Joe Biden has boasted of having the “most diverse staff,” but his campaign has yet to divulge details on the claim.
“Look at my staff,” Biden said in an NPR interview in December, when asked if he would commit to picking a person of color as his running mate. “I have the most diverse staff of anybody running. I’ve always done that.”
BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday that they asked the Biden campaign to release their diversity figures, as other campaigns had already done. But six months later, amid a reckoning with racial tensions, they’ve still refused to release the numbers, the outlet said.
Biden’s campaign is staffed at the top by a predominantly white team of advisers — his campaign manager, chief strategist, three former chiefs of staff and current key advisers, and four of the five people who have served as deputy campaign manager are white.
According to BuzzFeed, the campaign this week declined to disclose the number of people of color on payroll, or explain how they track diversity data internally. When asked about hiring and inclusion practices, the Biden campaign pointed to its creation of a diversity and culture committee and its employment of a chief people, diversity and inclusion officer, Michael Leach, a former NFL labor relations official.
The campaign could not be reached for comment by Fox News, but told BuzzFeed they would release the diversity figures soon — without an explanation of why they hadn’t done so yet.
Jamal Brown, the Biden campaign’s national press secretary, said in an emailed statement to BuzzFeed that the campaign “reflects the diversity, breadth and promise of America” and that it has “placed a premium on fostering an inclusive culture and workforce representative of all backgrounds, beliefs, and socioeconomic groups.”
During the last presidential election, Democratic candidates were pressed to release data about their staff diversity on a quarterly basis by Inclusv, a group that promotes racial diversity in national politics. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders self-reported their private diversity data at the request of the group while running Democratic presidential campaigns.
Alida Garcia, founder of Inclusv, told the website her requests for internal diversity data have also gone unanswered, though she said she is in “ongoing dialogue” with the campaign about measures to take for hiring during the general election.
“We have asked them a couple times to make their staff diversity data public. We have not received a commitment that they intend to share, but it’s our hope that when this current hiring sprint is over they will do that,” she said, referring to Biden’s efforts to build a staff in swing states ahead of the general election.
“There is a body of work at this point that should make it clear that this is now an industry norm,” Garcia said of the diversity data Democratic campaigns released in 2016. “Anything otherwise would be them walking it back.”
Likewise, a Trump campaign spokesperson did not respond to BuzzFeed’s requests for diversity data, the outlet said.