President Trump and his allies jumped on the opportunity to shame Joe Biden for saying to a popular black radio show host ‘you ain’t black’ if you ‘have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump.’
Biden, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, made the cringey comment to Charlamagne tha God at the end of a contentious 18-minute interview for his show ‘The Breakfast Club’ that aired Friday morning.
Shortly thereafter, two Trump surrogates – Katrina Pierson and Sen. Tim Scott – slapped back on a conference call with reporters, with Pierson characterizing Biden’s quip as ‘extremely racist’ and ‘the definition of white privilege.’
Scott had also gone on Fox Business Network and remarked that what Biden said was ‘the most arrogant, condescending comment I have heard in a long time.’
It took several hours but President Trump also chimed in, retweeting Scott’s Fox Business segment and a Fox News Channel segment featuring Harris Faulkner, one of the network’s black anchors.
Vice President Joe Biden (right) appeared on ‘The Breakfast Club’ Friday with popular host Charlamagne tha God (left) and told the radio show host, ‘If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black’
President Trump deployed his surrogates, his son and the retweet button to go after Joe Biden after the presumptive Democratic nominee made the controversial quip to Charlamagne tha God
Trump campaign surrogates Sen. Tim Scott (left) and Katrina Pierson (right) jumped on a call with reporters Friday morning to discuss what Biden had said. Both didn’t believe Symone Sanders’ explanation that it was ‘in jest.’ Pierson also said she’d be open to Trump appearing on ‘The Breakfast Club’ with Charlamagne tha God
Later Friday afternoon, President Trump retweeted Sen. Tim Scott’s segment on Fox Business Network where he criticized the comment Joe Biden made to radio show host Charlamagne tha God
President Trump also tweeted that ‘HARRIS IS A GREAT AMERICAN’ sharing a clip of Fox News Channel anchor Harris Faulkner calling what Joe Biden said a ‘blind spot for this former vice president’
Donald Trump Jr. did his part by sharing tweets from black conservatives including libertarian Lawrence B. Jones III who said Biden could kiss his a**
Donald Trump Jr. and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel both complained that CNN wasn’t covering the gaffe
‘HARRIS IS A GREAT AMERICAN,’ Trump wrote in all caps.
Faulkner said Biden’s remark was ‘more than just a little offensive.’
‘It is short-sighted, it is a blind spot for this former vice president,’ he continued. ‘He should have gotten up immediately on whatever venue, microphone he had,’ she said, and restated those comments, she added.
Biden did apologize several hours later on a phone call with members of the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, which was leaked to the press.
‘I should not have been so cavalier. I’ve never, never, ever taken the African-American community for granted,’ Biden said, according to the Associated Press. ‘I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy.’
Biden added that, ‘No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background.’
Earlier, his senior adviser Symone Sanders, who is black, had tweeted that Biden had meant the comment ‘in jest.’
But by the time Biden apologized the comment had snowballed online.
Diddy, also known as Puff Daddy, had tweeted, ‘Aye bruh @JoeBiden I already told you the #BlackVoteAintFree.’
Black Entertainment Television Founder Robert L. Johnson said in a statement to Fox News’ Bret Baier that ‘This proves unequivocally that the Democratic nominee believes that Black people owe him their vote without question.’
Diddy, also known in some circles as Puff Daddy, tweeted a response to Biden’s comments Friday using the hashtag #BlackVoteAintFree
Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, sent a statement to Fox News Channels’ Bret Baier, which he tweeted. Johnson said Biden’s comment ‘proves unequivocally that the Democratic nominee believes that Black people owe him their vote without question’
Donald Trump Jr., not surprisingly, retweeted a number of black conservatives, like libertarian Lawrence B. Jones III.
‘Dude helps write the 1994 Crime Bill & then tries to tell us what’s black?!’ Jones wrote. ‘KISS MY ASS.’
Trump Jr. and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel both complained about CNN not airing Biden’s comment.
‘I see that @CNN is not even trying to pretend anymore that they’re anything but total hacks in the tank for Joe Biden and the Democrat Party,’ Trump Jr. said. ‘They’re not fooling anyone, they should just go ahead and register as an official Biden Super PAC at this point!’
A CNN spokesperson has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Biden’s ‘Breakfast Club’ interview came out first thing Friday morning and was memorable for an aide interrupting the back-and-forth several times, telling Biden his wife Jill needed to use the home studio.
This inspired Charlamagne the God, the host of the popular ‘Breakfast Club’ program, to say, ‘You can’t do that to black media.’
‘I’ve got to do that to white media and black media because my wife has to go on at 6 o’clock,’ Biden replied. ‘Uh oh, I’m in trouble,’ he muttered, checking the time.
The Bidens, who are under a coronavirus stay at home order in Delaware, share a TV studio set up in a basement rec room.
Charlamagne the God asked the ex-veep to come see him in New York post-pandemic.
‘It’s a long way until November, we’ve got more questions,’ the radio host said.
Biden sounded surprised by that comment.
