Biden Apologizes For “You Ain’t Black” Remark: “I Shouldn’t Have Been So Cavalier”

Former Vice President Joe Biden (screen capture)

Former vice president Joe Biden created a firestorm today when he told a black radio host that African American voters who can’t seem to decide between voting for him and Donald Trump at this point in time “ain’t black.”

Biden apologized today saying he shouldn’t have been so ‘cavalier’ in his remarks.

From NBC News:

At the end of an 18-minute radio interview with The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne tha God airing Friday morning, Biden responded to the host’s desire for the candidate to answer more questions by saying,”You got more questions? I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Hours later, Biden expressed regret for the remarks, calling them “really unfortunate” and saying he “shouldn’t have been such a wise guy.”

“I shouldn’t have been so cavalier in responding,” he said during a phone call with the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce Friday afternoon. “No one should have to vote for any party, based on their race or religion or background,” Biden said.

At another point on the call, Biden admitted, “I know that the comments have come off like I was taking the African American folks for granted … but nothing could be further from the truth.”

“I’ve never ever done that, and I’ve earned it every time I’ve run. I was making the point that I have never taken a vote for granted,” he said.

The remark was, of course, wrong. That said, Biden quickly admitted the remarks was bone-headed and apologized – something Donald Trump could never do.

As Republicans seized on the comments, Symone Sanders, a senior adviser on the Biden campaign tweeted that the comments came at the end of the conversation and were made in jest.

News Round-Up: March 9, 2020

L-R Michael Caprio, Barry Manilow, me

Some news items you might have missed:

Las Vegas: Hubby Michael and I were invited to an industry night at the Westgate Hotel here in Las Vegas where pop music legend Barry Manilow is still thrilling audiences. In a fast-paced 90 minute show, Barry belts out hit after hit, inspiring standing ovation after standing ovation. If you’re heading to Sin City, I highly recommend you check out this truly authentic star who continues to knock it out of the park.

NY Times: A year after the “London Patient” was introduced to the world as only the second person to be cured of H.I.V., he is stepping out of the shadows to reveal his identity: He is Adam Castillejo. “This is a unique position to be in, a unique and very humbling position,” he said. “I want to be an ambassador of hope.”

CTV News: Legislation has been introduced in Canada that would make it illegal to cause a minor to undergo conversion therapy; to remove a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy in another country; cause a person to undergo conversion therapy against their will; profit from providing conversion therapy; or advertise an offer to provide conversion therapy.

Spokesman-Review: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill that prohibits defendants from using a “panic defense” in court to justify violence against a member of the LGBTQ community. Washington is now the 10th state to ban so-called “gay panic” or “trans panic” defenses.

The Hill: Former 2020 Democratic contender Michael Bloomberg gave $2 million to a nonprofit working to Collective Future, a nonprofit working to registering black voters ahead of November’s general election. The group is working to register 500,000 black voters in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Passing: Openly gay playwright Mart Crowley, author of the groundbreaking play The Boys in the Band, about a group of gay and bi friends in New York City, has died at age 84.

The play, a hit off-Broadway in 1968, went on to become a feature film directed by William Friedkin in 1970. Crowley finally received a Tony Award for his opus when an all-star cast brought the play to Broadway in 2018. Hollywood super-producer Ryan Murphy is now bringing that production to Netflix in the foreseeable future. RIP Mart Crowley.

Biden Holds Huge Lead Nationally Among Black Voters

Former Vice President Joe Biden

The Washington Post reports former Vice President Joe Biden holds a huge lead nationally among black American voters.

Former vice president Joe Biden is far and away the favored candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination among black Americans, boosted by his personal popularity, his service in the Obama administration and perceptions that he is best equipped to defeat President Trump, according to a national Washington Post-Ipsos poll.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) occupies second place in the Democratic field among African American voters, easily outdistancing the remaining candidates in the race. Sanders is leading among black voters under age 35, replicating his success with younger white voters in other national polls. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) runs third.

(via Washington Post)

New Buttigieg Ad Goes Up In South Carolina

Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens to an African-American woman speak.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens to an African-American woman speak.

The Hill reports Mayor Pete Buttigieg is putting $2 million behind his first campaign ad buy in South Carolina in advance of the upcoming Democratic primary in February.

As has been widely reported, while the mayor has surged in Iowa and New Hampshire, he’s struggled with attracting black voters, which explains the new ad in South Carolina where black voters make up 60+ percent of the Democratic voting base.

Says Buttigieg in the ad:

“In our White House, you won’t have to shake your head and ask yourself, ‘Whatever happened to ‘I was hungry and you fed me. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’ When I say we’ve got to unify the American people it doesn’t mean pretending that we’re all the same. It means unifying around issues from wages and family leave to gun violence and immigration. The hope of an American experience defined not by exclusion but by belonging.”

According to the RealClearPolitics average, former Vice President Joe Biden has a strong lead in South Carolina, at 35.3 percent followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), at 16.3 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.), at 12.8 percent. Buttigieg is in fourth place, at 6.5 percent.

