New York Mayor Bill de Blasio implied on Thursday that Black voters who support Joe Biden for president are doing so because of his ties with former President Barack Obama and with insufficient information on his record.

During an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, de Blasio was asked why Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whom he endorsed, lost the Black vote to Biden in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday and de Blasio said it was because Black people only had a “certain amount of information” on Biden.

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“It stands to reason if people have a certain amount of information — and I don’t blame them for this, I understand it,” de Blasio said on the show, before a host, Elise Jordan, sought clarification from him on his comment, reported The New York Times.

“So you’re saying they were low information?” Jordan asked de Blasio.

“No, no, no,” responded de Blasio. “I’m saying you had a whole lot of candidates, which I think is a very different discussion. The information that I think people received about Joe Biden was some of his historic connection, which, understandably, means something to people.”

Co-host Willie Geist asked de Blasio if he was referring to Biden’s connection to Obama, whom he served under as vice president.

“Of course,” the mayor said.

“But, the one-on-one race — and I do think this is just pure political science —  the one-on-one race brings out a whole different set of information, a whole different set of comparisons,” de Blasio said in the MSNBC interview. “Joe Biden’s record, I think this is a fair statement, did not get a ton of examination when there’s eight candidates.”

“Look, if Pete Buttigieg had had a couple different outcomes, we would be talking about Pete Buttigieg right now, not Joe Biden. So now, it’s a chance to really examine Joe Biden,” de Blasio added.

Some have blasted the mayor’s comments as condescending, suggesting that they resemble similar comments made by people who have said Black people in the South who support Biden have “low information.”

“I think Black voters knew enough about both of them to say which one they were interested in,” said Melanye Price, a professor of political science at Prairie View A&M University, according to The New York Times. Price added that she found the mayor’s remarks “condescending.”

Davin Phoenix, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine, said this idea that Black people are not informed about Biden’s record reflects a “fundamental lack of comprehension of how black voters generally navigate politics.”

“African-Americans rarely, if ever, have the luxury of choosing candidates who they perceive as perfectly, or even adequately, aligned with their preferences, or fully committed to advancing the interests of the group,” Phoenix said, according to The Times.

Phoenix did point out, however, that it does matter to Black voters that Biden was chosen by Obama to be his vice president. And he said Sanders also realizes the reverence Black voters have for the former president and “that’s why he’s now showing commercials with him and Obama.”

Twitter also exploded with criticism of the New York mayor.

 

Twitter user @battletested5 was so offended that she pushed for people in New York City to look for his replacement in his upcoming election.

So upset, she followed up the last tweet saying his comments basically showed his imbedded racism.


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Just as de Blasio did, Sanders also sought to attribute Biden’s success among Black voters to him capitalizing off of his ties to Obama. During an interview on the Rachel Maddow Show on Wednesday, Sanders said he’s “running against somebody who has touted his relationship with Barack Obama throughout the entirety of his campaign.”