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Former Vice President Joe Biden says "folks" think Mayor Pete Buttigieg's removal of an African American police chief is a problem when it comes to his support among black voters in the 2020 Democratic presidential election.

The big picture: In an interview with "Axios on HBO," Biden cited a lack of experience in diverse communities as a reason Buttigieg might be struggling.

  • "If you take a look at why he doesn't have support in significant black support, even in his own city, his own city."
  • "I come out of an environment where I have the eighth largest black population in the country, in my state, and that's where I got my political education."
  • "A lot of people have not spent a lot of time in diverse communities. I have, I have. Including in the Latino community."

Earlier in the interview, Biden referenced his history in the African American community:

  • "I've never been uncomfortable or unwelcomed in the African American community. And because they know I care deeply about the issues ... that affect them and systemic racism still exists."
  • "I've been deeply involved in the issues that we used to call and still affect civil rights and human rights."

The big picture: Biden has consistently polled very strongly among African American voters, while Buttigieg has struggled to make inroads.

  • This will become a real problem after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, which feature mostly white voters.

The bottom line: Despite several candidates surging at times in the race — first Sen. Kamala Harris (who dropped out last week) and then Sen. Elizabeth Warren — Biden has led the RealClearPolitics polling average for all but a few weeks of this primary cycle.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Airlines, unions want DOJ to prosecute unruly passengers

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A coalition of airline industry partners asked the Justice Department on Monday to begin prosecuting disruptive passengers.

Why it matters: Increased political divisions and conflict over pandemic guidelines have led the Federal Aviation Administration to take some form of enforcement action over 400 times in the first five months of 2021, compared to 146 in all of 2019, according to the coalition.

California to pay off unpaid rent accrued during COVID-19 pandemic

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California will pay off the accumulated unpaid rent that has piled up during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The move would fulfill a promise to landlords to help them to break even, while giving renters relief, the AP writes.

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