BBC News:- Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden has said in an interview African Americans “ain’t black” if they vote for President Donald Trump over him.
The controversial exchange happened as radio host Charlamagne Tha God pressed the former vice-president on Friday about his outreach to black voters.
Mr Biden later expressed regret for the comment, insisting he had never taken African American support for granted.
Loyal support from black voters has been vital to Mr Biden’s candidacy.
Throughout the 18-minute interview, Mr Biden, 77, stressed his longstanding ties to the black community, noting his overwhelming win this year in South Carolina’s presidential primary, a state where the Democratic electorate is more than 60% African American.
“I won every single county. I won the largest share of the black vote that anybody had, including Barack,” he said of President Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president, who picked Mr Biden as his running mate.
Mr Biden also “guaranteed” that several black women were being considered to serve as his vice-president. The presumptive nominee has already committed to selecting a woman to join him on the Democratic ticket.
Toward the end of the interview, a campaign aide interrupted to say the former vice-president was out of time.
When an aide for Mr Biden tried to end the interview, Charlamagne protested, saying: “You can’t do that to black media.”
“I do that to white media and black media,” Mr Biden replied. “My wife has to go on at 6 o’clock,” he said, apparently referring to Jill Biden needing to use their at-home broadcast studio.
Charlamagne urged Mr Biden to return for an additional interview, saying he had more questions.
“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Mr Biden responded.
Charlamagne said: “It don’t have nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact that I want something for my community.”
“Take a look at my record, man!” Biden said, throwing his hands in the air, seconds before concluding the interview.
Charlamagne’s nationally syndicated Breakfast Club show reaches more than 8 million listeners each month and has nearly 4.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
It has also become an important campaign stop for Democratic candidates. In the most recent primary season, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker all made appearances.