Joe Biden Again Inflates Role in Civil Rights Movement

Joseph Biden, the newly-elected Democratic Senator from Delaware, is shown in Washington, Dec. 12, 1972. (AP Photo/Henry Griffin)
AP Photo/Henry Griffin

Former Vice President Joe Biden once again falsely claimed to be part of the civil rights movement as he was campaigning in South Carolina on Thursday.

“I never thought coming out of the civil rights movement, that I’d see people walking out in fields, carrying torches,” Biden said while accusing the Trump administration of emboldening racists during an address at Limestone College.

The claim is one the 76-year-old Democrat frontrunner has repeatedly made over the span of his political career, despite little evidence existing to prove its veracity. Biden, who served as a public defender and local elected official before being elected to the Senate in 1972, was never a full-time activist, let alone leader within the civil rights movement.

Even though Biden took part in a few desegregation protests as a teenager in Delaware, no record exists that he took part in any of the central episodes of the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s. Although no records exist, Biden has still claimed the civil rights movement and his activism within it was one of the defining points of his early adulthood.

“A lot of folks like me come out of the civil rights movement,” the former vice president told voters on Wednesday when contrasting his views to those of President Donald Trump.

As Breitbart News has previously reported, Biden has a long record of inflating his civil rights activism. During his run for the 1988 Democrat nomination, Biden falsely claimed to have “marched” in the civil rights movement when presenting himself as candidate of generational change.

“When I marched in the Civil Rights movement, I did not march with a 12-point program,” Biden told a group of school children in during a visit to New Hampshire in 1987. “I marched with tens of thousands of others to change attitudes, and we changed attitudes.”

The only issue, however, was that Biden had in fact never marched, according to Matt Flegenheimer of the New York Times. 

“More than once, advisers had gently reminded Mr. Biden of the problem with this formulation: He had not actually marched during the civil rights movement,” wrote Flegenheimer. “And more than once, Mr. Biden assured them he understood — and kept telling the story anyway.”

The exaggeration, along with Biden’s propensity for plagiarism, would eventually force him to abandon his presidential bid before a single vote was cast.

Biden’s false claim of civil rights activism comes into the spotlight as his record on racial issues, especially busing and criminal justice, are open for debate among increasingly left-leaning Democrats. The former vice president admitted as much earlier this week during a sitdown with reporters.

“The bad news is I have a long record. The good news is I have a long record,” Biden said when asked about his enduring support among black voters. “People know me — at least they think they know me. I think after all this time, I think they have a sense of what my character is, who I am.”

“I’ve never, ever, ever in my entire life been in a circumstance where I’ve ever felt uncomfortable being in the black community,” he added

Problematic for Biden is that he has a tendency to undercut his own campaign strategy through gaffes and verbal missteps. One day after telling reporters African Americans knew his “character,” Biden praised a reformed segregationist during a campaign event in South Carolina.

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