Bi­den re­grets mak­ing race re­mark

San Francisco Chronicle - - NATION - By Bill Bar­row Bill Bar­row is an As­so­ci­ated Press writer.

AT­LANTA — Joe Bi­den said he “should not have been so cav­a­lier” in com­ments ear­lier Fri­day in which he sug­gested African Amer­i­cans who back Pres­i­dent Trump “ain’t black.“

Bi­den ad­dressed the con­tro­versy dur­ing a con­fer­ence call with the U.S. Black Cham­ber of Com­merce. His ear­lier re­marks dur­ing an in­ter­view with a prom­i­nent black ra­dio host stirred an up­roar over whether he was be­ing con­de­scend­ing to African Amer­i­can vot­ers who could de­cide whether he wins the White House.

The pre­sump­tive Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee had ap­peared on the Break­fast Club, a ra­dio pro­gram that is widely re­garded in the black com­mu­nity. The host, Char­la­m­agne Tha God, pressed Bi­den on re­ports that he is con­sid­er­ing Min­nesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is white, to be vice pres­i­dent and told him black vot­ers “saved your po­lit­i­cal life in the pri­maries” and “have things they want from you.”

“I’m not ac­knowl­edg­ing any­body who is be­ing con­sid­ered,” Bi­den said. “But I guar­an­tee you there are mul­ti­ple black women be­ing con­sid­ered.”

He added: “If you’ve got a prob­lem fig­ur­ing out whether you’re for me or for Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Both Trump al­lies and lib­eral ac­tivists crit­i­cized Bi­den’s com­ments.

“He truly be­lieves that he, a 77­year­old white man, should dic­tate how black peo­ple should be­have,” said Ka­t­rina Pier­son, a se­nior ad­viser to Trump’s cam­paign.

The pres­i­dent has a his­tory of in­cen­di­ary rhetoric re­lated to race.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, a Trump sup­porter and the Se­nate’s sole black Repub­li­can, said he was “shocked and sur­prised” by Bi­den’s re­mark.

“I was struck by the con­de­scen­sion and the ar­ro­gance in his com­ments,” Scott said.

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