Biden: If You Don't Vote for Me, 'You Ain't Black'

Update: Radio host who interviewed Biden criticizes his comment

May 22, 2020

Presumptive Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden told radio host Charlamagne tha God that he "ain't black" if he is having trouble choosing between Biden and President Donald Trump.

"If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," Biden said Friday morning during an appearance on The Breakfast Club.

Charlamagne responded that he's not considering Trump, but he wants more from Biden for the black community, such as the selection of an African-American woman as vice president. He also took issue with a Biden adviser trying to end the interview, saying, "You can't do that to black media."

Biden argued his record proves he is the only choice for black voters.

"Take a look at my record, man. I extended the Voting Rights Act 25 years," Biden responded. "I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP has endorsed me every time I've run. I mean, come on. Take a look at the record."

Later in the show, cohost Angela Yee asked Charlamagne if he’s going to vote for Biden. He said he’s unsure and then criticized Biden for his comment about black voters.

"If his reasoning for people like me that still might be skeptical [is] ‘if you vote for Trump over me, you’re not black’ that’s kinda crazy," he said. "I’m not voting for Trump, but I don’t know if I’m voting for Biden either."

Both Yee and Charlamagne said Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D., Minn.) prosecutorial record disqualifies her as a potential running mate for Biden. They said her history as a prosecutor was even more problematic than that of Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), who has faced criticism from the left over her time as California's attorney general.

Charlamagne brought up Klobuchar when interviewing Biden, telling the former vice president that picking her as a running mate would be disappointing to black voters.

"A lot of people on social media, they're not too happy about that," Charlamagne said. "It's because they want your running mate to be a black woman."

He pointed out that the support of black voters helped save Biden's primary campaign by giving the former vice president a resounding victory in South Carolina, propelling him to a successful Super Tuesday in which he took the delegate lead.

"I don't know if you saw the op-ed in the Washington Post by some of the leading black women voices in this country. And they feel since black women are such a loyal voting block and black people saved your political life in the primaries this year, they have things they want from you," he said. "And one of them is a black woman running mate. What do you say to them?"

"What I say to them is I'm not acknowledging anybody who is being considered but I guarantee you, there are multiple black women who are being considered. Multiple," Biden responded.

Biden's vice presidential shortlist reportedly includes Stacey Abrams, Sen. Harris, and Rep. Val Demings (D., Fla.), alongside other women such as Klobuchar and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).

Biden has used similar arguments in the past to describe the prospect of black voters choosing to vote Republican. He told a predominately black crowd at a rally in 2012 that GOP nominee Mitt Romney would "put y’all back in chains" while he was criticizing Republicans' budget proposals.

Updated 11:58 a.m.: This post was updated with further discussion of Biden later in Friday's episode of The Breakfast Club.