JOE BIDEN has apologised for remarks made in an interview in which he said African American voters considering voting for Donald Trump in the upcoming US election “ain’t black”.
The Democratic Presidential made the remarks during an interview with Charlamagne Tha God on the popular radio show The Breakfast Club.
It saw the Former Vice President questioned on his track record when it came to working with black communities and his outreach t black voters.
Mr. Biden spoken at length about his success with voters during the primaries.
“I won every single county,” Biden said. “I won the largest share of the black vote that anybody has, including Barack [Obama, his running mate].”
The presumptive Democrat nominee also “guaranteed” that several black women were in the running to serve as his vice-president having already committed to selecting a woman to join him on the Democratic ticket.
However, things took a uncomfortable turn when Mr. Biden attempted to bring the interview to a close.
“You can’t do that to black media,” Charlamagne said.
“I do that to white media and black media,” Biden replied.
When pressed about the chances of him returning for another interview, the former VP responded: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
For all those people wondering if they were black or not, Joe Biden clarifies that for you: If you dont vote for him you aint black pic.twitter.com/KATTwmh5LZ
— Julia Song (@realjuliasong) May 22, 2020
The comments sparked a furious response from the Trump administration with the President’s senior campaign adviser Katrina Pierson describing the remarks as "racist and dehumanising".
"He truly believes that he, a 77-year-old white man, should dictate how black people should behave," she said.
Black Republican Senator Tim Scott was similarly scathing, telling Fox News: "That is the most arrogant, condescending comment I've heard in a very long time"
"He's saying that 1.3 million African Americans, that you're not black? Who in the heck does he think he is?" the South Carolina lawmaker said, referring to the black Americans who voted for Mr Trump in 2016.
Mr. Biden’s campaign adviser Symone Sanders insisted the comments were made made "in jest".
"Let's be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump's any day. Period.”
The former Vice President also sought to make amends during a call later to black business leaders, admitting "I should not have been so cavalier.”
"I've never, never, ever taken the African American community for granted,” he said.
"I shouldn't have been such a wise guy."
He added: "No-one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background."
Born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Joe Biden boasts some Irish heritage via his maternal great-grandfather, Edward Francis Blewitt, who is the child of Irish emigrants from Rappagh, Ballina, in County Mayo.