Biden calls racism a 'white man's problem visited on people of color'

Biden calls racism a 'white man's problem visited on people of color'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE, a 2020 White House hopeful, said Tuesday that racism is an institution in the U.S., calling it a “white man’s problem visited on people of color.”

Speaking to a group of reporters in a lengthy interview, Biden said deep-seated racism still exists in the country and lamented the continued presence of white supremacists, according to The Associated Press.

“White folks are the reason we have institutional racism,” Biden said. “There has always been racism in America. White supremacists have always existed, they still exist.”

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As he has done throughout his campaign, Biden hammered President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE for rhetoric that can “appeal to the worst damn instincts of human nature.”

He added that, if elected president, his administration would not tolerate racism and white supremacy.

“People know me — at least they think they know me. I think after all this time, I think they have a sense of what my character is, who I am,” he said.

Biden was knocked in the first Democratic debate by fellow 2020 candidate Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisFive takeaways from the Democratic debate Gabbard, Buttigieg battle over use of military in Mexico Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (D-Calif.) for his opposition to the federal government using busing to desegregate schools. He also took flak recently for his comments praising his ability to work with segregationist senators while in Congress, a remark for which he apologized.

Biden also said on Tuesday that he would “preferably” pick a woman or person of color as his vice president should he secure the Democratic nomination, according to the AP.

“Whomever I pick would be preferably someone who was of color and who was of a different gender, but I’m not making that commitment until I know that the person I’m dealing with I can completely, thoroughly trust, is authentic, and is on the same page,” he said.

Biden has consistently led the crowded primary field since entering the race, holding roughly an 8-point lead over all other candidates, according to an average of national polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.