- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 28, 2020

Turns out that likely Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden’s controversial assertion — which he has since walked back — that black voters who cast their ballot for President Trump “ain’t black” is spot on for more than a quarter of black voters.

A Rasmussen Reports poll found that 27% of likely black voters agree with Mr. Biden that “a black voter who chooses Donald Trump over Biden is not really black.”

Another 12% of black voters were on the fence, and 61% disagreed.

White voters were less likely to buy the argument, with 78% saying they disagreed, and 7% saying they agree.

Overall, 13% of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed agreed with the sentiment, while 73% disagreed.

Closing out an interview last week with the popular “Breakfast Club” radio show with host Charlamagne tha God, Mr. Biden ignited a controversy when he told his on-the-fence host that “If you have a problem figuring out whether you are for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

The comment overshadowed the 18-minute conversation in which Mr. Biden addressed concerns about his mental fitness for the job, discussed the prospect of picking a black woman as a running mate, and criticized Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus while vowing to combat systemic racism and defending the lead role he played in passing the 1994 crime bill.

Mr. Biden, who has a long history of gaffes, apologized saying he should not have been so cavalier.

“No one, no one, should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background,” he said. “There are African Americans who think that Trump was worth voting for. I don’t think so, I’m prepared to put my record against his. That was the bottom line and it was, it was really unfortunate.”

Mr. Trump and his allies have since turned Mr. Biden’s words against him, saying they exposed how he takes black voters’ support for granted — who fueled his rise as the presumed Democratic presidential nominee.

“Black liberals want you to believe that Joe Biden has always been a friend to African Americans — at least the clean and articulate ones,” Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson said in a Black Voices for Trump virtual event over the weekend, alluding to a phrase with which Mr. Biden once praised then-Sen. Barack Obama. “Joe Biden has never been a friend to American Americans.”

The Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted May 26-27 and has an error margin of 3 percentage points.

The group this week also found that 60% of black voters feel as if Democrats have historically done more to lift up the black community, compared to 18% who said the GOP has been a bigger ally.

The Biden campaign, meanwhile, announced Thursday the 77-year-old won the endorsement of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, which represents over 1.2 million black workers.

CBTU President Rev. Terrence Melvin said Mr. Biden is “democracy’s best and only hope in the presidential race in 2020” and has a plan to “lift America from the sewage of Trumpism.”

“Joe has lived through wrenching personal tragedies with grace and had the back of America’s first black president, Barack Obama,” Mr. Melvin said. “As senator, he was a tireless champion for civil rights, voting rights, union rights and security for seniors.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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