Democratic nominee Joe Biden was recently interviewed by prominent black radio host Charlamagne Tha God. After being asked to return for another interview, Biden said, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” The remark offended many of the 8 million, mostly African-American monthly listeners to Charlamagne’s Breakfast Club.
Soon after the interview, Biden apologized for the remark saying “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.”
Biden enjoys overwhelming popularity among African-American voters who helped him to win many southern states during the Democratic Primaries. He has often touted his civil rights record as a core reason why voters should support him. And while he has a good record in recent decades, his racial record is not without controversy. Many years ago he voted against busing to desegregate schools, a fact Senator Kamila Harris noted in a primary debate, and in speeches he has noted his ability to work across the isle, even with segregationist senators.
It’s unlikely that Biden’s gaff will cause him to lose black voters in massive numbers. But it has given the Trump administration an opportunity to weaken black support for his presidential bid this fall.