‘Meet The Press’ Host Presses Mayor Pete On Winning The Black Vote

During an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press, host Chuck Todd repeatedly quizzed Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, on his relationship with African-American voters and whether being openly gay could be an obstacle in winning their votes.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg on ‘Meet The Press’

During an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press, host Chuck Todd repeatedly quizzed Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, on his relationship with African-American voters and whether being openly gay could be an obstacle in winning their votes.

Reading from an interview with Reverend Rodric Reid of the Uplift Church in Indianapolis, Todd recounted Reid’s thoughts on Buttigieg’s marriage to his husband, Chasten.

“‘I guarantee it’s going to be an obstacle for the candidate from South Bend,” read the quote from Reid. “That is really still a touchy subject, specifically and especially in the African American church.”

“Now, I think it could be overcome, because we are gradually getting to a point of, and I don’t want to say ‘accept,’ but we are getting to a point of realizing this is the culture that we are going to have to begin to live with and adapt to it,” added Reid.

Todd then turned to the Mayor and asked how his outreach efforts to the Black community are going.

“They’re going well,” said the 37-year-old mayor. “And we are working very hard to engage people across the party, but especially black voters, who expect you to demonstrate, especially when you’re new on the scene, what your values are and how you’re going to promote policies that lift them up.”

Buttigieg then pivoted to Donald Trump adding, “I also think we have a moment on our hands when we can do the exact opposite of what the president has done.”

“The president has used identity as a wedge, used race as a wedge to divide people who have common interests,” the young mayor explained.

Instead of dividing people, Buttigieg suggested recognizing our “distinctive identities,” whether the Black or LGBTQ community, could help to “build bridges, to reach out to people different from us, knowing that anybody who has been on the short end of an equation of exclusion has a way to sympathize with people who’ve had different experiences with exclusion in this country.”

“And if we build a solidarity around that, then people who have, for whatever reason, felt a lack of belonging or felt exclusion or felt discrimination in this country, even though those patterns of discrimination are very, very different, when all of us come together, we win, and we are all better off,” he added.

‘Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd and Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Todd wasn’t done with the subject, though.

The NBC host told Buttigieg he’d spoken to African-American congressmen who like what they’ve heard from the mayor and could see themselves supporting his campaign, but are concerned some of their more socially conservative constituents may have issues with his sexuality.

Todd wondered what could Buttigieg do to win over those voters?

Noting that he won his second term as mayor in a 80 percent landslide as an out candidate, Mayor Pete answered, “I’d invite them to look at what happened in South Bend.”

He continued saying he was confident “that American voters, especially Democratic voters, will not discriminate when the opportunity comes up to choose the right leader for the future.”

It is worth noting that a recent Post and Courier/Change Research Poll of likely Democratic primary voters in South Carolina, which holds the third presidential primary in the country and is the first real gauge of African-American voters mood, shows Buttigieg has recently surged into third place with 11% behind former Vice President Joe Biden (37%) and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (17%).

So it would appear that Mayor Pete’s outreach to the Black community is showing positive results.

You can watch Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s full interview on NBC’s Meet the Press below. The discussion on Buttigieg and the Black vote happens at the 12:57 mark.

Seth Meyers Takes “A Closer Look” At Trump’s Approach To African-American Voters

Seth Meyers takes “A Closer Look” at Donald Trump’s recent outreach to African-American and Latino voters.

Meyers notes that even though Trump has a “well documented history of stoking racial resentment and attracting the support of white nationalists,” the thinking must have been he could “overcome all that by going to a church in Detroit and awkwardly swaying back-and-forth like a dad who brought his kids to a Demi Lovato concert.”

Donald Trump Draws A Half-House At Great Faith Ministries Church

Donald Trump loves to lambast news networks for not showing the size of his crowds at campaign rallies.

This is probably one view he wouldn’t want televised – from the back of the Great Faith Ministries church yesterday where he addressed a very small portion of the congregation.

Looks like the African-Americans in Detroit aren’t buying his “late to the game” appeal for votes.

Pic via Twitter.

Trump Campaign Manager: I’m White And I Was Moved By Trump’s Outreach To Black Voters

Earlier this week, GOP White House hopeful Donald Trump raised eyebrows with his appeal to African-American voters.

The outreach was based on the notion that black voters “can’t do any worse” than they have with Democrats – an odd way to ask for votes.

It was also interesting that he made the statement in a Michigan town that is 94% white. There were practically no faces of color in the audience.

This morning on ABC News’ This Week, George Stephanopoulos told new Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway that a great number of voters were offended by Trump’s wide generalization of poverty in the African-American community. In a strange response,  Conway explained that she lives in a white community and she was “moved” by his comments.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know — you were just talking about that. But many in the African American community saw that as insulting because they say most African Americans don’t live in poverty and that Mr. Trump was making those comments in communities that are more than 90 percent white.

CONWAY: Those comments are for all Americans. And I live in a white community. I’m white. I was very moved by his comment. In other words, he is trying to tell Americans that we can do better. And the thing that he said that I think got a great deal of resonance is that maybe Hillary Clinton looks at you as voters as your — takes you for granted. I look at you as people.