Biden: I’m friends with ‘an awful lot’ of Somali cab drivers

Washington (CNN)Vice President Joe Biden says he has strong relationships with Delaware’s Somali community because « there’s an awful lot driving cabs » and he’s made friends with them at the Wilmington train station.

Some Delaware cab company owners disputed Biden’s comment about Somali drivers.

« I don’t think I’ve seen any in Delaware, » said Anthony Eber, the owner of the six-cab Family Taxi and an immigrant from Sierra Leone. « I see some Guinean [drivers], but no Somali drivers. »

Still, other cab drivers in Wilmington said they’ve seen him — though not as much since he’s become vice president — and they like him.

« He’s a nice guy. He’s a very good man, » said George Daniels, a Liberian immigrant and the driver and owner of his own company, Kitco Taxi, who said he’s driven Biden before.

Biden’s comments came on the first day of a White House summit focused on countering violent extremism, in a speech in front of state and local law enforcement officials from across the country.

    After mentioning the Somali community in Minneapolis, he said there’s a « very identifiable Somali community » in his home city of Wilmington, Delaware.

    « I might add if you come to the train station with me you’ll notice I have great relationships with them because there’s an awful lot driving cabs and are friends of mine, » Biden said.

    Then, he added: « For real. I’m not being solicitous. I’m being serious. »

    It’s not the first time Biden has drawn attention for ethnicity-related comments. While he was in the Senate, he remarked that « you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking. »

    It also wasn’t Biden’s only awkward moment on Tuesday. A photo of him grabbing the shoulders and whispering into the ear of Stephanie Carter, the wife of new Defense Secretary Ash Carter, drew attention on Twitter earlier in the day.

    Related: Here’s what really happened when Joe Biden whispered in the ear of the new Defense Secretary

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