African-American Republicans slammed Democrat Joe Biden Friday after he told a radio host that if a voter is still undecided, "you ain't black."
Surrogates for President Donald Trump called the comments by the presumptive Democratic nominee "racist and dehumanizing." They come a day after Trump was also criticized for remarks around race at a Ford Motor Co. plant in Michigan.
"I'd say I'm surprised, but it's sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and brow beat those that don't agree," Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina tweeted Friday.
In an interview with radio personality Charlamagne the God, host of the popular, minority-focused Breakfast Club radio show, Biden said, "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump then you ain't black."
Biden has overwhelming support from black voters, who resuscitated his candidacy in the South Carolina primary, partly from his role as President Barack Obama's vice president.
Trump won 8% of the black vote in 2016.
"It is clear now more than ever, following these racist and dehumanizing remarks, that Joe Biden believes black men and women are incapable of being independent or free thinking," Katrina Pierson, a Trump campaign senior adviser, said in a statement issued by "Black Voices for Trump."
On Thursday, during a visit to a Ford plant that makes ventilators, Trump praised Henry Ford, who was openly racist and anti-Semitic.
Trump said Ford has "good bloodlines, good bloodlines, if you believe in that stuff." That prompted a tweet from Anti-Defamation League Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Greenblatt, saying that Ford was an "anti-Semite and one of America's staunchest proponents of eugenics, and demanded an apology from Trump.
Trump's campaign has made a concerted effort to draw black support away from Democrats, forming the Black Voices for Trump segment.
Many African Americans consider Trump to be racist and his support among black voters does not appear to have budged appreciably since 2016, according to a January poll by The Washington Post and Ipsos.
Just before Biden made the comment about black voters in the Breakfast Club interview, Charlamagne pressed him on whether he would pick a black running mate, given the boost he received from that constituency in the primary. He has promised it would be a woman, and Representative Jim Clyburn, whose endorsement in South Carolina helped Biden win there, has asked that his running mate be "a woman of color."
"I guarantee you there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple," Biden said.
The interview also touched on Biden's support for the 1994 crime bill, blamed for enacting sentencing rules that disproportionately targeted black defendants.
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