One of former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers appeared bristled Friday by NBC anchor Chuck Todd’s question about the presumptive Democratic nominee’s comments on black Trump supporters.
“I tell you, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden had told Charlamagne tha God during an interview for “The Breakfast Club” on Friday morning.
Later Friday, Todd played a clip from Patrick Gaspard, a former aide to then-President Barack Obama, saying that Biden was in no position to determine who was “black enough.”
Following the clip, Todd asked Biden adviser Symone Sanders: “Symone, let me put the question to you this way — I know, you have Joe Biden’s record and you have a long list of when he goes off the cuff, he seems to speak with sort of an older generation stereotype at times in some of this stuff. When you’ve been around him, what would be your explanation for to someone –“
“Chuck, I’m not going to do this,” Sanders interrupted. “Chuck, I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to do this. Chuck, I’m not going to do this because let me just be really clear.”
Sanders then offered a lengthy answer claiming that Biden respects various demographics and said she wouldn’t “traffic” in a conversation about Biden’s sensitivity on racial issues.
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“And so this isn’t a question about whether — this isn’t a question about whether Vice President Biden has the sensitivity,” she said.
“This is truly a question about, in this race, what we have is a question about leadership, about who is ready to lead and able to lead for all Americans, but who also has a plan for those folks. Who can put their money where their mouth is, put their plans where their mouth is and not just offer lip service to a community,” she continued.
“And Vice President Biden’s record speaks to that. He’s not offering lip service. He’s offering results. And that stands in the stark contrast [to] what we’re seeing from this White House,” she added.
Sanders had offered a similar answer shortly after Biden’s controversial comments on Friday morning when a media firestorm erupted over them, saying the former veep’s comments “were in jest.”
Several prominent political figures, including Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., condemned Biden’s remarks.
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“Joe Biden’s comments are the most arrogant and condescending thing I’ve heard in a very long time. I am offended but not surprised,” Scott said.
Liberal commentator and professor Marc Lamont Hill also took issue with Biden’s comments.
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“This Joe Biden interview is precisely why we gotta stop giving white people ‘invitations to the cookout’ or fictive kinship status like ‘uncle,'” he said. “We can no longer applaud and reward liberal white people for showing basic decency or, worse, merely hiding their racism.”
Biden eventually expressed regret over his comments later Friday, saying that he “shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”