Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden joined Charlemagne tha God’s nationally syndicated radio show on Friday morning and the interview quickly went viral as the two discussed race and politics. Biden suggested to the African-American radio host that “you ain’t black” if he was questioning whether he should support President Donald Trump over himself in the general election.
This controversial moment happened right at the end of the interview. Moments before, an aide interrupted Biden and Charlemagne to say they were running short on time, as Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, needed to use their at-home studio space in Delaware.
To wrap things up, Charlamagne then asked that Biden pay the studio a visit the next time he’s in New York. “It’s a long way until November,” The Breakfast Club host said. “We’ve got more questions.”
“You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied. “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Charlamagne said in response that him asking difficult questions didn’t mean he also supported Trump. “It don’t have nothing to do with Trump,” Charlemagne said. “It has to do with the fact that I want something for my community.”
Biden cut in to say, “Take a look at my record, man. … I have a record that is second to none,” and said he looked forward to the day he could visit The Breakfast Club in person.
On Friday afternoon, Biden issued an apology for his choice of words. He said during a call with the U.S. Black Chambers, “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”
Biden’s Senior Campaign Advisor Addressed The ‘You Ain’t Black’ Comment On Twitter
After the interview aired, the hashtags “You ain’t black” and “Joe Biden is a racist” started trending on Twitter. Symone Sanders, Biden’s senior campaign advisor addressed the controversy. She tweeted, “Vice President Biden spent his career fighting alongside and for the African American community. 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.”
In 2018, Trump asked lawmakers discussing immigration in the Oval Office, “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?” A person briefed on the meeting told CNN that Trump discussed “why we would want people from Haiti and more Africans in the U.S., and said that the U.S. should get more people from countries like Norway.”
In August 2017, a white nationalist rally fighting against the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to the unfortunate death of Heather Heyer, a woman protesting against the “Unite the Right” rally. While white nationalists carried torches and displayed anti-Semitic flags, Trump told reporters “that were very fine people, on both sides.”
When Biden announced that he was running for President in April 2019, he referenced Trump’s “fine people on both sides” statement. He said, “With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d ever seen in my lifetime.”
Charlemagne Asked Biden His Potential Vice-President Nominee
Earlier in the interview, Charlemagne and Biden the big question on voters’ minds, inquiring about which person he will nominate to run alongside him as the potential vice-president. The day before, it was widely reported that Biden was vetting Senator Amy Klobuchar for the role.
However, Biden remained tight-lipped on the issue. He didn’t specifically name anyone specific on his shortlist of possible vice-president nominees but said that “multiple black women” are being considered.