DEMOCRATIC White House candidate Joe Biden is in damage limitation mode after saying African Americans “ain’t black” if they even consider voting for President Donald Trump over him.
Gaffe-prone Mr Biden made the remark in an interview on Friday with a prominent black radio host, Charlamagne Tha God, about his outreach to black voters. The former vice-president later expressed regret for the “cavalier” comment.
The black vote has been key to the Biden candidacy.
Throughout the 18-minute interview, Mr Biden, 77, stressed his longstanding ties to the black community; noting his overwhelming win this year in South Carolina’s presidential primary; a state where the Democratic electorate is more than 60% African American.
“I won every single county. I won the largest share of the black vote that anybody had, including Barack,” he said of President Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president, who picked Mr Biden as his running mate.
The presumptive nominee for November’s election also “guaranteed” that several black women were being considered to serve as his Vice-President.
He has already committed to selecting a woman to join him on the Democratic ticket.
Toward the end of the interview, a campaign aide interrupted to say the former vice-president was out of time.
When an aide for Mr Biden tried to end the interview, Charlamagne protested; saying: “You can’t do that to black media.”
“I do that to white media and black media,” the former vice-president replied; adding that his wife was waiting to use their home broadcast studio.
Charlamagne went ahead to urge Mr Biden to return for another interview; saying he had more questions.
“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Mr Biden responded.
Charlamagne’s nationally syndicated Breakfast Club show reaches more than 8 million listeners each month.