Biden Says He Was 'Cavalier' for Telling Charlamagne Tha God He 'Ain't Black' If He Considers Trump

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday he "shouldn’t have been so cavalier" during an interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God in which Biden defended his record with the black community and chided the host — in jest, a campaign aide later said — that "if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black."

Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee to face President Donald Trump in November's general election, appeared on The Breakfast Club on Friday morning.

There, the popular radio show host pressed Biden on some of Biden's past positions, such as his support of the so-called crime bill of 1994 — the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act — which many criminal justice advocates argue encouraged mass incarceration of people of color.

"I’ve been critical of you," Charlamagne Tha God, 41, said at the top of the interview.

He went on to probe Biden, 77, about criminal justice and drug issues and Biden's potential running mate and what Biden felt the Democratic Party owed black voters for their overwhelming, lasting support.

Biden's own abiding strength with black voters dramatically reversed his primary chances in early March against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — leading to a string of smashing victories that drove Sanders from the race.

Charlamagne Tha God noted that Friday, saying they had "saved your [Biden's] political life."

Charlamagne Tha God said he believed "Democrats take black voters for granted."

"Vote’s a quid pro quo, right. It’s not like I don’t want to vote," he told Biden. "I just want to know what candidates will do for us and in exchange for our votes."

Biden went on to defend his work — arguing the '94 crime bill did not increase incarceration nationwide, which he said was influenced by other factors, and touting his work with black leaders and their support more broadly.

He also talked about his stance on decriminalizing marijuana, said there were "multiple black women" being considered for his ticket and he pushed back on an idea Charlamagne Tha God put to him that he wasn't offering enough leadership to contrast with Trump during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Charlamagne Tha God reportedly said, "Black people have invested a lot into [Democrats] and the return on investment has not been great. … So let's see what you got. Votes are quid pro quo. You can't possibly want me to fear Trump more than I want something for my people."

Speaking on MSNBC later Friday, Rev. Al Sharpton said that what Biden said was "inappropriate." He criticized parts of Biden's history and praised others, such as Biden's work to reduce the federal prison population.

"Deal with the record and don’t say things in jest, that’s inappropriate, and people can be black and still make wrong political decisions. But Charlamagne Tha God is not one of them," Sharpton said.

Symone Sanders, a Biden senior aide, appeared on MSNBC on Friday as well and said that Biden's comments "were said in jest."

"What Vice President Biden was saying is: He will put his record and his track record up with the African-American community and in the African-American community up against Donald Trump any single day, period. There is no comparison," she said.

On a call Friday with the U.S. Black Chambers, Biden said: "The bottom line of all this is perhaps I was much too cavalier. I know that the comments have come off like I was taking the African-American vote for granted. But nothing could be further from the truth. I've never ever done that and I've earned it every time I've run."

"I shouldn't have been such a wise guy," he said.

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California To Have Full Mail-In Voting For POTUS Election Because Of COVID-19 Fears, Gov. Gavin Newsom Says

On the day that California starts to ease off on coronavirus restrictions, Governor Gavin Newsom revealed that the Golden State will be the first state in the nation to allow full mail-in voting for the November election because of the global health crisis

Speaking from a reopened florist on Friday, Newsom said in his daily briefing on COVID-19 that he had signed an executive order that will see ballots sent out to over 20 million registered voters. “Every Californian who is eligible to vote in the November 3, 2020 General Election shall receive a vote-by-mail ballot,” says the Executive Order.

Even though Cali saw over 70% of voters mail in their ballots in the March primary, the move by Newsom is counter to the usual system where citizen have to request a mail-in ballot to receive one.

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It is also very much in opposition to Donald Trump.

Running far behind in California and lagging across the nation to the Democrats’ presumptive nominee Joe Biden, the incumbent has strongly encouraged in person voting, even with the health risks presented in primaries and the general election. No fan of the USPS either, Trump and Republicans worry mail-in voting will further hurt their results in an election that is emerging as a referendum on the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s (mis)handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

“There’s a lot of excitement around this November’s election in terms of making sure that you can conduct yourself in a safe way, and make sure your health is protected,” Gov. Newsom proclaimed today in his wide-ranging briefing from a San Francisco retailer.

Even with the mail-in ballots, there will still be in-person voting, but state officials say they are still figuring out how that will work with concerns of a second coronavirus wave hitting the already hard-hit state in the fall. Only intended for the November general election in the usually Blue state, the mailings are expected to start arriving in residential mailboxes in the summer.

“There’s no safer, physically distancing, healthier way to exercise your right to vote than from the safety and convenience of your own home,” CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla noted on Friday.

With many retailers and local hiking trails now in various degrees of reopening this Mother’s Day weekend, confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths are still rising in California, local and state health officials announced Friday.

Simultaneously, the state now has its worst budget deficit ever with a projected $54 billion shortfall due to economic and social consequences of the pandemic. Further hurting the world’s 8th biggest economy, which is what Cali is, will be an unemployment rate that Gov. Newsom said today was “north of 20%” as of this week.

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