Joe Biden has once again done the thing that Joe Biden so often does. He said something stupid in public — what is known in the political world as “making a gaffe.”
What would come as little surprise under any circumstances is even less surprising considering the venue: an interview with Charlamagne tha God, co-host of the hip-hop morning show “The Breakfast Club.”
The show, which became a must-do pitstop during the Democratic primary, at least for everyone but Biden, has produced unfortunate headlines for a handful of Democrats over the years. Now it’s Biden’s turn.
The former vice-president’s foot-in-mouth moment came near the end of his interview with Charlamagne, after a staffer tried to wrap things up.
“You can’t do that to black media,” Charlamagne said, before conceding and inviting Biden to return to the show between now and the election. “It’s a long way until November. We’ve got more questions.”
“You got more questions? Well I tell you, if you have a problem figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Welp.
Biden, whose campaign says the comment was made “in jest,” then said he looked forward to joining Charlamagne in person. He might want to avoid that.
There is no place Democrats so easily embarrass themselves more than on “The Breakfast Club,” where Charlamagne’s pointed and personal questions often elicit cringe-y answers. Take Kamala Harris’s appearance in February of 2019. When Charlamagne asked the California senator if she’s smoked weed, she said, “I have. And I inhaled. I did inhale.”
Harris enjoyed a couple days in the right-wing media spotlight after the interview when a controversy was manufactured out of her apparent claim of listening to Snoop Dogg and Tupac while getting high in college. Neither put an album out until she graduated, resulting in enough of an uproar that Fox & Friends Steve Doocy revealed that he calls Tupac, “two pack.”
Harris’s campaign said at the time that she never claimed what her detractors claimed. Even so, the affair revealed one of the dangers of a politician appearing in such a freewheeling format. They’re dangers Elizabeth Warren knows too. In May of last year, Warren appeared on “The Breakfast Club” and was asked repeatedly about the controversy surrounding her claims of Native American ancestry. It wasn’t Warren’s answer that made headlines, but an apparent ad-lib from Charlamagne, who said: “You’re kind of like the original Rachel Dolezal, a little bit.” The comparison was not flattering.
Hillary Clinton, as it happens, had the original viral moment on “The Breakfast Club.” Hers came in 2016 when she told the hosts that one item she always carries in her purse is hot sauce.
Clinton was accused of pandering, just as Charlamagne suggested she would be. But her hot sauce habit checks out. As the AP reported in 2015, when she was First Lady, Clinton had a “had a collection of more than 100 hot sauces” in the White House.