Biden says ‘ain’t black’ comment was a quip
Former vice-president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, suggested Friday that any black voter who is undecided between himself and President Donald Trump “ain’t black.”
The remark came during a contentious interview on the popular black radio show The Breakfast Club, in which Biden was pressed to defend his record on issues affecting black communities.
The Trump campaign and its allies seized on the comment, calling it “racist” and evidence that Biden hasn’t earned the black vote.
The exchange occurred after a Biden staffer attempted to cut off the interview and host Charlamagne tha God said, “You can’t do that to black media.” He then told Biden he needed to come back on the show before November because they had more questions.
“You got more questions, but I’ll tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said.
“It don’t have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact — I want something for my community,” Charlamagne said.
The backlash was swift and the Biden campaign quickly defended the remark as an unserious quip.
“The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African-american community up against Trump’s any day. Period,” said senior campaign adviser Symone Sanders, who is also black.
The Trump campaign scheduled a press call later in the day with black senior campaign adviser Katrina Pierson and the Republican’s sole black U.S. senator, Tim Scott of South Carolina.
“It is clear now more than ever, following these racist and dehumanizing remarks, that Joe Biden believes black men and women are incapable of being independent or free thinking. He truly believes that he, a 77-year-old white man, should dictate how black people should behave,” Pierson said.
In a tweet, Scott accused Biden of telling the 1.3 million black Americans who voted for Trump in 2016 that they aren’t really black.
The Trump campaign is eager to peel off black voters from the Democrats who have long enjoyed them as a loyal and consistent voting bloc. Trump’s main pitch has been an attempt to convince them that Democrats don’t appreciate their long-standing support.