Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday walked back comments he made earlier this week suggesting African Americans were not as "diverse" as the Latino community.
"Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things," Biden said during an interview hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists that was released on Thursday. "You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration than you do in Arizona. So it's a very diverse community."
Biden posted a clarification on Twitter Thursday night, saying he did not mean to make African Americans seem like a "monolith."
"Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify," he wrote. "In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith – not by identity, not on issues, not at all."
Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify. In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 7, 2020
Biden received widespread backlash for his remarks on Thursday, including from President Donald Trump.
"I just watched a clip and Joe Biden this morning totally disparaged and insulted the Black community," Trump told reporters. "I don't know what's going on with him, but it was a very insulting statement he made."
“The condescending white liberal racism that oozes out of Joe Biden is disgusting," Trump's senior campaign advisor, Katrina Pierson, said in a statement.
According to Biden's campaign adviser Symone Sanders, Joe Biden's original comment was "referring to diversity of attitudes among Latinos from different Latin American countries."
Biden doubled down, however, at the virtual National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference on Thursday afternoon, outlining a "diversity" of American Latino voters.
"We can build a new administration that reflects the full diversity of our nation. The full diversity of Latino communities," he said. "And when I mean full diversity, unlike the African-American community and many other communities, you're from everywhere. From Europe, from the tip of South America, all the way to our border and Mexico and in the Caribbean. And different backgrounds, different ethnicities, but all Latinos, we're gonna get a chance to do that if we win in November."
The presumptive Democratic nominee also faced criticism for comments he made about Black people in May. In a heated exchange with radio host Charlamagne tha God, he suggested Black voters "ain’t black" if they were thinking about voting for Trump in November.
Though Biden won the Democratic primary on the strength of his overwhelming support among Black voters, his history with race relations has emerged as a point of criticism throughout his campaign. Sen. Kamala Harris, who now endorses Biden and circulates as a potential vice president pick, went viral for attacking Biden on his history with busing during a debate last year.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Joe Biden backtracks 'diverse' comment about African Americans