New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio host Charlamagne Tha God lamented Monday that Democratic presidential front-runners Joseph R. Biden and Bernard Sanders “don’t have a specific black agenda.”
During an appearance on MSNBC, Charlamagne argued that younger voters and members of the black community are more concerned with policy than personality in the 2020 race but that both Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders need to do a better job at outlining a specific agenda for black Americans.
“I know especially in the black community, people are looking for those who have a black agenda, and Biden or Bernie don’t have a specific black agenda for the African American community,” he said. “So, I think that’s a turnoff. And when it comes to young voters, they’re uninspired. They have no reason to be inspired, because if you think about it, after President Obama, I thought the Democratic Party was going to get younger and blacker and browner and more diverse when it comes to agendas, but now we’re just stuck with two nearly 80-year-old white men.”
Charlamagne said he wants a “specific agenda,” citing as an example former Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg’s Greenwood Initiative, which promoted, among other things, increasing black homeownership and black-owned businesses.
“I want a specific agenda, especially from somebody like Joe Biden,” Charlamagne said. “Black people saved his life in the past couple of weeks. His campaign would be dead if it wasn’t for our O.G. Jim Clyburn in South Carolina endorsing him. Plus, you were the vice president for the first black president. You, in particular, definitely need to have a black agenda.”
Charlamagne also slammed Mr. Biden for being one of the only candidates to not come on his show. He previously claimed on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” that Mr. Biden was “avoiding” his show and that he took offense last year after the former vice president tried to send a black surrogate in his place.
“It goes back to what I said,” Charlamagne said Monday. “Joe Biden owes black people his political life, you know what I’m saying, so don’t disrespect that base by not showing up, especially when, you know, all your other former opponents did.”
“They wanted to send one of the surrogates on last year and I was like, no, that’s whack if all the other candidates are coming themselves and you want to send a surrogate. Like, who do you think you are?” he added.
Charlamagne declined to reveal who he is backing in the Democratic primary, saying he’s still waiting to see who Mr. Biden chooses as his vice president.
“I think he needs to have a black woman as a running mate — hopefully, Sen. Kamala Harris,” he said.
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