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Biden on if he can reach Trump's base: 'Probably not'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE on Wednesday said that he will “probably not” be able to reach President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE’s hardcore base of supporters in his run for the White House, saying that some who back the president are drawn to him because he engages in the “politics of division.”

Speaking at a fundraiser hosted by Joe and Sara Kiani, the founders of the Masimo Corporation, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was asked if he hopes to gain support from the president’s base during the general election campaign.

Biden responded with a laugh, according to the pool report from the fundraiser.

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“His base? Probably not,” Biden said.

“There are people who support the president because they like the fact that he is engaged in the politics of division,” he added. “They really support the notion that, you know, all Mexicans are rapists and all Muslims are bad and ... dividing this nation based on ethnicity, race. This is the one of the few presidents who succeeded by deliberately trying to divide the country, not unite the country.”

Biden described his own base of supporters as “white working-class, high school-educated people.” 

He acknowledged that many in that demographic voted for Trump in 2016 because they were “going through a really difficult transition” and that Trump made the case that Democrats had failed “the forgotten man.”

“Well, as soon as he got elected, you forgot the forgotten man,” Biden said.

The former vice president said that he thinks that health care is the biggest issue among “the people we lost” in 2016, and that he believes GOP efforts to dismantle ObamaCare will cost Trump the election.

“[Trump] has no sense of empathy,” Biden said. “That’s why I think the Democratic Party will be able to win those folks back.”

“The people who voted Republican last time ... who don’t want to vote for Trump, whether they want to vote for me or not is a different story, but they don’t want to vote for Trump, they’re looking for an alternative and I think, I hope to God, I can provide that alternative ... I really mean it. I think there’s a chance.”