Sen. Tim Scott criticized presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s claim that African Americans voters “ain’t black” if they are not planning to vote for him in November as an “arrogant, condescending comment.”
“That is the most arrogant, condescending comment I’ve heard in a very long time, and that’s saying something,” the South Carolina Republican told “Varney & Co” Friday morning on Fox Business.
The African-American senator pointed to the fact that Biden sponsored a “1990s crime bill that locked up more African-American males than any other piece of legislation.”
Scott said the criminal justice reform legislation that President Donald Trump supported helped correct the mistakes Biden made.
“For [Biden] to make such an arrogant, ridiculous comment to, if you think about the numbers, 1.3 million African-Americans voted for Trump,” Scott said.
“He’s saying to 1.3 million African-Americans that you’re not black? Who in the heck does he think he is? That is the most arrogant, outrageous comment I’ve heard in a very long time and I take offense to that.”
Scott made similar comments on his Twitter account Friday morning.
“I’d say I’m surprised, but it’s sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and brow beat those that don’t agree,” he tweeted.
Biden’s remarks came on the radio program “The Breakfast Club” when the radio host, a man who goes by the name Charlamagne tha God, said Biden needs to earn the vote of black Americans.
The radio host said he and other black voters will need to hear more from Biden before he earns their vote, which seemed to irk the former vice president.
Charlamagne asked Biden to visit him in New York and added, “It’s a long way until November. We’ve got more questions.”
“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said.
Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders later claimed on Twitter that her boss’ comments “were 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.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 22, 2020
“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.”
But Biden received quick backlash on social media for his comments, as the hashtag “YouAintBlack” started trending.
“This is disgusting,” Trump’s campaign tweeted along with the clip of Biden’s interview.
UPDATE, May 22, 2020: Several hours after this interview, Joe Biden apologized for his comments during a call with black business leaders, according to Business Insider. “(I) shouldn’t have been so cavalier,” Biden said, according to the report.
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