It was clear from the outset of ABC’s town hall with Joe Biden that moderator George Stephanopoulos was not going to ask the Democrat presidential nominee anything even close to a tough question.
To the contrary, it was “almost” as if Stephy had donned a pair of kid gloves prior to flying wingman for the old guy for 90 minutes.
As a result, it was also clear that Biden most likely would not be asked about the controversy surrounding son Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian business dealings — he wasn’t — or anything else controversial.
As luck would have it, a young Black man in the audience did ask Biden about one of the top three issues I had hoped to see him address: his infamous “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black” comment during a May interview with Charlamagne tha [sic] God.
As reported by the New York Post, student Cedric Humphrey, who described himself as a “progressive Democrat,” could not have asked the question any better.
“Many people believe that the true swing demographic in this election will be Black voters under the age of 30. Not because they’ll be voting for Trump — but because they won’t vote at all. I myself have this exact same conflict.
“So my question for you then is, besides ‘you ain’t black,’ what do you say to young Black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continually fails to protect them?”
Perfectly framed question — for both the student and Biden.
After months of being dogged about the issue, Biden was presented with a golden opportunity to “set the record straight” (that is, pander to the student by making the same hollow promises to Black America that Democrats have made for nearly 60 years).
And what did Biden do? What Biden always does.
Rather than directly answer Humphrey’s question — he should’ve first apologized to the student for the comment — Biden launched into a long, rambling, often incoherent, policy rant.
Biden began by dropping the name of his “buddy,” the late civil rights icon, John Lewis.
“First of all, as my buddy John Lewis said, it’s a sacred opportunity the right to vote, it can make a difference. If young Black women and men vote, you can determine the outcome of the election.”
Nice job, Joe. Except Humphrey already knew that; it was pretty much the crux of the question he asked you.
This Twitterer suggested how Biden should have started: “How about start by apologizing for insulting Black voters?!”
How about start by apologizing for insulting Black voters?! – Joe Biden Scrambles Answering Town Hall Question: Besides ‘You Ain’t Black’ What Do You Have to Say to Young Black Voters? pic.twitter.com/WC4Cc7sEDo
— Alexandra Datig | Front Page Index (@alexdatig) October 16, 2020
The 77-year-old Democrat went on and on, talking about how teachers need to be paid $60,000 a year, how schools need more psychologists, and how he would guarantee a $15,000 down-payment for first-time homebuyers.
Let’s put it this way: Stephanopoulos threw in the towel at one point, in a desperate attempt to get Biden to shut up already.
Finally, Stephanopoulos asked Humphrey if his question had been answered. “Uh, I guess so,” the clearly disappointed student replied.
One Twitterer’s comment reflected exactly what I was thinking as I watched Biden drone on and on.
“Joe biden [sic] did it again to black Americans. He just said blacks are poor, stupid, and don’t have credit. If you don’t believe me watch his town hall and when the young black guy asked him other than if you ain’t black what would he’d do for the black community.”
Joe biden did it again to black Americans. He just said blacks are poor,stupid,and don't have credit. If you don't believe me watch his town hall and when the young black guy asked him other than if you ain't black what would he'd do for the black community.@JoeBiden
— cory gilpen (@gilpen411) October 16, 2020
Perhaps we’re being too hard on ol’ Joe. After all, Democrats have spent six decades — beginning with Lyndon Johnson’s disastrous “War on Poverty” — pandering to Blacks, election cycle after election cycle, continually making hollow promises they’ve never intended to keep.
Even worse perhaps is the reality behind Biden’s “You ain’t black” blast. Black Americans are expected to vote for Democrat candidates, simply because of the color of their skin. Democrats have convinced Black voters for decades that while the Democrats might not have delivered on their promises, just think how bad off you’d be if we weren’t here to protect you from the evil Republicans.
The fact is, Biden doesn’t know any better. His Black schtick is what it’s always been. That “old dog, new tricks” thing.
Something told me last night as I watched the student, both ask his question and listen to Biden’s answer, he already knew exactly that.