Biden urged black voters to 'reject' Jesse Jackson during first presidential run: report

Former Vice President Joe Biden once told black voters to "reject" Rev. Jesse Jackson during his first run for the presidency.

Both men attended the 1986 NAACP convention in Baltimore in hopes to garner support ahead of the 1988 presidential election, but as BuzzFeed News reports, Biden made a bold attempt to alienate Jackson from the predominately black audience.

“We must reject the voices in my party who say — and you’ve heard it time and again — 'Much progress has been made, and now, now we must wait for the Reagan revolution to run its course,'” Biden said.  “But just as I and many other white leaders reject the voices of those who are calling for caution, you must reject the voices in this movement who tell black Americans to go it alone, who tell you that coalitions don’t work anymore, that whites and Catholics and Jews no longer care about the problems of black America, that only black should represent black.”

In 1987, Biden also rejected Jackson as a potential pick for vice president.

"“If you’re asking whether I’d choose a black man or woman for a running mate, the answer is yes I would,” Biden said in an interview. “If you’re asking whether I’d choose Jesse Jackson, the answer is no. I would not choose one to be my running mate who did not have experience in government, who hadn’t held elected public office. Jesse Jackson is going to make a significant contribution to this race, but he would not be my choice for vice president.”


Rev. Jackson weighed in on Biden's 2020 candidacy to BuzzFeed News.

“Joe has two things going for him: The polls say he can beat Trump, and he’s worked with Barack and he’s saying that he wants to restore us to that day," Jackson said. "Well, the challenge is that people are looking forward to a new day and aren’t necessarily looking to the old days."

When asked if he remembers Biden's NAACP remarks 30 years later, Jackson softly replied, "Yes, I do."