Voices for Trump group, called Biden's remarks "racist and dehumanizing." Piersen said Biden has a "history of racial condescension and today he once again proved what a growing number of black Americans and I have always known — Joe Biden does not deserve our votes."
This is so embarrassing and hurtful I don’t even know where to begin. Please believe me when I say that the quote was not taken out of context and the only thing that will make you cringe more is watching the clip. Biden just...offers up the thought. https://t.co/JLdo6bI2Eq— Rodericka Applewhaite (@Rodericka) May 22, 2020
Some Democrats also criticized Biden's remarks. "I see Biden has picked up on establishment media talking points," Briahna Joy Gray, a former Bernie Sanders campaign spokeswoman, tweeted. "This is the natural consequence of the reductive view of race & politics being pushed by the 'identity is destiny' crowd. Charming."
Gaffe prone @JoeBiden tells African Americans when they exercise their right to vote, for a candidate of their choice, they better vote for me or they "ain't black". Another example of a democrat taking black voters for granted. @cthagod #disrespect https://t.co/yhUGv3eWW9— Jay Gershbein (@JG_Report) May 23, 2020