Is Candace Owens right about Joe Biden using Cardi B to pander to Black voters?


Fact Box

  • Candace Owens is a conservative commentator, formerly a spokeswoman for Turning Point USA, and currently hosts The Candace Owens Show on PragerU. She co-founded the Blexit movement to encourage minorities—especially Black citizens—to exit the Democratic party and pursue the American Dream.
  • Cardi B, the Bronx-born rapper, sits at number one on the music charts in multiple countries (America, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand) with her controversial song 'WAP,' featuring Megan Thee Stallion.
  • Cardi B appeared with Biden in a video for Elle magazine last month where they discussed issues facing Americans: health care, education costs, and racial inequality. Owens criticized Cardi B as “illiterate” and inferred that Joe Biden was pandering to Black voters by using her status. 
  • 92% of Black registered voters support Biden versus President Donald Trump.
  • Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, selected Kamala Harris as his running mate; she will be the third woman and first Black and Asian American candidate to be nominated.

Caitlin (No)

It was not correct for Candace Owens to suggest Biden used Cardi B to pander to Black voters for many reasons. Cardi has a long track record of using her platform to advocate politically, especially for Democratic candidates. As early as 2016, she encouraged her fans to vote for Senator Bernie Sanders in the primaries. She is a vocal supporter of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, along with Bernie, are more progressive members of the Democrat party than Biden. More often than not, she is a voting advocate, urging her fans to vote at the local and national level.

Cardi uses her large platform to amplify her viewpoints in a way that is intelligent and accessible to her young fanbase. This makes her a smart choice for Biden to interview with, as she has a massive reach and influence. However, this, combined with her previous support for more progressive candidates, means he could not guarantee her unconditional support. If this was an attempt to 'pander' to Black voters, it was a risky one.

Finally, those attempting to frame this as Biden 'using' Cardi are being overly cynical. It is true that Biden is struggling with the Black community, and it is doubly true that he needs their support in order to beat Trump. However, it was very possible for Biden to be interviewed by any Black member of the Democratic establishment and get an easy ride – the fact that he chose a progressive with a reputation for speaking her mind shows that this was a genuine attempt to reach out, rather than an attempt to pander.

Bill (Yes)

Candace Owens correctly assessed Joe Biden used Cardi B to pander to black voters. Blacks are a critical constituency for Democrats (Obama carried 93% of the black vote in 2012, and Hillary Clinton nearly matched that with 91% in 2016). More importantly, 4.4 million Obama voters didn't turn out to vote in 2016. This represents a real problem for Democrats. Biden's interview with Cardi B provided a convenient opportunity to reach out to potential black voters by pandering to them on some popular issues (such as taxpayer-funded or so-called 'free' college tuition and Medicare).

Unfortunately for black voters, Democrats (and the Obama/Biden administration in particular) have a poor track record of delivering positive change for blacks. During the Obama/Biden years, blacks saw a dramatic decline in their wealth, as all but the top 10% of black families 'experienced wealth declines as high as 40 percent.' Additionally, Democrats oppose a prominent issue 68% of black Americans support: school choice. School choice frees parents to chose better education options for their children over what their local urban schools can provide. However, school choice is opposed by the nation's largest Teachers union, who endorse Democrats, as they did Hillary Clinton in 2016 (via the NEA). 

However, perhaps the grimmest reality for black Americans is how gun violence did not decline during the Obama/Biden occupation of the White House, which spanned eight years. Gun deaths only increased by 16% from 2014 onward. Owens stumps on the ground that liberal policies do not benefit Black constituents. In doing so, she claims Democrats only view Black voters as a single-minded monolith. Biden only interviewed with Cardi B to pander to the point of swaying her fanbase.

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