Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden made an off-color joke during a radio interview on “The Breakfast Club” with Charlamagne tha God that aired on Friday while discussing how to earn the black community’s support.
“Listen, you’ve got to come see us when you come to New York, VP Biden. It’s a long way until November,” Charlamagne said after one of Biden’s staffers told the host off-camera that the candidate was out of time. “We’ve got more questions.”
“You’ve got more questions?” Biden responded. “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or [President Donald] Trump, then you ain’t black.”
“It don’t have nothing to do with Trump,” Charlamagne replied. “It has to do with the fact I want something for my community.”
Biden argued that his record on issues related to the black community was “second-to-none,” citing his support for extending the Voting Rights Act and the endorsements he’s received from the NAACP.
“Anyway, thanks. I will come back. I look forward to seeing you in person,” he told Charlamagne.
Symone Sanders, Biden’s senior campaign adviser, tried to clean up the candidate’s comments shortly after the interview aired.
“The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest,” she tweeted. “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.”
The Trump campaign pounced on the remarks.
“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,” Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser for the campaign’s “Black Voices for Trump,” said in a statement.
Biden later admitted he shouldn’t have been “so cavalier” in making the comment, according to PBS News correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.
NEW: Former VP Joe Biden just dialed into a U.S. Black Chamber call and addressed his remarks to Charlamagne tha God. Biden said, "I shouldn't have been such a wise guy. I shouldn't have been so cavalier…I have never, ever taken the African American community for granted."
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 22, 2020
Throughout his campaign, Biden has leaned heavily on his tenure as President Barack Obama’s vice president to boost his relationship with the black community.
It was black voters’ overwhelming support that carried the former vice president to victory in the South Carolina primary, giving him the much-needed momentum to dominate on Super Tuesday.
Watch the exchange below:
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism