Biden Snaps at Civil Rights Leaders in Leaked Call That Included Al Sharpton

Biden Snaps at Civil Rights Leaders in Leaked Call That Included Al Sharpton

Former Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at civil rights leaders during a virtual meeting, chiding the group that included famed civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton for pressuring him to use executive action on dubious constitutional grounds.

“Let’s get something straight,” Biden told the civil rights leaders according to audio obtained by The Intercept. “You shouldn’t be disappointed. What I’ve done so far is more than anyone else has done this far.”

Biden told the group, which also included NAACP President Derrick Johnson, that he didn’t even want to run for president in 2020.

“I didn’t want to run this time,” Biden said. “I ran this time because of the racist son of a gun who was president of the United States of America. That’s why I ran.”

Biden assured the group that he was the only “white boy” who would take on people that threatened minority groups.

“I’m the guy that took on every single time somebody was threatened in this country,” Biden said. “The only white boy you know who did it, period.”

Part of the tension appeared to be Biden’s hesitation to address the group’s demands on police reform, which Biden said would be too politically difficult at the current moment.

“I also don’t think we should get too far ahead ourselves on dealing with police reform in that, because they’ve already labeled us as being ‘defund the police’ anything we put forward in terms of the organizational structure to change policing — which I promise you, will occur. Promise you,” Biden said.

“That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police. We’re not,” Biden continued. “We’re talking about holding them accountable. We’re talking about giving them money to do the right things. We’re talking about putting more psychologists and psychiatrists on the telephones when the 911 calls through. We’re talking about spending money to enable them to do their jobs better, not with more force, with less force and more understanding.”

Biden warned the group to be cautious, noting that the Georgia runoffs were on the horizon.

“I just raise it with you to think about how much do we push between now and January 5 — we need those two seats — about police reform. But I guarantee you, there will be a full-blown commission. I guarantee you it’s a major, major, major element,” Biden said.

The group also demanded Biden use executive authority where possible, which Biden refused to commit to if it was in violation of the Constitution.

“I am not going to violate the Constitution,” Biden explained. “Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bounds. And as one of you said, maybe it was you, Reverend Al [Sharpton], whether it’s far left or far right, there is a Constitution. It’s our only hope.”

Progressives on Twitter reacted with dismay to the leak.

 

The official Black Lives Matter Twitter account also lashed out at Biden for not inviting them to the meeting.

“Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Rep. Cedric Richmond met with several civil rights groups yesterday. @blklivesmatter  — as the largest social and justice movement in history — was not invited,” the organization Tweeted.

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