The controversial 1994 bill was supported by the Congressional Black Caucus and Black mayors at the time.
At his town hall event with ABC News Thursday night, former vice president Joe Biden argued his case for the top job, answering directly to a mix of still-undecided, socially-distanced voters in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center.
In a question posed by a white woman who had previously voted Republican, the Democratic presidential nominee was asked about his role, as Delaware senator, in the writing of the 1994 crime bill, a signature piece of legislation that is often cited as being detrimental to African Americans.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in Thursday’s town hall conversation with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
When asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos if it was a mistake to support the bill, Biden replied, “Yes, it was. But here’s where the mistake came. The mistake came in terms of what the states did locally.”
Q: "What's your view on the crime bill that you wrote in 1994, which showed prejudice against minorities?"