Rep. Val Demings, Florida Democrat, on Sunday said former Vice President Joseph R. Biden erred when he said people weighing whether to support him or President Trump “ain’t black” but that Mr. Trump isn’t in a position to lob race-related attacks.
“Look, [the] vice president shouldn’t have said it, he apologized for it,” Ms. Demings said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Ms. Demings, an African-American and potential vice presidential pick for Mr. Biden, also slammed the “gall and nerve” of Mr. Trump for trying to capitalize on the issue.
She said the president “has since day one done everything within his power, of course supported by his enablers, to divide this country particularly along racial lines.”
“Mr. President, let’s do have a serious conversation about race in America and how about working for all people that you are supposed to represent, not just the privileged few?” she said.
“But the vice president apologized for it – he engaged in the conversation. I’m glad he did,” Ms. Demings said.
Mr. Biden made the remarks during an interview with The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne tha God last week.
“If you have a problem figure out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” he said.
Mr. Biden’s campaign said he was joking, though Mr. Biden himself later said he should not have been so cavalier with the comments and that he wasn’t taking the black vote for granted.
Mr. Trump’s campaign called the remarks “racist and dehumanizing.”