fog.png
Thursday May 28th, 2020 10:09AM

Biden says he was too 'cavalier' about black Trump backers

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — Joe Biden declared he “should not have been so cavalier” on Friday after he told a prominent black radio host that African Americans who back President Donald Trump “ain’t black.”

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee quickly moved to address the fallout from his remark, which was interpreted by some as presuming black Americans would vote for him. In a call with the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce that was added to his public schedule, Biden said he would never “take the African American community for granted.”

“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.”

That was an acknowledgement of the stinging criticism he received in response to his comments, which he made earlier in the day on “The Breakfast Club,” a radio program that is popular in the black community.

The rebukes included allies of Trump's reelection campaign — anxious to go on the offense after weeks of defending the Republican president's response to the coronavirus pandemic — and some activists who warned that Biden must still court black voters, even if African Americans overwhelmingly oppose the president.

“None of us can afford for the party or for this campaign to mess this election up, and comments like these are the kinds that frankly either make black voters feel like we’re not really valued and people don’t care if we show up or not,” said Alicia Garza, a Black Lives Matter co-founder and principal of Black Futures Lab.

Near the end of Biden's appearance on the radio program, host Charlamagne Tha God pressed him on reports that he is considering Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is white, to be his vice presidential running mate. The host told Biden that black voters “saved your political life in the primaries” and “have things they want from you.”

Biden said that "I guarantee you there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple.”

A Biden aide then sought to end the interview, prompting the host to say, “You can’t do that to black media.”

Biden responded, “I do that to black media and white media,” and said his wife needed to use the television studio.

He then added: “If you’ve got a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or for Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Trump's campaign and his allies immediately seized on Biden's comments. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, a Trump supporter and the Senate's sole black Republican, said he was “shocked and surprised” by Biden's remarks.

“I was struck by the condescension and the arrogance in his comments," Scott said in a conference call arranged by the Trump campaign. "I could not believe my ears that he would stoop so low to tell folks what they should do, how they should think and what it means to be black.”

Trump himself has a history of incendiary rhetoric related to race.

When he launched his presidential campaign in 2015, Trump called many Mexican immigrants “rapists.” Campaigning in 2016, he asked black voters, "What the hell do you have to lose?”

In 2017, he said there are good people on “both sides” of the clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and anti-racist demonstrators that left one counterprotester dead.

In 2018, during a private White House meeting on immigration, Trump wondered why the United States was admitting so many immigrants from “shithole countries” like African nations. He also blasted four Democratic congresswomen of color, saying they hate America and should “go back” to where they come from, even though all are U.S. citizens and three were born in the U.S.

Black voters helped resurrect Biden’s campaign in this year's primaries with a second-place finish in the Nevada caucuses and a resounding win in the South Carolina primary after he’d started with embarrassing finishes in overwhelmingly white Iowa and New Hampshire. Sixty-one percent of black voters supported Biden during the primary season, according to AP VoteCast surveys across 17 states that voted in February and March.

Biden is now seeking to maintain his standing with black voters while building the type of multiracial and multigenerational coalition that twice elected Barack Obama, whom he served as vice president. He has already committed to picking a woman as his running mate and is considering several African American contenders who could energize black voters. But Biden is also considering candidates such as Klobuchar, who could appeal to white moderates.

There is little chance of a sudden shift in support for Trump among black voters. A recent Fox News poll shows just 14% of African Americans who are registered to vote have a favorable opinion of Trump, compared with 84% who view him unfavorably.

Seventy-five percent of African American registered voters say they have a favorable view of Biden; 21% hold an unfavorable opinion.

There is a risk, however, of black voters, especially those who are younger, staying home in November, which could complicate Biden's path to victory in a tight election. The Breakfast Club is a particularly notable venue for Biden’s comments because the program is popular among younger African Americans.

Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, a national organization that works to mobilize black voters, said many black Americans are loyal Biden supporters. But she said his comments make it harder to attract people who are on the fence about voting.

“The first thing I thought about was to what degree did this just turn off those voters and how much more work the rest of us are going to have to do to convince people that it is worth their time and their efforts,” she said.

Biden's selection of a running mate, along with his pledge to appoint the first black female Supreme Court justice, could help motivate voters. He's begun vetting vice presidential contenders, a process he's said will likely last through July.

Several black women are among those under consideration, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, Georgia voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Florida Rep. Val Demings, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge and Susan Rice, Obama's former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

___

Stafford reported from Detroit. Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Hannah Fingerhut and Will Weissert in Washington contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Loughlin, Giannulli plead in college scam, but fate is hazy
“Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded guilty to paying half a million dollars to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California
4:14PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Biden says he was too 'cavalier' about black Trump backers
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he “should not have been so cavalier” in comments earlier Friday in which he suggested African Americans who back President Donald Trump “ain’t black.”
4:03PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Trump deems churches 'essential,' calls for them to reopen
President Donald Trump says he has deemed churches and other houses of worship “essential” and is calling on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus
3:57PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pakistan jet with 98 aboard crashes in crowded neighborhood
A jetliner carrying 98 people crashed in a crowded neighborhood near the airport in Karachi, Pakistan, after an apparent engine failure during landing
3:27PM ( 48 minutes ago )
As Memorial Day tempts people outdoors, virus rebound feared
Millions of Americans are set to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns and take tentative steps outdoors to celebrate Memorial Day weekend at beaches, cookouts and family gatherings
3:27PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Loosened restrictions, holiday weekend to test California
Millions of Californians are heading into the Memorial Day weekend with both excitement and anxiety after restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus were eased across much of the state
3:20PM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP National News
Biden: If you can't choose me over Trump, ‘you ain’t black’
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is reacting testily to public calls that he select a black woman as his running mate
1:48PM ( 2 hours ago )
Loughlin, Giannulli plead in college scam but await fate
“Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded guilty to paying half a million dollars to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California
1:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
Disinfected dice: Las Vegas casinos getting ready to roll
Free parking, but no valet service
1:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Biden campaign limits press access during virtual fundraiser
Joe Biden’s campaign wouldn’t let reporters listen to a question-and-answer session during a virtual fundraiser with Wall Street donors
9:50PM ( 18 hours ago )
GOP rising star John James faces trouble at top of ticket
Michigan Senate candidate John James has been called a rising star of the Republican Party so many times it’s become a cliche, but his race against Sen. Gary Peters in a presidential battleground state has gotten dicier
5:25PM ( 22 hours ago )
Trump slams mail-in balloting promoted by his own campaign
President Donald Trump is railing against mail-in balloting that in some cases has been promoted by his own reelection campaign
4:09PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Trump threatens funding after Michigan absentee ballot move
President Donald Trump says he wants to hold up coronavirus funding for Michigan, saying erroneously that the state had mailed absentee ballots to millions of voters
8:49AM ( 2 days ago )
Biden wins Oregon Democratic presidential primary
Republican voters in Oregon’s vast 2nd Congressional District chose a former state senator to be their candidate to replace Rep. Greg Walden, who didn’t run for a 12th term in the conservative region covering the rural eastern and central part of the state
1:03AM ( 2 days ago )
Trump tells Senate GOP to 'be tough' on Democrats
President Donald Trump implored Senate Republicans to “be tough” on Democrats heading into the fall election
3:58PM ( 3 days ago )
General Election News
Burundi holds crucial presidential election amid pandemic
A crucial election is underway in the East African nation of Burundi
9:10AM ( 2 days ago )
Croatian president sets parliamentary vote for July 5
Croatia's President Zoran Milanovic has scheduled a parliamentary election in the European Union country for July 5
7:12AM ( 2 days ago )
Burundi opens crucial presidential election amid pandemic
A crucial election has begun in the East African nation of Burundi, where President Pierre Nkurunziza is stepping aside after a divisive 15-year rule but will remain “paramount leader” in the country that continues to reject outside scrutiny
4:57AM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Michigan Rep. Amash ends his Libertarian bid for White House
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan says he's changed his mind and is no longer seeking the Libertarian nomination for president
3:32PM ( 6 days ago )
Wisconsin again? Swing state a hotbed of virus politics
Wisconsin has been the battleground for political proxy wars for nearly a decade, and six months before the next presidential election, the state is on fire again
9:26AM ( 6 days ago )
Biden campaign steps up hires despite money gap with Trump
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will hire by June at least 600 field staffers dedicated to an “expanded map” of battleground states
2:33PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Biden, Dems aim to expand campaign map with fundraising deal
Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee have expanded their fundraising agreement to include 26 state parties
8:33AM ( 6 days ago )
Trump eyes older voters in Florida for any sign of faltering
President Donald Trump’s path to reelection runs through places like Sun City Center in Florida that’s now home to a booming retirement community, but some residents are growing restless
6:38AM ( 1 week ago )
Trump: Virus shows supply chains should be moved from China
President Donald Trump says the coronavirus pandemic highlights the importance of U.S. manufacturing and moving supply chains out of China, a rival he blames for not doing enough to slow the virus
3:09PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Trump deems churches 'essential,' calls for them to reopen
President Donald Trump says he has deemed churches and other houses of worship “essential” and is calling on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus
3:57PM ( 19 minutes ago )
New infections show virus accelerating across Latin America
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating across Latin America, bringing a surge of new infections and deaths, even as curves flattened and reopening was underway in much of Europe, Asia and the United States
3:52PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Flooding forces evacuations in more Michigan communities
More Central Michigan riverside residents are evacuating their homes after being overwhelmed by flooding from two failed dams that submerged communities further upstream earlier this week
3:49PM ( 26 minutes ago )
SEC to allow football workouts on campus beginning June 8
Southeastern Conference schools will be able to bring football and basketball players back to campus for voluntary activities starting June 8 at the discretion of each university
3:46PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Tech privacy firm warns contact tracing app violates policy
A contact tracing app pushed by the governors of North Dakota and South Dakota as a tool to trace exposure to the coronavirus violated its own privacy policy by sharing location and user identification information with third-party companies
3:43PM ( 33 minutes ago )