‘You’ve got more questions?’ he asked.
‘Well, I will tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,’ Biden said.
Charlamagne the God replied, ‘it has nothing to do with Trump.
‘I want something for my community,’ he told the former vice president.
Biden, using the defensive tone he used for most of the interview, shot back, ‘Take a look at my record man.’
‘I extended the voting rights act 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP has endorsed me every time I’ve run. Come on, take a look at my record,’ Biden said.
When an aide tried ending things for a third time, Biden promised he would come back on ‘The Breakfast Club’ and called Charlamagne tha God ‘pal.’
Things had gotten off to a rocky start with Charlamagne the God copping to the fact that he had been criticial of Biden on his show.
‘I know you have,’ Biden replied. ‘You don’t know me.’
Charlamagne tha God admitted that was accurate.
‘No I don’t, that’s why I want to get to know you today,’ the host said. ‘I’m going to talk to you mostly about black stuff.’
Charlamagne tha God asked about Biden’s family and how they were doing during the coronavirus pandemic, while Biden segued and said, ‘I’ll tell you what, the black community is getting killed though.’
The radio host agreed, and then asked Biden about his cognitive health, pointing to the many attacks on the right suggesting that the 77-year-old candidate was experiencing a mental decline.
Biden responded by saying he couldn’t wait to take on the ‘stable genius,’ Trump.
Charlamagne tha God also questioned Biden on how he could excite voters from his basement.
‘I’m following the rules man. I wear my mask,’ Biden replied.
‘By the way I’m beating him across the board,’ he continued. ‘It’s not hurting me, I’m winning in all those states, I’m head in all national polls, the more he talks the better off I am.’
Charlamagne tha God said he was skeptical of polling after what happened in 2016 – especially since Hillary Clinton was ahead in national polling, but got beaten in three key swing states, where polling wasn’t being conducted as regularly.
‘Polls can be illusions,’ the radio host said.
Biden argued that it’s different in 2020 because instead of being an unknown change agent, Trump is a known commodity.
The two had a back-and-forth about the controversial 1994 crime bill, which has been blamed for mass incarceration of black Americans.
‘I got to ask you though, why so much resistance on admitting the crime bill and other legislation you were a part of was damaging to the black community?’ Charlamagne tha God asked Biden at one point. ‘We had Hillary on a few years ago, and Miss Clinton said the crime bill, we made a lot of mistakes with that and she wanted to atone for that by becoming the next president.’
Biden didn’t see things the same way.
‘She was wrong. It wasn’t the crime bill, it was the drug legislation, it was the institution of mandatory minimums, which I opposed,’ he said.
Biden said he had a broader plane for black America, which he referred to in the interview as a ‘manifesto.’
On the topic of drugs, Charlamagne the God asked Biden why he supported decriminalization of marijuana, but not full legalization.
‘Because they’re trying to find out whether or not there’s any impact on the use of marijuana, not in leading you to othet drugs, but does it effect longterm development of the brain,’ Biden answered. ‘And we should wait until the studies are done.’
‘I think science matters,’ the presumptive Democratic nominee added.
Charlamagne tha God also brought up the veepstakes, pointing to the CBS News story that broke Thursday, which said the Biden team was vetting Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a former 2020 candidate who is white.
‘A lot of people on social media, they’re not too happy about that because they want your running mate to be a black woman,’ Charlamagne tha God told the candidate.
‘And black people saved your political life in the primary this year,’ he added.
Biden had performed badly in both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. He came in a weak second to Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses, but his campaign’s hopes completely turned around after he was endorsed by Rep. Jim Clyburn, the most powerful black lawmaker on Capitol Hill, and easily won South Carolina’s primary.
While Biden has agreed to picking a female VP, he has not committed to choosing a woman of color.
‘What I’m saying to them is I’m not acknowledging anybody who’s being considered, but I guarantee you there are multiple black women being considered, multiple,’ Biden said.
Previously, Charlamagne tha God had criticized both Biden and Bernie Sanders for not having a concrete economic plan for black Americans.
During an interview on MSNBC in March, as the Democratic primary was winding down, the radio host said he wanted to see a ‘specific agenda’ for black America similar to what candidate Michael Bloomberg had come up with during his brief campaign.
Bloomberg’s ‘Greenwood Initiative’ had tackled issues including increasing black homeownership and black-owned businesses in the United States.
Charlamagne the God had also previously criticized Biden for avoiding his show, while all the other top-tier Democratic candidates viewed it as a must-do during the primary.
The radio show host had on Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, who he told to her face sounded like ‘the original Rachel Dolezal’ by claiming native American heritage.
‘We have been loyal to Democrats for a long time, black people have invested a lot into that party and the return on investment has not been great,’ Charlamagna tha God
The radio host noted that Biden had admitted the party owed something to the black community for that support.
‘So let’s see what you got!!!’ he said in a written statement. ‘Votes are Quid Pro Quo. You can’t possibly want me to Fear Trump MORE than I want something for my people.’