Joe Biden expressed regret Friday during a call with black business leaders for suggesting in an earlier interview that African-Americans unsure about whether to support him or President Trump “ain’t black.”
“I shouldn’t have been so cavalier,” Biden said in an afternoon phone call with the U.S. Black Chambers, addressing the controversy within seconds of the session starting.
The public attempt to walk back the remarks underscored how explosive the issue became for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign in a matter of hours, at a time when he’s working to unite the party and avoid the kind of internal divisions that helped Trump win in 2016.
Biden said he understands the comments sounded like he was taking the black vote “for granted” but insisted that wasn’t the case.
“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. “… No one should have to vote for any party, based on their race or religion or background.”
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