Today, Biden campaign co-chair Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) was a guest on SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show and responds to Ice Cube's accusations that Democrats told him to wait until after the election, saying "Let me be crystal clear. That did not happen."
Congressman Cedric Richmond tells Joe Madison what happened when he met with Ice Cube: "I like the fact that Ice Cube is getting engaged in policy. I think that is a good thing, however, once you embark on getting into it, one, you have to be truthful, but two, you have an obligation, I think, to see it through and to be thorough with it. Our plan is very thorough. I won't say he has a skeleton plan, but he has an outline of things, he has an outline of things that should be done. It's not as comprehensive as our plan. And so that's what we told him, and the offer to stay engaged was not, 'we'll talk to you after the election.' It went like this: 'Here's my cell number, anything else you want to talk about on this plan or anything you think, you know, we need to talk about further, just pick up the phone and call.'"
Congressman Cedric Richmond also goes in detail about exactly what was in the 1994 crime bill, what Joe Biden did and did not support, how Republicans exploited the bill after taking the House, and the Democrats' plan to make things better today and in the future.
Cedric Richmond On How Ice Cube's Contract With Black America Is "An Outline" But Democrats' Plan is "Thorough" and "Comprehensive":
Host, Joe Madison: Let me move quickly. If you don't mind to this discussion with Ice Cube. People are confused. You have this manifesto as they call it, this contract. And I remember going over it in detail and these 10 items. And I said at the time, and I think I had Tom Perez on, I said at the time congressman, I said everything in this contract that Ice Cube wanted, the democratic party had already put it in legislative form and maybe even more. And it gets blocked in the Senate, it's killed over in the Senate. It doesn't even get voted on. Then, Ice Cube came back and said, 'well, I talked with the Democrats and they blew me off.' Did that happen? What's the real story behind the headlines?
Rep. Cedric Richmond: Well, let me be crystal clear that did not happen. I met with Ice Cube. I mean, we had a zoom call, so I'm not telling you what other people did. I'm telling you what I did. And, Symone Sanders who's a senior advisor on the campaign, and a few others. So, but we also had an earlier call with D.L. Hughley, Chris Paul, Kenny Smith, Snoop, Jeezy, all of them. And we did the exact same thing. We talked to them about things that they would like to see. We talked to them about our plan, see what their thoughts were, and we took notes. We changed our plan where we needed to change it. We added stuff if we didn't have it in there. And we did the exact same thing with Ice Cube. Ice cube has his black agenda all contract with the black community. It's a good foundation for a plan. I mean, it's very broad, but what we did was to give him examples of where we are in our plan. So for example, one of the biggest issues facing African-Americans in this country is black maternal health. He doesn't touch on it. And so we went through the process of saying, for example, he said, we need equitable school funding. And we said, you're absolutely right. That's why we increased title one funding by $23 billion in the beginning of our administration, because we want to make sure that school districts that don't have the same tax base as a fluent school district, have the money to invest in their children also. So we said [Ice] Cube, you're right on track with this. So this is what we do. $23 billion right off the bat. This is what we do for our HBCUs. This is what we do to reduce student loan debt. This is how we're going to make HBCUs and public universities free for people who make under 125,000. And then the next plank was we need to help black entrepreneurs. We said, you're exactly right. That's why we create a fund with $30 billion in it for black entrepreneurship, which that 30 billion, we will leverage five to one. So we're going to have $150 billion for black entrepreneurship because we know that access to capital is a challenge in the African-American community. And then we went into wealth building. We know that owning a home is a game changer for black people (and any person, really) but we're going to have basically give $15,000 for closing costs and down payment for first-time home buyers, because that way children want to go to an Ivy league school, children want to go to Morehouse, which is expensive, you can take some of the equity out of your home. If you want to start a business, you can take some of the equity out of your home if you're buying a home. So we went down our entire list and look, our agenda is 50 something pages and it is comprehensive. And so the real conversation, and look, I like the fact that Ice Cube is getting engaged in policy. I think that is a good thing, however, once you embark on getting into it, one, you have to be truthful, but two, you have an obligation, I think, to see it through and to be thorough with it. Our plan is very thorough. I won't say he has a skeleton plan, but he has an outline of things, he has an outline of things that should be done. It's not as comprehensive as our plan. And so that's what we told him, and the offer to stay engaged was not, 'we'll talk to you after the election.' It went like this: 'Here's my cell number, anything else you want to talk about on this plan or anything you think, you know, we need to talk about further, just pick up the phone and call.' Look, him giving Donald Trump his plan and talking about why his plan is important to him, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. He’s not endorsing Donald Trump, however, you know, he does give credibility to Donald Trump's ridiculous plan. I mean, the first prong of Donald Trump's plan is I'm going to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. What that is symbolic. Yes. What does that do to change the lives of black people that are being discriminated against? That are fighting like heck to keep a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food on the table? Does nothing. Then he says he wants to do policing reform. If you want to do policing reform, pick up the phone, call Mitch McConnell your guy in the Senate and tell him to pass the George Floyd Act which we passed in the house. If you want to do police reform, if you have to touch on the voting rights act, which I'm not sure Ice Cube's plan did or did not, but we have a voting rights bill waiting in the Senate that Mitch McConnell won't bring up. So for Trump to even say that he has any desire to do something for the black community, just pick up the phone and call Mitch McConnell and tell him to stop blocking all of the progressive deals we have that would help the black community. And so I just think that Donald Trump is a con man, he's always been a con man. And I think that he has characterized Ice Cube's presentation of his plan, (of Ice Cube's plan) as an endorsement of Trump's ineffective plan that he presented. And so that's just where we find ourselves, but, there have been a bunch of African-American males that are engaged in, and I am so proud of our black athletes for reclaiming their power. And so they shut down the NBA playoffs for a day because they're tired of systematic racism and the violence that some police inflict upon the community. And so the real message is we should follow the lead of those NBA players and Colin Kaepernick and go protest with our vote and make sure that we change the system. Because that's our power, but watching these African-American athletes and actors and entertainers and all of that start to use their voice is a really good thing for our community.
Host, Joe Madison: Well, like one of the mantras of my show, Congressman Richmond is, you have to ask yourself, what am I going to do about it? Because everybody can do something.
Congressman Cedric Richmond Unpacks the 1994 Crime Bill with Joe Madison: