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Here's Why Joe Biden Thinks Donald Trump And Ted Cruz Are Good For America

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 2/03/2016 Sam Levine
ATHENA IMAGE © RONALDO SCHEMIDT via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

WASHINGTON -- When Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a reception for Black History Month Tuesday evening, he thanked Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. 

The vice president said the two presidential candidates have forced Americans to confront issues of racism and discrimination.

So far, the Republican primary has been filled with hateful rhetoric toward groups including Muslims, immigrants and women. This week, Trump came under fire after earning the backing of white supremacist groups and former KKK leader David Duke.

“Maybe the divisiveness, particularly with the other team right now, maybe it’s a good thing, to awaken the American people about the subtle and not-so-subtle deals going on,” Biden said.

“I want to thank Donald Trump," he added, to audience laugher. Biden then clarified that he was joking.

"The stuff he’s doing, and others, the stuff Cruz is doing. He’s making the American people look in the mirror," he continued. "And the American people are honest. And they look in the mirror and see what’s looking back at them."

"If we’re smart, and we’re lucky, I’m convinced that the American people are prepared over the next decade to gradually deal with institutional racism.”

Biden also said that institutional racism had long been simmering in America, but there was a reluctance to confront it -- something there is an obligation to do now. In particular, he credited the Black Lives Matter movement with bringing issues of institutional racism to the forefront, and added that the movement had made him personally think about discrimination.

“We all kind of knew it, but we didn’t quite talk about it," he said. “It’s hard to believe how hard it still runs in some sectors, particularly for people with little financial means."

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