Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
Radio host Charlamagne tha God said Sunday that former Vice President Joe Biden's attempts to atone for his controversial comments about black voters were little more than "lip service" without solid outreach to the black community -- and suggested that picking Amy Klobuchar as his running mate would hurt turnout.
Biden, the Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee, caught flack for an appearance with the Power 105.1 host of "The Breakfast Club" last week, when he said that if black voters were unsure about whether to support him or President Trump, they "ain't black." Biden later walked back the comments Friday, saying he "shouldn't have been such a wise guy."
"I don't even care about the words and the lip service. The apology is cool but the best apology is actually a black agenda," Charlamagne said in an interview with MSNBC's host Joy Reid on Sunday. "You know, they got to make some real policy commitments to black people."
The radio host warned that if Biden picked Klobuchar, the Minnesota senator and former presidential candidate, as his running mate, he would risk "people staying at home on Election Day because they just aren't enthused by the candidate."
Many strategists and activists have warned that Klobuchar would perform extremely poorly with African American voters, as evidenced by her inability to attract their vote for her own campaign as she ran against Biden for the presidential nomination.
Biden has said that other contenders for vice president included black women such as California Sen. Kamala Harris, former Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and Florida Rep. Val Demings.
"I do hear a lot of people say, you know, we also want him to have a black woman running mate, you know, but not just any black woman running mate, one that's going to actually get in office and care that black people benefit from our presence there," Charlamagne said.
"We need substance and significance over symbolism, and he's already committed to putting a black woman on the Supreme Court. So, I just want him and the Democratic Party to know that it's time to give back to the black community in a very tangible way," he added.
A Biden senior advisor focused on reaching African American voters, Karine Jean-Pierre, defended her candidate's record with black voters and said Biden "needs to continue to build, build those relationships, which he is doing."
Biden had walked back his comments during a phone call with black business leaders, saying, "I shouldn't have been so cavalier in responding. I don't take it for granted at all," referring to the black vote. "No one should have to vote for any party base on their race or religion or background."
Charlamagne urged Biden to "do something that energizes his campaign," if he's determined to beat Trump in the race to the White House come November.
"People are sitting around hoping that Trump loses instead of going out there and actually beating him," the radio host said. "Those 4.4 million Obama voters who stayed home in 2016, more than a third of them black, you know, don't do that this year. You've got to make them come out."