Joe Biden says he was too “cavalier” about black Trump backers

ATLANTA — Joe Biden declared he “should not have been so cavalier” on Friday when he told a prominent black radio host that African Americans who back President Donald Trump “ain’t black.”

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee quickly moved to address the fallout from his remark. In a call with the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, added to his initial public schedule, Biden said he would never “take the African American community for granted.”

That was an acknowledgement of the stinging criticism he received in response to his comments, which he made on “The Breakfast Club,” a radio program that is popular in the black community.

The rebukes spanned from allies of Trump’s reelection campaign — anxious to go on offense after weeks of defending the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic — to some black activists, who warned that Biden still must to court black votes, even if African Americans do overwhelmingly oppose the president.

“None of us can afford for the party or for this campaign to mess this election up, and comments like these are the kinds that frankly either make black voters feel like we’re not really valued and people don’t care if we show up or not,” said Alicia Garza, a Black Lives Matter co-founder and principal of Black Futures Lab.

Near the end of Biden’s appearance on the radio program, host Charlamagne Tha God, pressed him on reports that he is considering Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is white, to be his vice presidential running mate. The host told Biden black voters “saved your political life in the primaries” and “have things they want from you.”

Biden said that “I guarantee you there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple.”

A Biden aide then sought to end the interview, prompting the host to say, “You can’t do that to black media.”

Biden responded, “I do that to black media and white media” and said his wife needed to use the television studio.