Joe Biden says "The Breakfast Club" host Charlamagne tha God was "baiting" him leading up to his controversial "you ain't black" remark during their interview last week.
The presumptive Democratic nominee was pressed Friday by CNN anchor Don Lemon on what kind of "leader" he would be as president for black Americans in the wake of his May 22 comment and, this week, his sentimental response to the tragic death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.
"The leader I've always been," Biden told Lemon. "I apologized immediately for responding to Charlamagne, who was baiting me, and if you looked at that film, you can see that I was smiling at him. I was referring to him, I wasn't referring to all African-Americans, but I should have never said it."
This is the second time the former vice president appeared to direct some blame on Charlamagne tha God.
On Tuesday, in a separate CNN interview, Biden acknowledged he made a "mistake" last week in making the comment, in which he told black voters who have yet to decide whether to support him or President Trump in the 2020 election they "ain't black." He walked back the comment later in the day, saying he should not have been so "cavalier" and acted like a "wise guy."
However, Biden also told CNN he wasn't the only "wise guy" during "The Breakfast Club" interview.
"First of all, it was a mistake -- No. 1. And I was smiling when he was asking the question. I shouldn't have been such a wise guy to him. He was being a wise guy, and I responded in kind," Biden told CNN's Dana Bash. "I shouldn't have done that. It was a mistake."
The former vice president went on to insist that he has "never, never" taken the black vote for granted, saying he's "worked like the devil for it and have to earn it every time."
Biden faced swift backlash across the political landscape, from the Trump campaign to progressives who had previously backed Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
BET co-founder Robert L. Johnson said Biden should apologize to "every black person he meets."
"Vice President Biden’s statement today represents the arrogant and out-of-touch attitude of a paternalistic white candidate who has the audacity to tell black people, the descendants of slaves, that they are not black unless they vote for him," Johnson told Fox News last week.
"This proves unequivocally that the Democratic nominee believes that black people owe him their vote without question; even though, we as black people know it is exactly the opposite. He should spend the rest of his campaign apologizing to every black person he meets."