Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first African American to hold the post and a rising star in the Republican Party, went after Joe Biden during his speech at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night over controversial comments the former vice president has made about Black voters.
“I think often about my ancestors who struggled for freedom, and as I think of those giants and their broad shoulders, I also think about Joe Biden, who says, ‘If you are not voting for me, you ain’t black,’ ” Cameron said, paraphrasing an assertion Biden had made in May.
It was Biden “who argued that Republicans would put us back in chains,” Cameron said, referencing the then-vice president’s claim in 2012 that then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s legislation would “put y’all back in chains.”
Cameron also charged that it was Biden “who says there is no diversity of thought in the Black community,” a reference to Biden’s comments earlier this month that the Latino community in the United States was diverse, “unlike the African American community with notable exceptions.”
“Mr. Vice President, look at me,” Cameron said Tuesday. “I am Black. We are not all the same, sir. I am not in chains. My mind is my own. And you can’t tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin.”
Cameron is Kentucky’s first Republican attorney general in more than 70 years. He previously served as legal counsel to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a role that included leading Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation process.
Cameron on Tuesday also referenced Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Kentucky EMT whose death at the hands of police in March has been under investigation by his office for several months, and recent protests nationwide.
“Even as anarchists mindlessly tear up American cities while attacking police and innocent bystanders, we Republicans do recognize those who work in good faith towards peace, justice and equality,” he said. “In fact, it was Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, a future Republican president, who said democracy is a system that recognizes the equality of humans before the law.”
Cameron cited the recent shooting deaths of Taylor and of David Dorn, a retired police captain killed while responding to an alarm during looting in St. Louis in June.
“Whether you are the family of Breonna Taylor or David Dorn, these are the ideals that will heal our nation’s wounds,” Cameron continued. “Republicans will never turn a blind eye to unjust acts, but neither will we accept an all-out assault on Western civilization.”