Former Vice President Joe Biden delivered his stump speech in Durham, North Carolina, on Sunday, repeating two familiar hoaxes that have become staples of his rhetoric on the stump, during interviews, and even on the debate stage.
Biden jogged out to the podium at a drive-in theater, wearing a mask, as cars and trucks honked. He slammed Trump for claiming that the U.S. was “turning the corner” on the coronavirus pandemic, even though cases were rising in some states.
He also repeated two familiar hoaxes (rough transcripts):
Charlotteville “very fine people” hoax: Biden repeated the false claim that Trump called neo-Nazis in Charlottesville “very fine people,” when in fact he said they should be “condemned totally.” Vice President Mike Pence refuted this hoax on live television during the vice presidential debate.
When I announced my candidacy, I had not planned on running again, to be very blunt, and I’ve said it before. My son had just died, and I had no interest. And I saw those folks come out of the fields in Charlottesville, carrying torches, their veins bulging, shouting antisemitic — carrying torches. Close your eyes, remember what they looked look like, their veins bulging, shouting antisemitic bile, the same bile that was shouted in the streets of Germany in the 30’s. Carrying Nazi flags, accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan, and a young woman [Heather Heyer] was killed, protesting the opposite direction. And when they asked the president to comment, this president said something no other president has said in the history of the United States of America. He said there were “very fine people on both sides.” Very fine people.
Trump used the phrase “very fine people” specifically to refer to non-violent protesters — like Heather Heyer — on either side of a statue controversy.
Atlantic “suckers” and “losers” hoax: Biden repeated the debunked claim that President Trump referred to soldiers as “suckers” and “losers”:
This is the same man who looks at Americans who put their lives on the line for the nation, like so many tens of thousands in North Carolina have done, like my son did, winning a Bronze Star. He calls them “suckers” and “losers.” Who the hell does he think he is talking about? These are heroes.
This is an exaggerated version of the Atlantic story, which was based on anonymous sources, has not been corroborated, and has been refuted by over a dozen witnesses.
Biden did not, apparently, answer questions about allegations that his son, Hunter, sold access to the White House when he was vice president; instead, he answered a question about his milkshake.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This post has been updated to note that while media did ask questions about Hunter Biden, the only question Joe Biden answered was about his milkshake.