joe biden Iowa
Joe Biden told a group of mostly Asian and Hispanic voters in Iowa on Thursday that "poor kids are just as bright" as white children.

The former vice president, known for his verbal gaffes, made the remarks to the Asian & Latino Coalition in Des Moines, Iowa, where he's on a four-day campaign swing for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"We should challenge students in these schools and have advanced placement programs in these schools," Biden said. "We have this notion that somehow if you're poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented, as white kids." He quickly added, "Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids, no I really mean it, but think how we think about it."

"We think how we're going to dumb it down. They can do anything anybody else can do given a shot."

Biden, 76, has been criticized for his tendency to say awkward, sometimes surprising, things. When his future boss, Barack Obama, was running for president, Biden once remarked that Obama was "clean" and "articulate," a remark that raised eyebrows.

The re-election campaign of President Donald Trump, under a barrage of criticism from Biden and other Democrats for what they term racist rhetoric, posted video of Biden's remark.

Kate Bedingfield, Biden's deputy campaign manager, said in a statement on Friday that Biden "misspoke and immediately corrected himself during a refrain he often uses," namely how to level the playing field for low-income students.

She also said, incorrectly, that the video only contained the first part of Biden's sentence. She added, "And it's no coincidence this comes days after Joe Biden laid out how this president emboldens white nationalism and embraces racism."