Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate most likely to face Donald Trump in the November general election, apologized Friday for his unpopular comments about black voters who intend to help reelect the president.
On Friday morning, Biden had said during an interview on the morning radio show The Breakfast Club – a show with great popularity among the African-American community – that African- Americans who are debating whether to give him or Trump their vote “are not blacks ”.
The comments sparked controversy and were interpreted as the White House contender taking the vote of this community for granted, which was crucial to the revival of his campaign during the start of the primaries.
Hours after the 18-minute interview with black presenter Charlamagne Tha God, Biden regretted his comments, calling them “really unfortunate” and saying “he shouldn’t have been such a smart guy.”
The interview with Charlamagne, recorded on Thursday and broadcast on Friday, was tense from the start. Biden told the presenter that he knew he had criticized his candidacy in the past.
“You don’t know me,” said the politician.
Biden was frustrated after the presenter asked why he had shown “so much resistance” to admitting how his 1994 bill affected the increase in incarceration of black people and it was suggested that he had done more harm than good to the community.
Another tense moment was when the presenter asked him if he intended to choose a black vice president if elected, citing reports that he is considering Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is white. Charlamagne told him that black voters “saved their political life in the primaries” and “have things they want” on their part.
Then it was when he added, “If you have a problem deciding whether to vote for me or for Trump, then you’re not black.”
Trump and his allies, under scrutiny for the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, were eager to take advantage of Biden’s comments. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, a Trump supporter and the only black Republican in the Senate, said he was “surprised” by the comments.
Trump also has his own record of controversy regarding comments about race. Last year, during a private immigration meeting at the White House, the president wondered why the United States admitted as many immigrants from “shitty countries” as African nations.
He also criticized four Democratic congressmen of color, saying they hate the United States and should “return” to their place of origin, despite the fact that they are all US citizens and three were born in the United States.
Biden encouraged listeners during his Friday afternoon apology to “take a look” at his “record,” citing his work as a senator to extend the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Black voters helped resurrect Biden’s campaign in this year’s primaries, helping him clinch second place in the Nevada caucuses and a resounding victory in the South Carolina primaries after it started with disgraceful results in the states. Iowa and New Hampshire “whites”.
61% of black voters also supported Biden during primaries in 17 states that voted in February and March, according to AP agency polls.