Vice President Joe Biden used remarks at a reception he hosted in honor of African-American History Month to swing hard at the “malarkey” of voting right restrictions around the country—specifically, citing voter ID laws in North Carolina, Alabama and Texas as offenders.
As he’s done before, Biden linked the voting rights fight now to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, calling the people trying to restrict voting now the intellectual descendants of those who beat the movement’s leaders in Selma 50 years ago.
“These guys never go away. Hatred never, never goes away,” Biden said.
“The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason,” he said.
Biden expressed optimism that Congress would pass legislation to address the parts of the Voting Rights Act overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court last June.
“This fight has been too long, this fight has been too hard, to do anything other than win—not on the margins, but flat-out win.”
Biden left time for some lighter moments, though. Acknowledging the presence of Sacramento Mayor—and former NBA star—Kevin Johnson in the room, the vice president said, “I told the president, next game, I’ve got him.”
“I may be a white boy,” Biden said, “but I can jump.”