A senior advisor for Joe Biden is clarifying his controversial comments on The Breakfast Club after the presidential hopeful implied that African American voters considering Donald Trump “ain’t Black.”
Symone D. Sanders took to Twitter on Friday, May 22, to defend Biden following the interview with Charlamagne tha God earlier that morning.
“Vice President Biden spent his career fighting alongside and for the African American community,” she tweeted. “He won his party’s nomination by earning every vote and meeting people where they are and that’s exactly what he intends to do this November.”
She continued, “The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.”
The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 22, 2020
Biden sparked controversy when he remarked near the end of the heated, 18-minute interview that African Americans voters struggling between a vote for Trump and a vote for Biden aren’t really Black.
“It’s a long way until November. We’ve got more questions,” Charlamagne said as an aide attempted to the end the interview.
“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.”
Charlamagne was quick to respond, saying, “It don’t have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact [that] I want something for my community.”
The Breakfast Club host also questioned Biden on his record, his running mate, and his plans for Black America.
The former vice president tried to explain his record on civil rights and boasted of having the support of the NAACP, but the interview still came off as contentious.
Throughout, Biden seemed to respond to questions with a colloquial casualness, often saying things like, “Come on, man.”
Charlamagne held Biden’s feet to the fire, questioning him on whether he thinks Democrats have earned the Black vote. In a long answer, Biden brought up the 1994 crime bill. “People talk about the crime bill,” he said, “the crime bill didn’t increase mass incarceration, other things contributed to mass incarceration.”
He stated that the Black Caucus supported the bill at the time. He pointed out what he contends are the positive points of the bill, including the Violence Against Women Act, the creation of drug courts, and the assault weapons ban.
The Democratic presidential candidate explained that there were elements of the bill that he didn’t support, including three strikes and mandatory sentencing, and that as president, he would focused on moving the American prison system from punishment to rehabilitation.