Biden Launches Reelection Campaign on Anniversary of ‘Fine People Hoax’

Joel Pollak and Joe Biden (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

President Joe Biden launched his reelection campaign on Tuesday, April 25 — the fourth anniversary of his use of the Charlottesville “fine people hoax” as the focus of his campaign launch video on the same date in 2019.

As Breitbart News reported at the time, in “Joe Biden Launches Campaign Based on Charlottesville ‘Very Fine People’ Hoax”:

Former Vice Preisdent Joe Biden launched his third presidential campaign on Thursday by referring to a debunked claim that President Donald Trump referred to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 as “very fine people.”

Biden then cited the debunked “very fine people” claim:

And that’s when we heard the words of the President of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said there were, quote, some “very fine people on both sides.” Very fine people on both sides? With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate, and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew that the threat to this nation was unlike any I had every seen in my lifetime.

What Biden said is completely untrue, as the transcript of Trump’s press conference about Charlottesville shows.

Trump was referring to protesters against the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, as well as to non-violent left-wing protesters against racism, and specifically excluded the neo-Nazis from “very fine people” (emphasis added):

REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.

TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

REPORTER: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same.

TRUMP: Oh no, George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down – excuse me. Are we going to take down, are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Okay, good. Are we going to take down his statue? He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? You know what? It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.

Biden repeated the hoax throughout his campaign and well into his presidency, though it was publicly debunked again on several occasions — including by then-Vice President Mike Pence during his debate with then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and later by Trump’s defense team during his second impeachment trial.

This reporter publicly confronted Biden about his false claims — which Biden simply continued to make:

Despite the hoax being exposed as one of the more egregious lies in American presidential campaign history, Biden remained sentimentally attached to the date of his campaign launch, and chose it to announce his run for reelection via a video released on social media. This time, images of January 6 substituted for Charlottesville:

The announcement dwells on the phrase “personal freedom,” a reference to abortion. It fails to mention a single achievement of Biden’s first term in office, or anything that Biden might hope to achieve in his second term.

Instead, Biden largely repeats the theme of his 2020 campaign, which was built around the “fine people hoax.”

“When I ran for president four years ago, I said we were in a ‘battle for the soul of America.’ And we still are.”

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 new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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