Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden said Thursday that while he believes the “vast majority” of Americans are decent, he estimated that there around 10 to 15 percent “that are just not very good people.”
Biden made the remarks during an online forum moderated by the actor Don Cheadle. The two discussed race relations in the aftermath of the police custody death of George Floyd, which has sparked mass protests across the country, some of which have turned violent.
“I thought you could defeat hate,” Biden said, adding that he believed “that you could kill hate, but the point is you cant. Hate only hides. And if you breathe any oxygen into that hate, it comes alive again.”
Biden tied those remarks to what he claimed was a divisive strategy on the part of President Donald Trump, who has expressed sorrow to Floyds family over his death and acknowledged the validity of peaceful protests. At the same time, Trump has forcefully denounced destructive forms of unrest, like vandalism and looting, and accused groups of anarchists and radical leftists of hijacking the protests.
“The words a president says matter, so when a president stands up and divides people all the time, youre gonna the worst of us to come out,” Biden told Cheadle.
“Do we really think this is as good as we can be as a nation? I dont think the vast majority of people think that,” Biden continued. “There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out that are just not very good people, but thats not who we are. The vast majority of the people are decent.”
Biden remarks recall past statements by politicians who have spoken disparagingly about segments of American voters who supported opposing views or political camps.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a campaign event during the 2016 presidential election that around “half” of Trumps supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables.”
Sen. Mitt Romney also made controversial comments at a 2012 private fundraiser, which were later leaked and reported on by The New York Times, that “47 percent” of voters would never back him because of their dependency on government handouts.
Biden did not characterize with any more detail the 10-15 percent category of Americans that he deemed “not very good people.”
The former Vice President faced criticism for the label, with former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders calling Bidens comments “divisive” and “appalling” on Fox News on ThursdaRead More From Source