Joe Biden has declared he "should not have been so cavalier" when he told a prominent radio host that African Americans who back President Donald Trump "ain't black."
The Democratic presidential nominee quickly moved to address the fallout from his remark. In a call with the US African American Chamber of Commerce, Biden said he would never "take the African American community for granted."
That was an acknowledgement of the stinging criticism he received in response to his comments, which he made on "The Breakfast Club," a radio program that is popular in the African American community.
The rebukes spanned from allies of Trump's reelection campaign to some African American activists, who warned that Biden still must to court 'black' votes, even if African Americans do overwhelmingly oppose the current president.
Near the end of Biden's appearance on the radio program, host Charlamagne Tha God, pressed him on reports that he is considering Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is white, to be his vice presidential running mate.
The host told Biden, African American voters "saved your political life in the primaries" and "have things they want from you."
Biden said that "I guarantee you there are multiple black women being considered. Multiple."
A Biden aide then sought to end the interview, prompting the host to say, "You can't do that to black media."
Biden responded, "I do that to black media and white media" and said his wife needed to use the television studio.
He then added: "If you've got a problem figuring out whether you're for me or for Trump, then you ain't black."
The comments came at a critical point in the presidential campaign as Biden tries to revive the multiracial and multigenerational coalition that twice elected Barack Obama, whom he served as vice president.
He has already committed to picking a woman as his running mate and is considering several African American contenders who could energize black voters.
But with African American voters already opposed to Trump, Biden is also considering candidates such as Klobuchar.
Trump's campaign and his allies, on defense for weeks over Trump and the pandemic, immediately seized on Biden's comments.