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After report of aide quitting, Biden says Latinos a priority

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to local residents, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LAS VEGAS, NV – Joe Biden said Monday that he’s making outreach to Latinos a priority in his Democratic presidential campaign after a news report that his most senior Latina staffer had resigned out of frustration.

Biden told reporters on a phone call that he’s spent a lot of time in Florida, California and even Iowa talking to Latinos and has no shortage of concern for or interest in Latinos.

The former vice president was responding to a report in Politico that his most senior Latina staffer, who served as national coalitions director, had quit. The report says Vanessa Cárdenas raised concerns that the campaign focused too much on white voters in Iowa and black voters at the expense of Latino voters.

Cardenas could not be reached for comment.

Biden said he wished Cardenas well and called her “very, very good.” He added, “I can understand her frustration, in terms of the number of days” spent in certain states.

Biden, who joined the presidential race in April, said his late entry compared to other candidates required him to spend most of his time setting up his campaign in the first two states, Iowa and New Hampshire.

“I understand her frustration,” Biden said. “I’m getting the same thing, and I’m sure every candidate is, no matter what state you’re in, why you’re not spending more time in other states. I wish her well. I’m sorry she was frustrated.”