Former vice president and 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden has had a penchant for making up stories throughout his career.
According to The Quotable Joe: Corn Pop, Dog-Faced Pony Soldiers, and Other Malarkey from America’s Most Embarrassing Candidate, there are at least four times where Biden has told “stories,” supposedly from his public and private life, that were actually made up.
- Biden Bragged about Nearly Being Arrested for Chasing a “Lovely Group of Women” into an All-Female Dorm Room
Biden told voters in Athens, Ohio, in October 2008 about a time when he went to the city to attend a football game as a college student at the University of Delaware, as his alma mater’s team was playing Ohio University, the local university, at the time.
“Now I made a little mistake here that day, I made a little mistake,” Biden told the crowd at the time, adding that after the game he “met this lovely group of Ohio University…students.”
Biden explained that he tried to convince two women he just met on campus to join him and some friends at a nearby establishment.
“And uh, without knowing it, I shouldn’t admit this on national television because it’ll reveal that I’m over 60, but I thought that we were gonna go get something to eat,” he said.
Both young women said they would be “right back,” to which Biden said he would escort them to their dorm rooms.
“I said well I’ll come with you, and they said okay, and I walked into their dormitory and was immediately accosted by a cop who arrested me because back in those days men were not allowed in women’s dormitories,” Biden said. “But I promise you I never breached the first floor and it was only a temporary detention.”
His tale made headlines because it was the first time Biden publicly spoke about an arrest.
Biden was forced to backtrack when he ran for re-election in 2012, saying he was not arrested, but actually came close.
“The last time I was here, I want to make clear to the press, I didn’t get arrested, but I almost did, because back in those days, you students won’t appreciate this, men weren’t allowed anywhere near a woman’s dorm,” Biden said.
2. Biden Made Up His Life Story by Plagiarizing Neil Kinnock
Biden had a penchant for plagiarism that went beyond his days as a law student at Syracuse University Law School and went into his days on the campaign trail for president in 1987.
That year, when someone showed him a political advertisement from then-UK Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock about the working class and progressive social policy, Biden became inspired and began to quote it on the campaign trail.
But Biden was not just quoting Kinnock’s speeches; he was plagiarizing his life story. Kinnock’s father was a Welsh coal miner while Biden grew up in Pennsylvania coal country, but none of Biden’s ancestors were coal miners.
Unlike Kinnock, who was a first-generation college graduate, Biden had several family members who were college graduates and a great-grandfather who graduated college as well and went on to become a state senator.
The plagiarism scandal caused Biden to drop out of the presidential race in 1988.
3. The Tale of ‘CornPop’
In 1962, Biden worked as a swimming pool lifeguard when he was approached by a tough guy named “CornPop,” or so Biden claimed. In Biden’s account of the story, CornPop was a “bad dude” who “ran a bunch of bad boys” as the leader of a Delaware gang called “the Romans.”
CornPop was reportedly threatening to “cut” Biden with a straight razor. But instead of calling the police, Biden said he took on CornPop with a six-foot chain.
CornPop allegedly stood down after a standoff.
Biden retold the story at a rededication ceremony in 2017 for a swimming pool and park in Wilmington, Delaware, although there was no evidence that the story took place.
4. Biden Made Up Emotional Story about the Afghanistan War
Biden told a vivid story about the Afghanistan War to about 400 people packed into a meeting hall in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 2019 about how a four-star general asked the then-vice president to travel to the Kunar province of Afghanistan to recognize a Navy captain’s “remarkable heroism.”
“We can lose a vice president,” he said. “We can’t lose many more of these kids. Not a joke.”
Biden said the Navy captain rappelled down a sixty-foot ravine under fire to successfully retrieve the body of a fellow American on his back.
“He said, ‘Sir, I don’t want the damn thing!’” Biden said, his jaw clenched and his voice rising to a shout. “‘Do not pin it on me, Sir! Please, Sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!’”
“This is the God’s truth,” Biden had said as he told the story. “My word as a Biden.”
Only thing is, nearly the entire story was made up. The Washington Post reported that Biden visited Kunar province as a senator, not as vice president and that rescue was completed by a 20-year-old Army specialist, not a Navy captain. Biden also never pinned a medal on that soldier.
For more of Biden’s made-up stories contained in The Quotable Joe, you can purchase the book here.