‘Not a Joke’: Joe Biden Claims He Was ‘Raised in the Black Church’

Congregants attend service as Michael Bloomberg prepares to speak at the Christian Cultural Center on November 17, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Reports indicate Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, is considering entering the crowded Democratic presidential primary race. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed on Sunday that his strong support from minority voters stemmed, in part, from having been politically “raised in the black church.”

Biden, who recently suggested he turned out as many black voters in 2008 as did Barack Obama, addressed an NAACP forum in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday. At the event, the former vice president spoke of his connection to black voters, asserting his “political identity” was forged through a decades-long relationship with Delaware’s large minority community.

“I have a lot of black support because that’s where I come from. I was raised in the black church, politically, not a joke,” Biden told the event’s audience, which was mostly white, according to the Washington Examiner.”

“When I got into politics, I was the only white guy working on the east side, in the projects, because these were the guys I grew up with,” the former vice president added. “These were the guys I worked with.”

The claim is similar to those the former vice president has made throughout the entire span of his political career. While first running for president in 1988, Biden was forced to drop out of the race after a number of the assertions he made about his background were proved false. Most notably, as Breitbart News has reported, Biden claimed during that campaign that he marched in the civil rights movement.

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

As Matt Flegenheimer of the New York Times pointed out, however, the candidate had, in fact, never marched.

“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,” Flegenheimer wrote. “And more than once, Mr. Biden assured them he understood—and kept telling the story anyway.”

Even though such claims were debunked and there is little evidence Biden took part in any civil rights demonstrations after high school, the former vice president has continued to exaggerate his role within the movement as he seeks the 2020 Democrat nomination.

“I never thought coming out of the civil rights movement, that I’d see people walking out in fields, carrying torches,” Biden said at South Carolina’s Limestone College in August 2019 when accusing the Trump administration of emboldening racists.

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