Biden then delivered his closing address as people continued filing out — though some listened attentively or filmed his remarks on their smartphones.
It was a bizarre moment in an otherwise successful town hall event that boasted roughly 300 supporters in attendance.
Biden spoke slowly and somberly at the beginning of the event. But he was more fluent, and sharper, in the question-and-answer session, walking around the room and engaging supporters who asked him about details of his policies.
In his introductory remarks, Biden praised the late Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC), a reformed segregationist, though he has been criticized by rivals in the past for praising segregationists and apologized for doing so in July.
He also repeated the false claim that President Donald Trump referred to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, as “very fine people” in August 2017 (in fact, Trump said they should be “condemned totally”).
In the question-and-answer session, Biden said that the U.S. economy is doing poorly and teetering on the brink of recession. He said that one of his key policy goals would be to tackle the problem of student loan debt, which economists had concluded was holding back economic growth.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.