Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told nationally syndicated radio host Charlamagne Tha God on Friday that he “ain’t black” if he votes for President Trump over him.
Mr. Biden made the eyebrow-raising comment after Charlamagne, host of “The Breakfast Club,” told the vice president during his radio show that black people were disappointed he was considering Sen. Amy Klobuchar as a running mate and not a black woman.
“Black people saved your political life in the primaries this year,” the radio host said. “They have things they want from you, and one of them is a black woman running mate.”
Mr. Biden responded, “I guarantee you there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple.”
At that moment, a Biden aide interjected to try to cut the interview, saying their time was up.
“You can’t do that to black media!” Charlamagne fired back.
“I can do that to white media and black media because my wife has to go on at six o’clock,” Mr. Biden responded.
“It’s a long way until November, we’ve got more questions,” Charlamagne said.
“You’ve got more questions,” Mr. Biden said. “I’ll tell you, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or for Trump, then you ain’t black.”
“It ain’t have nothing to do with Trump,” Charlamagne said. “It has to do with the fact that I want something for my community.”
“Take a look at my record, man!” Mr. Biden exclaimed. “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. I mean, come on, take a look at the record.”
The exchange went viral and “Charlamagne” and “#YouAintBlack” became top trending U.S. topics on Twitter Friday morning.
Mr. Trump’s reelection team fired back at Mr. Biden in a statement later Friday accusing the former vice president of making “racist” remarks.
“White liberal elitists have continuously dictated which Black Americans are allowed to come to the table and have a voice,” said Katrina Pierson, a Trump campaign spokesperson. “It is clear now more than ever, following these racist and dehumanizing remarks, that Joe Biden believes Black men and women are incapable of being independent or free thinking. He truly believes that he, a 77-year-old white man, should dictate how Black people should behave. Biden has a history of racial condescension and today he once again proved what a growing number of Black Americans and I have always known: Joe Biden does not deserve our votes.”
Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders said the presumptive nominee’s comment was made “in jest.”
“Vice President Biden spent his career fighting alongside and for the African American community,” she tweeted. “He won his party’s nomination by earning every vote and meeting people where they are and that’s exactly what he intends to do this November.
“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,” she added.
Charlamagne declined to comment on the exchange directly, but he later retweeted dozens of supporters who praised him for being tough on Mr. Biden.
“Feel a lot of coded language and micro-aggression from Biden,” read one tweet shared by the radio host.
“The community needs answers,” another read.
“Please tell Joe Biden that black people are not a monolith, because you worked in the projects does not relate to me,” read another.