Biden: Racism in US is 'white man's problem'

Former Vice President Joe Biden (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Racism in America is institutional and it is a "white man's problem," Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday, arguing that the way to attack the issue is to defeat President Donald Trump and shame the racists he has emboldened.

Taking aim at incendiary racial appeals by Trump, Biden told a small group of reporters that a president's words can "appeal to the worst damn instincts of human nature" just as they can move markets or take a nation into war.

Biden is leading his Democratic challengers for the presidential nomination in almost all polls, largely because of the support of black voters who have formed the foundation of his advantage.

He added that while he would "preferably" select a woman or person or color as his running mate, he is ultimately looking for someone who is "simpatico with what I stand for and what I want to get done." He said he will not make a commitment on whom he would chose until he is comfortable that they agree on major issues and how to address them.

Biden said that President Barack Obama gave him "presidential authority, for real," and "never second-guessed me" and added that he would do the same.