House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said he “cringed” after hearing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden argue to black voters that they “ain’t black” if they don’t vote for him come November.
During an interview on ABC’s “The View,” the South Carolina congressman who is credited with reviving Biden’s campaign said “we sometimes say things we do not really mean, they come out a little bit wrong, and that’s what happened here. I think all of us know Joe Biden.”
“I cringed, no question about that,” Clyburn said of the former vice president after co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked him about the gaffe.
“In this instance, Joe did not do as well as I had hoped in responding, but I will say this: I go about my business every day comparing Joe Biden to the alternative — not the Almighty,” Clyburn added.
What’s the background?
Biden made the controversial remarks during an interview with black radio host Charlamagne tha God on “The Breakfast Club” radio show last week, in which Biden was discussing his political track record and future objectives for the black community.
At the close of the interview, Biden, hoping to make clear that he is the only candidate who deserves the black vote, said, “I’ll tell you what: If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
The presumptive Democratic nominee was forced to apologize later that afternoon during a conference call with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, saying that he shouldn’t have been “a wise guy” and “so cavalier.”
“I know the comments have come off like I was taking the African American vote for granted. But nothing could be further from the truth,” Biden said on the call.
“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy … I shouldn’t have been so cavalier,” Biden said.
Clyburn, who gave Biden a key endorsement ahead of his state’s primary contest earlier this year, overall seemed to give Biden grace in his response, even suggesting that Charlamagne tha God purposefully aims “to push the buttons” of his interview subjects.
That same grace has not been afforded to President Donald Trump, whom Clyburn claimed is a “racist” who has hired white supremacists into his administration in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that aired in March.
During the short interview, Clyburn also compared the Trump to a Nazi official and warned that America “could very well go the way of Germany in the 1930s.”
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn calls President Trump racist