As former Vice President Joe Biden steps back into the public spotlight in his bid as the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential election nominee, he keeps adding not only to his extensive gaffe count but also to events in his past that reportedly never took place.
Gaffes such as recalling the wrong year, wrong state, and wrong world leader are now being joined with the former Delaware senator’s increasingly problematic habit of reportedly creating his own history on the spot.
“Joe Biden's gaffes are legend already – such as when he told a paralyzed supporter in a wheelchair to stand up so the crowd could see him – but some are noticing a new development in his speeches: his ability to remember things that, well, didn't happen,” WND reported.
Stuck in the neighborhood of make-believe?
Before listing off half a dozen major life events in which Biden described himself taking part - when in fact he didn't - a major Washington, DC, daily noted a handful of other times the Democratic frontrunner made up his past.
“Joe Biden claimed twice recently that he met with Parkland, Florida, shooting survivors when he was vice president – despite the fact that he was already out of office when the attack took place,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“His campaign said Biden misspoke and was referring to a different meeting he had after the Sandy Hook shooting, but the flub was reminiscent of Biden’s past misstatements and his tendency to embellish biographical details.”
The Examiner points out that the former VP came under scrutiny for false claims during previous presidential bids.
“In 1988, Biden was forced to drop out of the presidential race after he was found to have exaggerated his academic record, plagiarized a law school essay, and used quotes from other politicians in his speeches without attribution,” the Examiner’s Alana Goodman recalled.
The dirty half-dozen
Allegedly falsifying his record to appear as a fearless leader, Biden also insisted a decade ago that he put his life in danger to visit hostile lands.
“Biden claimed in multiple speeches in 2008 that he knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding because his helicopter had been ‘forced down’ nearby in the mountains of Afghanistan” Goodman recounted before quoting the Democrat:
“If you want to know where al Qaeda lives – you want to know where bin Laden is – come back to Afghanistan with me,” Biden asserted, according to the Examiner. “Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.”
And in a later speech, he added to the story:
“[Al Qaeda is] in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan … where my helicopter was recently forced down,” Biden claimed in another speech, according to the Examiner, calling the place “the superhighway of terror.”
He then allegedly attempted to school Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war Sen. John McCain with his self-proclaimed military and combat savviness:
“John McCain wants to know where bin Laden and the gates of Hell are? I can tell him where,” Biden insisted.
The Associated Press reported that Biden's helicopter actually landed safely while waiting out a snowstorm. He was reportedly on a Senate junket with former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that took safety precautions and ultimately rerouted them to America’s main airbase in the area – a reality Kerry joked about.
“Other than getting a little cold, it was fine,” Kerry described the incident to the AP. “We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs.”
Snafu number two
The second inaccurate rendition also took place when Biden was running for president in 2008, when he falsely claimed he was a coal miner to United Mine Workers:
“I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I am a hard-coal miner, anthracite coal, Scranton, Pennsylvania,” Biden said, according to the Examiner. “It’s nice to be back in coal country. It’s a different accent [in Virginia], but it’s the same deal. We were taught that our faith and our family was the only really important thing, and our faith and our family informed everything we did.”
Later, Biden’s campaign claimed his remark was a joke, but the falsehood was reminiscent of another bogus account he made on the campaign trail 20 years earlier:
“[M]y ancestors … worked in the coal mines of Northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours,” Biden told supporters in a 1988 speech – a line that was plagiarized from a speech given by British politician Neil Kinnock.
Later, in 2004, Biden admitted he didn’t have any family members who were miners:
“[Expletive], I might be president now if it weren't for the fact I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner,” Biden told Jon Stewart in an interview. “Turns out, I didn't have anybody in the coal mines, you know what I mean? I tried that [vulgar term]. It didn't work.”
Third time's not a charm
More feigned bravery was reportedly witnessed in Biden’s third attempt to recreate his own history.
“In 2007, Biden claimed he was ‘shot at’ during the Iraq War while visiting the Green Zone – the heavily guarded area in the middle of Baghdad where the United States embassy is based,” Goodman recounted.
Ironically, the now-76-year-old candidate apparently started his following statement with a falsehood:
“Let’s start telling the truth,” Biden insisted, according to the Examiner. “Number one, you take all the troops out – you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at.”
A Biden aide later explained what really happened – a mortar landed several hundred yards away from a hotel he was staying at in the Green Zone.
“A soldier came by to explain what happened and said if the mortar fire continued, they would need to proceed to a shelter,” Biden’s aide clarified, according to The Hill.
Faux account number four
Boldly rebuking a world leader was the fourth major allegedly false claim made by the frontrunning candidate.
