Biden in Iowa: 'Poor kids' are 'just as talented as white kids'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE on Thursday told supporters “poor kids” are “just as talented as white kids” before correcting himself and saying “wealthy kids” while speaking at a campaign event in Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported.


“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,” Biden said, before correcting himself. “Wealthy kids. Black kids. Asian kids. No, I really mean it. But think how we think about it.” 

“They can do anything anybody else can do, given a shot,” Biden said.


Biden was speaking to the Iowa Asian and Latino Coalition, which has been meeting with Democratic presidential candidates ahead of announcing their official endorsement next week, according to The Des Moines Register.

Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said that the former vice president “misspoke” and said that he “immediately corrected himself.”

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“Vice President Biden misspoke and immediately corrected himself during a refrain he often uses to make the point that all children deserve a fair shot, and children born into lower-income circumstances are just as smart as those born to wealthy parents,” Bedingfield said to The Hill. “Joe Biden has spent his life fighting for civil rights and the dignity of all people.”

Biden was addressing his education plan, which would triple federal investments in low-income school districts across the country. Biden was calling for increasing the number of advanced placement classes in low-income schools and challenging students.

The Trump War Room, a Twitter account managed by the president’s 2020 campaign, also shared the video of Biden’s comments, writing “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids” as a header. The tweet did not include the former vice president’s correction within its text, but did show a fuller video clip of Biden’s comments.


The Biden campaign took issue with the wording of the tweet, accusing the Trump campaign of posting the video without Biden’s “immediate correction,” while citing President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s past comments that there were “some very fine people on both sides” after protesters and counterprotesters clashed at the far-right Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

“As we approach the two year anniversary of Trump calling neo-Nazis and Klansmen ‘very fine people,’ Donald Trump is desperate to change the subject from his atrocious record of using racism to divide this country,” Bedingfield said.

“The Trump campaign posting the video without the Vice President’s immediate correction is patently disingenuous — and it’s no coincidence this comes days after Joe Biden laid out how this president emboldens white nationalism and embraces racism.”

Biden is in Iowa to attend the Iowa State Fair. When he spoke at the Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox, a traditional campaign stop for candidates, he touted his record on a range of issues and said he could get gun control legislation passed if elected to the White House. He also addressed criticisms that he has “been around too long.”

“Folks, I’m told by some of my colleagues that you can’t unite the country, that Biden, on one side they make ‘Well, Biden’s kind of been around too long.’ The other side is ‘Biden’s naive.’ Well, I don’t know. I’ve been around a long time. You think being around a long time you’d learn a little something,” Biden said. 

Jonathan Easley contributed to this report which was updated at 10:40 a.m.

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