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Biden apologizes for 'you ain't black' if you vote for Trump over me comment

Black voters significantly helped Biden win the nomination and would like him to pick a female African-American running mate.

Published: May 22, 2020 11:26am

Updated: May 22, 2020 4:50pm

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden apologized Friday for saying in a radio interview aired earlier in the day, "if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or for Trump, then you ain't black."

Several hours later, Biden called his remarks "really unfortunate" and said he "shouldn't have been such a wise guy."

"I shouldn't have been so cavalier," Biden also said during a phone call with the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce.

His offensive remarks were made at the close of the roughly 18-minute interview with "The Breakfast Club's" host Charlamagne tha God. 

"No one should have to vote for any party, based on their race or religion or background," Biden also said.

The interview was tense from the start, when Biden told the host that he knew he had been critical of his candidacy.

The host also pressed the former vice president on his upcoming pick of a running mate in the general election.

"Black people saved your political life in the primaries this year, and they have things they want from you, and one of them is a black woman running mate," the host said.

Biden responded, "I guarantee you that there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple." He was then interrupted by someone off-screen telling him it was time to move on to his next engagement of the day.

Charlamagne protested the interview's abrupt end, saying, "You can't do that to black media," which led to the former veep's controversial comment. 

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, currently the only Republican African-American member of the Senate criticized Biden's remark on Twitter.

"1.3M black Americans already voted for Trump in 2016," Scott tweeted. "Joe Biden told every single one of us we 'ain't black.'" 

Trump won 8% of the black vote in 2016, according to National Election Pool exit poll data.

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