Former Vice President Joe Biden said Republicans "don't want black folks voting" during a Sunday interview with MSNBC host Al Sharpton.
Biden's statement came amid an answer to Sharpton's question about Republican voter fraud claims in the 2016 election, which Biden called a "flat lie" and "simply not true" as well as "part of the the big lie."
"Look, it’s what these guys are all about, man," Biden told Sharpton. "Republicans don’t want working-class people voting. They don’t want black folks voting."
Staunchly opposed to voter ID laws — which he said hurts older and disenfranchised people and those without easy access to transportation — Biden declared that Americans should be automatically registered to vote once they turn 18.
"We should have, like other countries have, automatic registration," Biden said. "You turn 18, you go to any government agency, the Department of Motor Vehicles, get your Social Security number clarified, whatever, and you are automatically registered to vote in your district."
He also argued that convicted felons should be allowed to vote once they've paid their debts to society.
Here's the clip:
What about Biden running for president in 2020?
While Biden didn't rule out running for president in 2020, he seemed to hedge against it.
"I'm really hoping that some other folks step up," he told Sharpton. "I think we have some really good people."
Biden also noted the healing process his family has gone through since his son Beau's death in May 2015, which factored into his decision to not run in 2016.
This writer's perspective
Apart from his broad-brush, wildly racist statement that Republicans don't want black Americans to vote, Biden's point about "automatic registration" for voters also was faulty.
Biden asserted that people could simply go to government agencies to have their automatic voter registrations generated. But minutes later, he talked about disenfranchised people without easy access to transportation having a hard time acquiring voter IDs.
One wonders how those same disenfranchised people without easy access to transportation magically get to government agencies to generate their automatic voter registration when, at the same time, they face the monumental task of getting to government agencies to acquire voter IDs.
Perhaps it's just naturally easier to find a ride to a government agency when it's not a voter ID you're after.