Aug 28, 2019

Biden: Racism in the U.S. is a white man’s problem

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at the Iowa Federation Labor Convention on Aug. 21. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday that racism in the U.S. is "overwhelmingly a white man’s problem visited on people of color" as he criticized President Trump over the racial divide, USA Today reports.

What presidents say matter … They can make markets rise and fall. They can send people to war. They can, in fact, also appeal to the worst damn instincts of human nature."
— Biden's remarks to reporters, according to USA Today

Why it matters: Racism has emerged as a key issue for 2020 candidates. Trump has been denounced by Democrats for his hardline immigration policies and racist tweets. Several Democratic presidential candidates have called Trump a "white supremacist." Biden said previously the president "fanned the flames of white supremacy."

  • Biden has himself been criticized by 2020 rivals for citing segregationists as examples of how the Senate used to be more civil. He has since apologized for those comments.

Between the lines: Per AP, it's unsurprising that Biden would focus on race in his interview with a small group of reporters Tuesday, as he's ahead of Democratic rivals in most polls largely because of black voters' support — a key strategy as he aims to maximize African American and Latino turnout an "overwhelming focus" of his effort.

  • In the interview, Biden declared that racism and white supremacists have "always existed" in America, but such behavior would "not be tolerated" in his administration, per AP.

The other side: Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh dismissedBiden’s claim that Trump had inflamed racial tensions in the U.S, AP reports.

"Having moved on from the Russia Hoax, Democrats are now employing the oldest play in the Democrat playbook: falsely accusing their opponent of racism, extending it even to the President’s supporters. Calling half the country racist is not a winning strategy."
— Tim Murtaugh comments to AP

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Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Biden gets a lift as Dems target Trump over Ukraine

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Stories about Joe Biden generated millions more interactions on social media than any other 2020 Democrat last week after the firestorm over President Trump’s alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate him, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when Biden has been straining to stay ahead in the polls while showered with negative coverage, this storyline has helped galvanize Democrats to back the former vice president in opposition to Trump.

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What to watch in tonight's Democratic debate

Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos via Sean Rayford and Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

It's the moment everybody's been waiting for: Tonight's Democratic debate in Houston will be the first face-off on the primary stage between Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.

Why it matters: They appeal to totally different wings in the Democratic Party. Warren's momentum has moved her to the No. 2 spot in national polls and narrowed Biden's lead. Tonight's matchup has the potential to be an even bigger split-screen moment than when Kamala Harris took on Biden at the first debate — and Biden's team knows it.

Go deeperArrowSep 12, 2019

Giuliani says he misspoke in CNN interview about Ukraine and Biden

President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on "Fox News Sunday" that he misspoke during his interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Friday when he at first denied that he asked Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

Go deeperArrowSep 22, 2019