Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCruz threatens to stop federal agencies from cooperating with Hollywood over China ‘censorship’ Has Justice Department partisanship finally hit a wall? Fox News poll: Biden opens up 8-point lead over Trump MORE said Friday that he regrets telling radio host Charlamagne Tha God earlier in the day that if you support President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation Melania Trump thanks students in video message during CNN town hall Fauci says media will be ‘seeing more’ of him, coronavirus task force after press hiatus MORE “then you ain’t black.”
Speaking on a call with black business leaders, Biden described the remarks as “cavalier” and said he never meant to seem as if he was taking black voters for granted or telling them who they ought to support.
“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier,” Biden 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 and it was really unfortunate, I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee sparked a firestorm of controversy on the popular radio show “The Breakfast Club” after Charlamagne said he wanted to continue discussing issues impacting the black community at a later point.
“You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied. “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Republicans, and even some Democratic leaders, blasted the remarks, accusing Biden of lecturing black people on how to think and of questioning the racial authenticity of black voters.
Biden spokeswoman Symone SandersSymone SandersBiden and the left: Too many excuses for China The Hill’s Morning Report — Presented by the APTA — Now it’s Biden vs. Bernie: no endorsement from Warren ‘Easy access’ to Biden allowed protester to rush stage at rally MORE initially defended the remarks, saying they were “made in jest” and pointing to Biden’s strong support from the black voters who delivered him resounding victories in the Democratic presidential primary.
But the remarks became a sensation on social media and pressure grew on Biden to address them as criticism piled up.
Patrick Gaspard, a former top aide in the Obama administration, said Biden “is in no position” to “determine who is black enough or not.”
Musician Diddy addressed Biden over Twitter, telling him that the “black vote ain’t free.”
Black Republicans, such as Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottOn The Money: GOP senators heed Fed chair’s call for more relief | Rollout of new anti-redlining laws spark confusion in banking industry | Nearly half of American households have lost employment income during pandemic Senators offer bipartisan bill to create tax credit for costs of skills training Bottom line MORE (S.C.) and businessman John James, who is running for the Senate in Michigan, ripped Biden.
Scott said it’s “par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and brow beat those that don’t agree.”
“I have the right to think and vote for myself along with all other Americans, including black Americans,” James said.
And the Trump campaign described the remarks as “racist” and “dehumanizing.”
“White liberal elitists have continuously dictated which black Americans are allowed to come to the table and have a voice,” said Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign and leader of its Black Voices for Trump group.