Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) responded on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday to comments Joe Biden made about black voters on the radio show "The Breakfast Club" last week, arguing that Biden "shouldn't have said it" but that he's apologized and "engaged in a conversation" about race — unlike President Trump.

Why it matters: Demings is one of the candidates being vetted as a potential running mate for Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee. She condemned Trump for using Biden's comments in his reelection campaign, claiming that "since day one" the president has done everything in his power "to divide this country, particularly along racial lines."

The backdrop: Biden said during an interview Friday that "you ain't black" if "you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump." The remark was in response to host Charlamagne challenging Biden's record on racial issues and pressing him on whether he would select a black woman as his running mate.

  • Biden apologized for the remark later that day in a call with black business leaders, saying he "should not have been so cavalier."

What she's saying: "[O]ne of the things I said in a statement on Friday was that, look, we know we have some serious issues that we're dealing with in this country, and if we're going to be able to address them effectively, then we have to hold everyone accountable, even those that we do support."

  • "Look, the vice president shouldn't have said it. He apologized for it. But I really think the gall and the nerve of President Trump to try to use this in his campaign — he who since day one has done everything within his power, and of course supported by his enablers, to divide this country, particularly along racial lines."
  • "Look, let's talk about race. Because we definitely need to. We see it in housing, we see it in voting rights, we see it in health care, we see it in education. Mr. President, let's do have a serious conversation about race in America, and how about working for all people that you are supposed to represent, not just the privileged few."

Go deeper: Biden says he's starting VP search this month

Go deeper

Updated Aug 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden to deliver remarks in Pittsburgh on Trump's America and vision for future

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center on Aug. 20, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Monday to make an address "on whether voters feel safe" in President Trump's America and offer his vision for a "better future," his campaign said in a statement.

Of note: The Biden campaign's announcement Sunday comes one day after the New York Times reported that the former vice president would be making a trip to "condemn violence, and to note that chaos has unfolded" on Trump's watch.

Twitter labels Trump campaign tweet for misleading clip of Biden speech

Photo: Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Twitter on Monday labeled a tweet from the Trump campaign's "War Room" account "manipulated media" for posting a misleading clip of Joe Biden saying, "You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America!"

Reality check: More context would have shown that Biden was quoting President Trump and Vice President Pence as saying, "You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America," during a speech in which the Democratic nominee was condemning violent protests and Trump's response to social unrest.

Biden condemns violence on all sides after deadly Portland shooting

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democratic nominee Joe Biden issued a statement unequivocally condemning violence on all sides after a man was fatally shot Saturday night during a clash between supporters of President Trump and anti-racism protesters.

Why it matters: As Biden prepares to address civil unrest this week, he is looking to set a marker for Trump and put the burden on him to speak to all sides on an issue that is roiling America and the presidential campaign.

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