The Donald Trump campaign is planning to launch a $1 million advertising attack centered around Joe Biden’s comment Friday to a popular black radio host that if anyone is struggling to decide whether to support Biden or President Donald Trump in the general election then he “ain’t black.”
The campaign has seized on the remarks since Biden made them in an interview on the radio show “The Breakfast Club” in which host Charlamagne Tha God told Biden he should come to the studio in New York City for another interview, telling the former vice president that “we’ve got more questions.”
“You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied. “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Charlemagne responded that “it don’t have nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact” that he wants something to benefit the African American community.
Since the comments, the Trump campaign has attacked Biden on various forms of social media and held a press call with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the sole black Republican serving in the US Senate.
In the phone call Friday with reporters and Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson, Scott said he was “shocked and surprised” by Biden’s comment.
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“I could not believe my ears, that he would stoop so low to tell folks what they should do, how they should think and what it means to be black,” Scott said.
A campaign official on background told CNN these new round of advertisements will be digital only and come in two different forms – a video montage centered around Biden’s comments. That will run nationally.
The second ad will focus on Biden’s role in the 1994 crime bill, which expanded the federal death penalty and created dramatically harsher sentencing laws including “three strikes,” mandatory life terms for people with at least three federal violent crime or drug convictions. That ad will run in specific swing states.
The ads will appear on an array of platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Google.
Politico first reported the news of the planned ad blitz by the Trump campaign.
Later on Friday afternoon, Biden addressed his comments in a call with the US Black Chamber of Commerce, saying, “I shouldn’t have been so cavalier” and insisting he doesn’t take black voters for granted.
“The bottom line of all of this perhaps I was much too cavalier. I know that the comments have come off like I was taking the African American vote for granted but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve never, ever done that and I’ve earned it every time I’ve run,” he said.
“I was making the point that I never take the vote for granted and in fact I know in order to win the presidency, I need the African American vote,” Biden said. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.”
The interview was Biden’s first appearance on “The Breakfast Club,” a popular nationally syndicated radio show broadcast from New York City that other leading Democratic presidential candidates appeared on during the primary.
Charlamagne said during an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday night that the former vice president’s comments were “just a shock coming from an old white man like Joe Biden.”
He called Biden “a very intricate part” of the legal system disenfranchising black Americans. He cited Biden’s role in legislation such as the 1994 crime bill.
Biden’s win in the Democratic primary was fueled primarily by his support from African American voters, particularly older ones, who catapulted him to the win in South Carolina that set the stage for Biden to all but end the race in the following weeks.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found Biden with 81% support among black voters to Trump’s 3%.
CNN’s Eric Bradner, Sarah Mucha, Arlette Saenz and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.