Joe Biden Under Fire After Saying At Campaign Event That ‘Poor Kids Are Just As Smart As White Kids’

Joe Biden appears at a campaign rally.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is coming under fire for a gaffe at a campaign event in which the former vice president remarked that “poor kids are just as smart as white kids.”

Biden was appearing in Iowa and speaking to a group of Hispanic and Asian voters, part of his campaign’s larger swing through the critical early voting state. As CNN noted, Biden was speaking about education at a town hall hosted by the Asian and Latino Coalition in Des Moines when he tried to say that socio-economic status is not a mark against a student’s intelligence.

“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 — wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids. No, I really mean it, but think how we think about it,” he said.

As CNN noted, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign seized on the comment, with rapid response director Andrew Clark tweeting an edited video of the remarks. Biden’s campaign responded quickly as well, saying that Biden had “misspoke and immediately corrected himself,” with the video from the event showing that Biden did immediately attempt to correct the statement.

Biden has a long reputation of misspeaking and committing gaffes on the campaign trail, something that the man himself addressed earlier this year while trying to draw contrast between himself and President Trump.

“I am a gaffe machine, but my God what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can’t tell the truth,” Biden said in December.

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The remark about “poor kids” is now the second major gaffe from Biden during his campaign trip through Iowa. In an appearance at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday, Biden was recorded saying that Democrats “choose truth over facts,” The Washington Examiner reported.

“We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. We choose truth over facts,” Biden said to cheers from the crowd, who appeared to understand the point that he was trying to make.

Despite the gaffes and other controversies — including his remarks about working with senators who had supported segregation — Biden has maintained a significant lead over the crowded Democratic field heading into the 2020 primaries next year. The former vice president has also performed better than his Democratic opponents in hypothetical head-to-head matchups with President Trump, leading the Biden campaign to argue that he is the best candidate to take on the president in next year’s election.