Out of all the gaffes Joe Biden has made, this could be the one that hurts him the most. It will damage him with a voting block that usually belongs to the Democrats but that President Trump is making inroads with on many issues.
Biden made the verbal mistake to host Charlamagne tha God of “The Breakfast Club” radio show. What he said ignited a backlash from across the spectrum, with the Trump campaign calling Biden’s words “racist and dehumanizing.” “He truly believes that he, a 77-year-old white man, should dictate how black people should behave,” said Trump adviser Katrina Pierson.
“I shouldn’t have been so cavalier,” Biden said addressing the controversy. He said he understands the comments sounded like he was taking the black vote “for granted” but said that wasn’t the case. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy… No one should have to vote for any party, based on their race or religion or background.”
What happened? The major gaffe occurred 17 minutes into Biden’s interview, when an aide tried to put a stop to the interview, prompting the host to charge, “You can’t do that to black media.” Biden said that he and his wife had an upcoming appointment, and said he would have to go whether dealing with “white media” or “black media.”
“Uh, oh…I’m in trouble,” Biden guffawed, as he referred to making his wife late. After Charlamagne tha God, who is black, then asked Biden to come back on the program again and Biden agreed, the host added, “It’s a long way to November. We’ve got more questions.”
Biden responded: “I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” he said. The sheer stupidity of that statement is beyond description. The colloquial tone makes it doubly insulting. Charlamagne tha God responded that “it has nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact that I want something for my community.” Biden had no response and quickly left the studio.
The furor on social media, from the black community, conservatives, the GOP, Trump supporters, and even some of Biden’s own supporters has been deafening. His own people must actually be wondering if he is too awkward, too gaffe-prone, too verbally clumsy to claim the nomination and face Donald Trump, especially in debate, in the November election.
Biden aide Symone Sanders stressed Biden’s record with the black community, saying: “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.”
Pierson, in a Trump campaign call with the media, responded that Biden’s comment “wasn’t in jest. He was serious.” Pierson, who is black, recognizes the patronizing tone of white liberals to black Americans. Blacks are just fine to Democrats and progs if they vote Democrat. But if they stray from the party line then their very race is questioned. Biden will come to regret that he said this. But the president may use it to gain the margin of victory he will need to beat the former vice-president. If so, Biden will remember this day as the day he lost the presidency.
This piece was written by David Kamioner on May 23, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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