Biden predicts media will focus on Bloomberg policies 'relative to the African-American community'

Biden predicts media will focus on Bloomberg policies 'relative to the African-American community'
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll The Memo: Political world grapples with long coronavirus shutdown The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control MORE suggested in an interview broadcast on Sunday that an uptick in media coverage of  Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE's policy stances could harm the former New York City mayor's growing support among African Americans in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. 

Speaking on NBC's "Meet The Press," Biden said that he was not concerned about Bloomberg's recent rise in the polls, arguing that the billionaire businessman's money could buy "a lot of advertising." 

"But it can't erase your record," he added.

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"There's a lot to talk about with Michael Bloomberg," Biden said. "You all are going to start focusing on him like you have on me, which I'm not complaining, like you have on me the last six months. You're going to focus on him. His position on issues relating to the African-American community, from stop-and-frisk to the way he talked about [former President Obama]."

Biden's comments came after disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to cast votes in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Biden has argued that his campaign will produce far better results in states such as South Carolina, where African Americans make up a majority of the Democratic electorate.

But questions have begun to emerge about whether Biden's support among the African-American community could fade as the primary season moves forward. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week found that Bloomberg had surged to 22 percent among likely black primary voters. Biden continues to lead the Democratic field with 27 percent support among African Americans. 

Biden said on Sunday that Bloomberg was "a real ally" to the Obama administration on several issues, including guns. But the former vice president noted that Bloomberg "wouldn't even endorse" Obama in 2008. 

"All of a sudden he's his best buddy. You know, I mean -- and he would not endorse him," Biden said, before listing policies that disproportionately impacted minorities.

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"You take a look at the stop-and-frisk proposals. You take a look at his ideas on redlining he's talking about. You take a look at what he's done relative to the African-American community. I'm anxious to debate Michael on the issues relating to, you know, what we're going to face in Super Tuesday," Biden added. 

Bloomberg launched an unconventional White House bid last November that has seen him pour hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money into campaign advertising. Bloomberg is not competing in the first four states to cast ballots, which include Nevada and South Carolina, instead focusing on voters heading to the polls on Super Tuesday. 

In wake of a steady rise in the polls, he's began to face mounting scrutiny over some of his past policy stances. Several candidates have criticized Bloomberg for overseeing a stop-and-frisk policy as New York City mayor that led to a disproportionate number of stops of minorities. 

Comments Bloomberg made in 2008 about discriminatory housing practices also resurfaced last week, prompting Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Biden faces pesky enthusiasm challenge despite big primary numbers MORE (D-Mass.) to say it should disqualify him as a candidate.