“Biden met with Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević in 1993, at the height of the siege of Sarajevo,” Goodman noted. “According to Biden’s book Promises to Keep, when Milošević asked what he thought about him, Biden responded: ‘I think you’re a damn war criminal and you should be tried as one.’”
Only one of Biden’s many aides corroborated the story.
“In 2008, Biden aide Ted Kaufman, who was at the meeting and also worked on Biden’s 2008 campaign, told the Washington Post that the account was accurate; however, three other Biden aides who were at the meeting declined to corroborate the story,” Goodman informed. “John Ritch, a Senate aide who attended the Milošević meeting, told the Post he did not recall Biden making such a dramatic pronouncement.”
In fact, Ritch implied Biden was up to telling stories again.
“The legend grows,” Ritch said, according to the Examiner. “But Biden certainly introduced into the conversation the concept that Milošević was a war criminal. Milošević reacted with aplomb.”
A low five
Biden has also allegedly fabricated stories in what is seen as an attempt to portray himself as a champion against racial discrimination.
“Biden said he participated in sit-ins at segregated restaurants and movie theaters,” Goodman informed. “In the 1970s and 1980s, Biden regularly claimed to have been an activist in the civil rights movement and said he participated in sit-ins along U.S. Route 40 in Delaware in 1961.”
Back in 1983, Biden gave this rendition:
”When I was 17 years old, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses in my state, and my stomach turned upon hearing the voices of Faubus and Barnett, and my soul raged upon seeing the dogs of Bull Connor,” Biden stated, according to the Examiner.
He also insisted that he spearheaded a boycott of The Pit – a restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware, known for racial segregation – while he was in high school, when it denied service to a black teammate on his football team:
“I organized a civil rights boycott because they wouldn’t serve black kids,” Biden boasted, according to the Examiner. “One of our football players was black and we went there and they said they wouldn’t serve him. And I said to the others, ‘Hey, we can’t go in there.’ So we all left.”
But that’s not what the former African-American high school football player recounted, as he insisted Biden and others on the team didn’t know about the event until afterwards.
“They weren’t aware of what happened,” the black football player said in 1987. “I was only 16 then. It was my problem and my battle for me to work out. They were oblivious to it until later.”
After calling his presidential bid quits in 1988 due to his plagiarism scandal, Biden admitted that the extent to his involvement in the civil rights movement was his summer employment at an all-black swimming pool during college.
"During the 1960s, I was in fact very concerned about the civil rights movement. I was not an activist. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware," Biden conceded. "I was involved in what they were thinking, what they were feeling. But I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma. I was not anywhere else. I was a suburbanite kid who got a dose of exposure to what was happening to black Americans."
The sixth slip
The sixth alleged fabrication involves Biden claiming he rebuked former President George W. Bush over foreign policy during “a lot of hours alone” with him in meetings the two supposedly had in the Oval Office.
"I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office, 'Well, Joe,' he said, 'I'm a leader,'” Biden told CNN. “And I said: 'Mr. President, turn around and look behind you. No one is following.’”
However, Bush’s aides did not recall Biden ever meeting with the 43rd president privately and had no recollection of him taking any such stance.
"The president would never sit through two hours of Joe Biden," Bush's White House liaison to Congress, Candida P. Wolff, told Fox News in 2009. "I don't ever remember Biden being in the Oval. He was such a blowhard on all that stuff – there wasn't a reason to bring him in."
Conservative media outlets say that rather than tackling the issues, the Biden campaign appears to be trying to gain supporter confidence by insisting he is mentally competent to lead the country – and is the only candidate who can beat President Donald Trump.
“It's hard to imagine a presidential candidate more out of step with the moment,” Fox News’ Tucker Carlson pointed out. “Biden's new campaign ad portrays him as ‘strong, steady, stable’ – not doddering, flaky, and weird. No – strong, steady, stable. That's Joe Biden's self-description.”
Besides Biden’s false claim about being a civil rights warrior in high school, the false narrative that he was an academic scholar is also reportedly being pushed.
“Biden's conventional biography – the one you can find on Wikipedia – claims he went from a private high school to college and then right to law school,” Carlson noted. “He [actually] graduated 76th in a class of 85 students. That's the Biden we thought we knew.”
It is argued Biden is weak when it comes to issues and policy, so he has reportedly relied on one thing to get elected – electability.
“No, Biden is not running on ideas; he is emphatically not an ideas man,” Carlson contended. “Instead, Biden is running on electability, the notion that only he – only Joe Biden – can beat Donald Trump.”
But Biden’s apparent failure to root his speech in facts has brought into question his electability to this day.
“This week, Biden recalled the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy ‘in the 1970s,” WND announced. “Both were assassinated in 1968.”