Biden Gives Eyebrow-Raising Explanation for Controversial 'You Ain't Black' Comment


Former Vice President Joe Biden is now saying that a black radio host he made a controversial remark to was being “a wise guy.”

Biden sat down for an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash that aired Tuesday and addressed his contentious comments to radio host Charlamagne tha God of the popular radio program “The Breakfast Club” from last week.

The former vice president and Delaware senator told the show’s host that African-American voters who can’t decide between he and President Donald Trump “ain’t black.”

Speaking with Bash on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” the presumptive Democratic nominee was asked about the controversy stemming from his latest gaffe.

“I want to ask you about the remark you made last week on ‘The Breakfast Club.’ You said, ‘if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or for Trump, you ain’t black,’” Bash said.

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“You’ve since said you shouldn’t have been so cavalier. But during the same interview, you said the NAACP has endorsed me every time I’ve run, which isn’t true. So my question for you is about what some supporters say they’re worried about, which is that all of this could end up hurting the enthusiasm that you really need to win among black voters,” Bash asked.

Biden downplayed the comment and also accused the radio host of behaving like “a wise guy.”

“Well first of all, you know, I — it was a mistake, number one. And I was smiling when he asked me the question,” Biden said.

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“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy with him. He was being a wise guy and I responded in kind. I shouldn’t have done that. It was a mistake,” he added.

“I have never taken the African-American community for granted, never, never, never once,” he said. I’ve had … overwhelming support from the African-American community my whole career.”

The former vice president initially apologized last Friday for the “you ain’t black” remark during a conversation with black business leaders on a U.S. Black Chambers phone call.

“I shouldn’t have been so cavalier,” Biden said on the call, Fox News reported.

Biden also expressed regret that his comments gave the impression he was taking black voters “for granted.”

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“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. ”No one should have to vote for any party, based on their race or religion or background.”

Biden did not blame the radio host for his remark when apologizing on Friday.

The controversy began earlier that day when Biden joined the show and was prodded about whether he will choose a woman of color to become his running mate.

At the end of the interview, Charlamagne signaled that black voters would need to hear more answers from Biden before the election.

“It’s a long way until November. We’ve got more questions,” the host said.

“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden responded.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.