Democratic presidential hopefuls have been spending tons of time in Iowa in preparation for next year’s Iowa Caucus. Joe Biden though is perhaps creating the biggest headlines after comments he made to the Asian & Latino Coalition in Des Moines on Friday (August 9).
In front of the small group, the former vice president said, “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented, as white kids.” He quickly added, “Wealthy kids, Black kids, Asian kids, no I really mean it, but think how we think about it.”
Biden continued, “We think how we’re going to dumb it down. They can do anything anybody else can.”
The comments largely angered people on social media. While some claimed Biden didn’t implicitly say the race of the people that are “just as bright” as white kids, he certainly seemed to place them at the top of the intelligence spectrum.
Even Rihanna chimed in.
Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement on Friday that Biden “misspoke and immediately corrected himself during a refrain he often uses.” She pivoted away from her boss and reminded us the true racist is Donald Trump who is continuing to embolden white nationalism, which many believe inspired at least one of the mass shooters (El Paso).
Joe Biden has a history of misspeaking when discussing race. When Barack Obama was running for president, Biden once remarked that his boss was “clean” and “articulate.” He also recently said that he was proud to work with segregationist senators James Eastland and Herman Talmadge, claiming he “got things done.”
Biden’s voting history has also been called into question. Among the most frequently highlighted was his co-authoring of and vote for the 1994 crime bill, which helped lead to mass incarceration and stiff sentences on non-violent drug offenders.