Biden: 'If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black'

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    Playing the race card, smart move

    Joe Biden's appeal among black Democrats is being tested after he made a flippant remark during a heated exchange with an African American radio host.

    "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," Biden told The Breakfast Club Friday morning of President Trump, the man he's hoping to beat in November's general election.

    Host Charlamagne Tha God shot back, "It don't have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact — I want something for my community."

    Charlamagne Tha God, whose New York-based radio show became an influential medium for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to reach the black community, had been critical of the presumptive nominee throughout the primary. And Biden's first appearance on the program didn't entirely help to build rapport. Their conversation was interrupted twice by a Biden aide saying their time was up, with Charlamagne Tha God claiming, "You can't do that to black media!"

    Biden overcame poor showings in the first three nominating contests hosted by Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada to trounce his competition in South Carolina thanks to his support from black Democrats in the state. He went on to dominate Super Tuesday and become the party's next apparent standard-bearer.

    The two-term vice president and 36-year Delaware senator is now under increasing pressure to pick an African American woman running mate as he prepares for the fall fight to demonstrate he doesn't take the voting bloc for granted.

    The issue has divided black lawmakers and political pundits, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn, whose endorsement bolstered Biden's so-called "South Carolina firewall," because they don't want the lack of diversity to be fixed with tokenism.

    On Friday, Biden also defended his role in drafting and passing the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, better known as the "crime bill." He insisted 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was wrong to use her campaign as a sort of apology tour for her work on the legislation, which many blame for the trend toward the mass incarceration of minority offenders.

    "She was wrong. What happened was — that wasn't the crime bill, it was the drug legislation. It was their institution of mandatory minimums, which I opposed," Biden said.
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