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Say it ain’t so, Joe!
The former VP shocked a group of black mayors in 2019 when he said the problem with their communities is that the “parents can’t read or write themselves.”
However, it wasn’t until Thursday, February 13, 2020, that the New York Times finally reported on the story.
According to the New York Times:
Mr. Biden has caused some of his own problems. During a private meeting with prominent black mayors in Georgia last year, according to three people with direct knowledge of the gathering, he caused a stir when answering a question about education reform. Mr. Biden said one problem black communities face is that the “parents can’t read or write themselves,” a remark that shocked and frustrated many in the close-knit group.
In a statement, Mr. Biden’s campaign said he was seeking to reference his own experience.
“The Vice President regularly talks about how his father’s experience has shaped the way he feels about and views the relationship between parents and their children’s learning,” the statement said.
As he works to shore up his support here, Mr. Biden must rely on components of his campaign that were never the strongest. Mr. Biden’s fund-raising organization, for instance, was never robust in South Carolina and throughout areas of the South with heavy black populations.
After poor showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, it is clearer than ever that Biden needs strong support among black voters to do well on Super Tuesday.
There are signs that these self-created problems will come home to roost for Biden in South Carolina.
Some theorize that the story was purposefully buried and is only now being made public as Biden's campaign circles the drain.
The revelation came as Biden has slipped in national polls and has performed well below expectations in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary this month. Senator Bernie Sanders, who won the popular vote in Iowa and won overall in New Hampshire, has surged to frontrunner status in most national surveys. Meanwhile, Biden has suggested that his campaign will rally in the upcoming Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primary, which have significantly larger minority populations.
"Up to now, we haven't heard from the most committed constituency of the Democratic Party, the African-American community," Biden told supporters after his fifth-place finish in New Hampshire. He noted: "99.9 percent. That's the percentage of African-American voters that have not yet had a chance to vote in America."
But Biden's support from black Americans also appears to have dropped substantially following his failure in the Iowa caucuses. According to polling data by Morning Consult released on Tuesday, Biden's overall support from black voters has dropped to 35 percent, while Sanders' support rose from 17 percent before Iowa to 27 percent – an increase of 10 points.
A separate poll released this week by Monmouth University found that Sanders led all candidates with support from black, non-white Hispanic and Asian voters. The senator was backed by 28 percent of non-white voters, while Biden placed second at just 20 percent.
It will be interesting to see if Biden's former boss, Barack Obama, will offer to endorse him after this gaffe!