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Biden: I Was Too 'Cavalier' With Remarks on Black Voters

Newser — Newser Editors

Joe Biden made inadvertent headlines during an interview that aired Friday with Charlamagne tha God, co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club. The exchange came near the end of the interview, when the African-American host asked Biden to make a return visit because we've "got more questions," reports NBC News.

To which Biden responded:

  • "You got more questions? But I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black."
  • Walking it back: After a day of negative reaction, Biden tried to do some damage control in a call with black business leaders, reports the Hill.

“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy," he said. “I don’t take it for granted at all and no one should have to vote for any party based on their race, religion, or background. There are African-Americans who think Trump is worth voting for. I don’t think so and I’m prepared to put my record against his, that was the bottom line. ... I shouldn't have been so cavalier."

  • Testy interview: During the interview, Charlamagne pressed Biden on a number of issues, including the 1994 crime bill he co-authored, calling it "damaging to the black community," per Politico.

Biden defended himself: "Take a look at my record, man! I extended the Voting Rights [Act] 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP's endorsed me every time I've run. I mean, come on." The Hill has more on the overall interview, which it calls "at times contentious and awkward."

  • Biden adviser: "The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest," tweeted Biden adviser Symone D.

Sanders, "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."

  • Trump adviser: "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," writes Trump adviser Katrina Pierson.
  • Sen.

Scott: Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only African-American GOP senator, faulted Biden on Twitter: "1.3 million black Americans already voted for Trump in 2016. Joe Biden told every single one of us we ‘ain’t black,'" he wrote.

"I’d say I’m surprised, but it’s sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and browbeat those that don’t agree."

  • A key issue: A New York Times story on the controversy suggests that Biden's words "exposed wounds among Democrats that date to 2016, when many leaders felt the party took black voters for granted."
  • A solution: At the Root, an exasperated Stephen A.

Crockett Jr. makes clear he's still voting for Biden. But that's only because he'll vote for anyone other than Trump. On Biden: "He’s the old white guy at the job who always wants to talk with you about basketball or hip-hop to prove that he’s not like the other white guys who mistake you for the valet." Crockett's solution to all this: "All Biden has to do is announce that his running mate is a black woman and then get out of her way. We know who Joe is and nothing he’s doing is making it better; in fact, he’s only making things worse."

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