Joe Biden attempted to walk back remarks he made comparing the diversity of the Latino community with the Black community.
On two separate occasions on Thursday, the presumptive Democratic nominee praised the Latino community for being “incredibly diverse”, “unlike the African American community.”
Biden took to Twitter on Thursday evening to clarify his remarks.
“Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify,” Biden wrote. “In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”
He continued, “Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place. My commitment to you is this: I will always listen, I will never stop fighting for the African American community and I will never stop fighting for a more equitable future.”
The former VP similarly walked back comments he made to radio host Charlamagne Tha God, when he said “you ain’t Black” to Black voters who were still undecided about voting for him or President Trump.
Biden raised eyebrows twice this week over remarks he made during an interview that aired at the convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
In the full interview, broadcast Thursday, Biden contrasted the Black and Latino communities, saying “unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”
Later in the day, Biden repeated those remarks while speaking virtually to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials conference, when vowing that his administration will reflect “the full diversity of this nation” as well as “the full diversity of the Latino communities.”
“Now what I mean full diversity, unlike the African American community and many other communities, you’re from everywhere,” Biden explained. “You’re from Europe, from the tip of South America, all the way to our border in Mexico, and the Caribbean. And different backgrounds, different ethnicities, but all Latinos. We’re gonna get a chance to do that if we win in November.”
Biden’s apparent walk back did not address the tense exchange he had with CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett on whether the former VP has taken a cognitive test.
“No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man. That’s like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?” Biden told Barnett, who is Black.
Both sets of remarks were blasted by critics, including President Trump, who said Biden’s remarks “totally disparaged and insulted the Black community.”