The man cannot tell where truth ends and lying begins. Speaking at a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden did it again: He conflated some of his real history with enough fantasy to make his candidacy more appealing to his audience. He told his audience of supporters, “I got started out of an HBCU (historically black college/university), Delaware State.”
He didn’t attend Delaware State but the University of Delaware, instead.
His recollection of his education was muddled. While he did graduate from the University of Delaware, it’s clear that he was more interested in playing football and entertaining the ladies than studying, graduating 506th in a class of 688 with just a “C” average. Biden claimed that he received three degrees but later recanted when confronted with the facts: “I said three and I should have said two.” But even that was incorrect: He earned a single Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
Somehow, however, that was enough for Biden to earn a full ride scholarship to Syracuse University, graduating “in the top half of my class in law school,” according to the presidential candidate. When James Dickenson looked into the matter more closely, he wrote in the Washington Post that Biden attended law school on a half-scholarship based not on academic prowess but on financial need, graduating near the bottom of his class, at 76 out of 85 students.
Biden had trouble remembering when he got involved in the civil rights movement and misremembered his role in it. In August he spoke at Limestone College in South Carolina, telling the students, “I never thought coming out of the civil rights movement that I’d see people walking out in the fields, carrying torches.” But Haris Alic, writing for Breitbart, said that “no record exists [that] he was part of the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s. In fact, after his graduating [from] law school in 1968, there is no mention of Biden being active in the civil rights movement, let alone serving as one of its leaders.”
In August, during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Biden repeated a war story canard that he had milked for years:
This guy climbed down a ravine, carried this guy up on his back under fire. The general wanted me to pin the Silver Star on him. I got up there, and this is the God's truth, my word as a Biden. He stood at attention. I went to pin it on him. He said, “Sir, I don't want the damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir. Please, sir, do not do that. He died! He died!”
But, according to the Washington Post, “Almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.… The former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.”
Worse, when confronted with the lie, Biden doubled down: “The central point [of the story] is it was absolutely accurate what I said.”
Alana Goodman has made a living keeping track of Biden’s lies. Writing for the Washington Examiner, Goodman noted that 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.” In 1988, he was forced to abandon his first go at running for president “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.”
Goodman then noted a number of other crimes of exaggeration, omission, or fakery indulged in by the former vice president:
• Biden said his helicopter was “forced down” near Osama Bin Laden’s lair in Afghanistan.
Bragged Biden: “If you want to know where al Qaeda lives, you want to know where bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me. 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.”
In fact, the helicopter landed to wait out a snowstorm, according to the Associated Press.
• Biden said he was a coal miner.
Claimed Biden in 2008: “I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I am a hard-coal miner, anthracite coal, Scranton, Pennsylvania. It’s nice to be back in coal country.”
He later admitted to the canard, claiming that “I might be president now if it weren’t for the fact that I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner. Turns out I didn’t have anybody [himself or an uncle] in the coal mines.… [The lie] didn’t work.”
• Biden said he was “shot at” in Iraq
In 2007, Biden said: “Let’s start telling the truth. 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.”
In fact, Biden was staying at a hotel in the Green Zone when a mortar landed several hundred yards away.
• Biden said he criticized President George W. Bush during lengthy private meetings in the Oval Office
Biden claimed in 2009 that he spent “a lot of hours alone” with Bush and rebuked him face to face over his foreign policy decisions: “I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office: ‘Well, Joe, I’m a leader.’ And I said: ‘Mr. President, turn around and look behind you. No one is following.”
Candida Wolff, Bush’s White House liason to Congress, told Fox News: “The president would never sit through two hours of Joe Biden. I don’t ever remember Biden being in the Oval Office. He was such a blowhard on all that stuff — there wasn’t a reason to bring him in.”
Kevin Williamson, writing for the National Review, said that “if Biden is lying with malice aforethought, then he ought to be considered morally disqualified for the office. If he is senescent, then he obviously is unable to perform the duties associated with the presidency.… The evidence points more toward moral disability than mental disability.”
If William Shakespeare is right — “to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man” — what is one to do with a man who can’t tell the difference?
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