Tuesday 20 August 2019

'Poor kids' not white in fresh gaffe for ex-VP

Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (John Locher/AP)
Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (John Locher/AP)

John Wagner

Gaffe-prone former US vice president Joe Biden told a group of mostly minority voters in Iowa that "poor kids" are just as bright as "white kids".

Mr Biden, leading in polling for the Democratic presidential nomination, was speaking on the subject of education at a town hall in Des Moines hosted by the Asian and Latino Coalition on Thursday night.

"We should challenge students in these schools that have advanced placement programmes in these schools," Mr Biden said.

"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."

After a brief pause, he added: "Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids, no I really mean it, but think how we think about it."

His remarks prompted a stir on social media, with many focusing on the equivalence he drew between poor children and minority children.

President Donald Trump's campaign highlighted a video clip from the event on its "War Room" account on Twitter.

In a separate tweet, the campaign's rapid response director, Andrew Clark, wrote: "Yikes...have fun mitigating that one."

It was not the first time Mr Biden's comments on race have prompted scrutiny.

In February 2007, Mr Biden defended calling then-senator Barack Obama "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy". (© The Washington Post)

Irish Independent

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