Former Vice President Joe Biden is doubling down on his recent claim that America’s Latino community has “full diversity, unlike the African American community.”
Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee, made the comments on Thursday while delivering a virtual address to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. The former vice president, in particular, told the group that his administration would showcase the country’s “full diversity,” most specifically the “diversity of the Latino” community.
The 78-year-old Biden said:
Now, what I mean by full diversity, unlike the African American community and many other communities, you’re from everywhere. You’re from Europe, the tip of South America, all the way to our border in Mexico … different backgrounds, different ethnicities, but all Latinos.
The remarks were made only a day after the former vice president drew controversy for telling a forum hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists and its Hispanic counterpart, respectively, that Latinos were “incredibly diverse” in comparison to the African American community.
Biden told the forum after being asked how relations between the United States and Cuba would fare under his administration:
What you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community, with incredibly different attitudes about different things … it’s a very diverse community.
The initial comments spurred derision from Republicans, including President Donald Trump, who claimed Biden’s response was derogatory toward African Americans.
“What he said was incredible, and I don’t know what is going on with him, but it was a very insulting statement he made,” Trump said during a press conference outside the White House on Thursday.
The flareup over Biden’s remarks comes as the former vice president’s campaign is launching it’s first general election ad targeting black Americans. Recent polls indicate that Biden is underperforming among the demographic compared to prior Democrat nominees.