President Joe Biden told an audience of black students on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University on Tuesday that he was arrested during the civil rights struggle, though there is no evidence that such an arrest ever happened.
Biden was speaking in support of Democrats’ so-called “voting rights” legislation, including the John Lewis Voting Rights Act Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, which are one-sided bills currently struggling to pass a Senate filibuster.
In closing his speech, Biden told students at the historically black institutions that the vote on these bills was a defining moment, one that would mark whether leaders were on the side of the Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis. He added:
The struggle to protect voting rights has never been borne by one group alone. We saw Freedom Fiders of every race, leaders of every faith, marching arm in arm — and yes, Democrats and Republicans in Congress of the United States and in the presidency. I did not live the struggles of Douglass, Tubman, King, Lewis, Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner, countless others known and unknown. I did not walk in the shoes of generation of students who walked these grounds. But I walked other grounds, because i’m so damn old I was there as well. [Laughter] They think I’m kidding, man. It seems like yesterday, the first time I got arrested — anyway. [Laughter] But their struggles, here, they’re the ones that opened my eyes as a high school student in the late 50’s and early 60’s. They got me more engaged in the work of my life.
i was unaware that joe biden was arrested in a civil rights demonstration? pic.twitter.com/qFbjdcPVXg
— Justin Sink (@justinsink) January 11, 2022
Biden has made similar claims before, most of which were later proved false. In 2020, he had to walk back a false claim that he was arrested in South Africa while trying to see jailed leader (and later president) Nelson Mandela.
…Politifact gave Biden a "Pants on Fire" rating for his last claim of being arrested. https://t.co/bxD4AbK3bx Biden then walked it back but seems to have had that or another arrest in mind today while speaking at Morehouse College. https://t.co/VS2t3y6OoM
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) January 11, 2022
Biden has also made dubious and somewhat retracted claims about marching personally in civil rights demonstrations.
Last week, in a speech on the anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot, Biden emphasized the importance of truth in history.
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). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. 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.