2020 Election

Possible Running Mate Scolds Biden Over ‘You Ain’t Black’ Remark

Rep. Val Demings (D., Fla.), a leading contender for Joe Biden's vice presidential pick, said Biden "shouldn't have said" his comment about black voters needing to support him over President Donald Trump.

"We know we have some serious issues that we're dealing with in this country. If we're going to be able to address them effectively, then we have to hold everybody accountable, even those that we do support," Demings said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. "Look, the vice president shouldn't have said it. He apologized for it."

Biden told radio host Charlamagne tha God that black voters had to support him over President Donald Trump.

"If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," Biden said. He later apologized, calling the comments "too cavalier."

Black Republican lawmakers spoke out about Biden's comments, with Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) calling the comments "sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and brow beat those that don't agree." Former congresswoman Mia Love called the rhetoric "extremely offensive."

"I think it's interesting that the president searched high and low to find African-American members of the Senate and a former member of Congress to speak out on this issue," Demings said. "It would be nice to hear other Republicans, male or female, speak out on this issue."

She also demurred on a question from host Dana Bash about the vice presidency, saying she wants to "continue to work hard to serve the American people."

Demings has said she is being vetted and is on Biden's shortlist for the vice presidency.