Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said Friday he "misspoke" after he came under fire for a gaffe he made during an Asian and Latino Coalition PAC event Wednesday night in Iowa, saying “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”
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“We have this notion that somehow if you're poor, you cannot do it, poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids. Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids. I really mean it. But think how we think about it. We think now we're going to dumb it down. They can do anything anybody else can do give it a shot,” Biden said at the coalition event to applause.
President Trump’s re-election campaign quickly seized on the comments Thursday night, blasting them out on the “Trump War Room” Twitter account in a post that has been re-tweeted more than 7,000 times as of Friday afternoon.
Biden’s Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield issued a statement following the criticism, saying Biden simply misspoke and noted the vice president "immediately corrected himself."
“As we approach the two year anniversary of Trump calling neo-Nazis and Klansmen 'very fine people,' Donald Trump is desperate to change the subject from his atrocious record of using racism to divide this country. Vice President Biden misspoke and immediately corrected himself during a refrain he often uses to make the point that all children deserve a fair shot, and children born into lower-income circumstances are just as smart as those born to wealthy parents,” the statement read.
Biden’s campaign also responded directly to the Trump campaign.
“The Trump campaign posting the video without the Vice President’s immediate correction is patently disingenuous — and it’s no coincidence this comes days after Joe Biden laid out how this president emboldens white nationalism and embraces racism, and hours after one of Trump's Breitbart lackeys confronted him in an attempt to gaslight about his response to Charlottesville,” Bedingfield said in the statement.
President Donald Trump hit Biden Friday morning as he left the White House for a fundraiser in Westhampton, New York.
"I saw his comment. Joe Biden's not playing with a full deck,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn. "This is not somebody you can have as your president."
Biden was also criticized by one of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was highly critical of the former Vice President during last month’s debate in Detroit, Michigan.
“To quickly dismiss @JoeBiden’s words as a mere ‘slip of the tongue’ is as concerning as what he said. We need to have a real conversation about the racism and sexism behind ‘electability.’” de Blasio tweeted Friday morning.
Biden often speaks about inequities in educational opportunities on the trail.
“Look, a kid coming from a poor background, by the time they get to school in first grade, they will have heard according to the studies, 4 million to 5 million few words spoken. Their vocabulary will be diminished compared to a kid coming from a school or the home where there's books, and they're wealthy. Folks, we can deal with this. Don't tell me -- don't tell me kids can't learn that are poor, or African American, Latino,“ Biden said during a speech in Orangeburg, South Carolina in early July.
Biden has three more campaign events scheduled in Iowa on Friday, including a speech at the Iowa Wing Ding Dinner alongside more than a dozen other Democratic candidates.