Former Vice President Joe Biden set off a firestorm Friday morning when he appeared for an interview at “The Breakfast Club,” a popular black radio program, and told the program’s co-host, Charlamagne that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Biden later apologized during a call with black community leaders, saying that “perhaps I was much too cavalier.”
“I know that the comments have come off like I was taking the African American vote for granted. But nothing could be further for the truth. I’ve never ever done that and I’ve earned it every time I’ve run,” he added.
Within hours, Donald Trump’s reelection campaign launched a $1 million digital ad blitz aimed at capitalizing on Biden’s gaffe, running a video montage highlighting Biden’s Friday morning comments and Biden’s support for the 1994 crime bill which, the spot says, resulted in mass incarceration and “destroyed millions of black lives.”
Trump received just 8 percent of the black vote in 2016, though his advisers contend that even a small uptick in African American support could be enough to tilt the balance in swing states.