During an at-times tense interview with popular African-American commentator and radio host Charlamagne tha God on Friday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden defended his record on racial issues and declared when told that the host had “more questions” for him, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
The interview, which aired on “The Breakfast Club” Friday (video below), began with the host telling Biden bluntly, “You know, I’ve been critical of you.”
“I know you have,” Biden interjected before Charlamagne could finish his thought. “You don’t know me,” the former Vice President added, before breaking into his trademark grin.
After the two diffused the situation by asking how each were doing, Biden made sure to say that “the black community is getting killed” amid the coronavirus crisis, a comment with which the host heartily agreed.
The host allowed Biden a few minutes to give his talking points about the COVID-19 response, which were crafted to criticize Trump, but then Charlamagne put the candidate on the spot about what “a lot of black voters, including myself, feel”: that the “Democrats take black voters for granted.”
Biden responded by citing his overwhelming victory in some primary contests, particularly South Carolina, winning every county and more votes in many places than Barack Obama, according to the former vice president.
“What people don’t know about me is that I come from the state with the eighth largest black population in America,” Biden declared, looking almost angry. “I get 96% of that vote for the last 40 years. They are the first that, as I say it my way, ‘brung me to the dance.’… I get overwhelming support from the black leadership, young and old.”
After Biden rattled off various decisions and positions he’s taken that he said was on behalf of the black community, the host asked him about his potential running mate, particularly reports that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) was being vetted for the spot. Those reports, said Charlamagne, had a lot of black people “not too happy” because they want the Democratic running mate to be an African-American woman, particularly since black voters are so crucial to Biden’s electoral chances.
Asked what he would say to those critics in the black community, Biden said, “What I say to them is that I’m not acknowledging anybody who is being considered, but I guarantee you there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple.”
“Thanks so much. That’s really our time. I apologize,” a Biden aide interrupted.
“You can’t do that to black media!” Charlamagne protested.
“I do that to white media and black media because my wife has to go on at 6 o’clock,” said Biden. “Ooh. Uh oh, I’m in trouble,” he added.
“Listen, you’ve got to come see us when you come to New York, VP Biden,” said Charlamagne. “It’s a long way until November. We’ve got more questions–”
“You’ve got more questions?” Biden said. “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or 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. I would love to see…”
“Take a look at my record, man!” Biden exclaimed, arms outreached before again rapidly highlighting some of his record.
Video of the final moments of the interview is quickly making the rounds online:
If @realDonaldTrump said this there would be riots in the street. I held picket signs and protested segregation, while Joe Biden fought for it. I will proudly support Trump, let's see him tell me to my face I'm not black.
— Burgess Owens (@BurgessOwens) May 22, 2020
They’re trying to protect Joe! They don’t want the American people to know about his disgusting & dehumanizing racist mentality. pic.twitter.com/H5Ch9xEKob
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 22, 2020
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