Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden issued a non-apology on Thursday evening for widely-panned remarks he made about African-Americans earlier in the day, saying that he did not “mean” what he said.
“Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place.”
Biden added, “My commitment to you is this: I will always listen, I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.”
Early on Thursday, Biden said during an interview, “What you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”
Biden followed that remark up with a similar comment later in the afternoon during a separate interview, saying, “Now what I mean full diversity, unlike the African American community and many other communities, you’re from everywhere.”
Biden received a fair amount of criticism over his non-apology after his remarks.
Columnist Rita Panahi wrote on Twitter, “Clarify? There is not a single word clarifying what you meant in your series of tweets. Whoever is writing these tweets for you is doing a poor job.”
Clarify? There is not a single word clarifying what you meant in your series of tweets. Whoever is writing these tweets for you is doing a poor job. https://t.co/UyKtHVrhTd
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) August 7, 2020
Washington Examiner columnist Beckett Adams wrote on Twitter, “but I had been reliably informed by certain members of the press that Biden a) said nothing wrong and b) didn’t say what you clearly heard him say.”
but I had been reliably informed by certain members of the press that Biden a) said nothing wrong and b) didn't say what you clearly heard him say. https://t.co/JyifS6YCnZ
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) August 7, 2020
Commentator Stephen Miller wrote on Twitter, “Well he just turned the Washington Post fact-checker inside out.”
Miller’s remarks were aimed at Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler, who disputed a claim from the Trump campaign about Biden’s remarks.
The Trump campaign tweeted, “Joe Biden just said that Latinos have diversity of thought, unlike Black Americans… This is disgusting!”
Kessler responded, “If you listen to the clip, he didn’t actually say this.”
It begs the question why Biden would need to clarify them, don’t you think? pic.twitter.com/ciKmW1BRhp
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) August 7, 2020
The Trump campaign did not directly quote Biden, so they never said that he used those exact words. Secondly, Biden said that “unlike the African American community,” Latinos are “an incredibly diverse community, with incredibly different attitudes about different things.” The implication the Trump campaign made about what Biden was saying was correct.
HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic responded to Biden’s tweet by writing, “Clean up on aisle cringe.”
Clean up on aisle cringe https://t.co/WzAr5hTpai
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) August 7, 2020