Joe Biden said that America was an “idea” that the country has “never lived up to.”

The former vice president made the comments on Brene Brown’s podcast on Wednesday during a discussion about the legacy of slavery and the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice.

“America was an idea, an idea,” the Democratic presidential nominee said. “‘We hold these truths to be self evident.’ We’ve never lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it before. And I just think we have to be more honest. Let our kids know, as we raise them, what actually did happen. Acknowledge our mistakes so we don’t repeat them.”

He continued to say that it’s important to teach students “the facts.”

“So I think it’s important we teach history, not in a prescriptive way, from my perspective, but what actually the facts were without also acknowledging that there’s 400 years of racism in the United States of America. That’s what it is. And it’s able to be fixed,” he said.

The Trump campaign responded.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJim Watson AFP via Getty Images

“Joe Biden’s closing argument is that America has always been a disappointment,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said, according to Fox News.

“@JoeBiden Where have you been for 47 years? America is the greatest nation in the world. We stand for freedom and opportunity for all. Our nation is filled with strong, innovative and hard-working individuals who love this nation & don’t want to fundamentally transform it,” senior adviser to the campaign Mercedes Schlapp said.

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