Biden Claims He Convinced Strom Thurmond To Vote For The Civil Rights Act
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 28: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an East Room reception at the White House on August 28, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden hosted a reception to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden recently said that he “literally” convinced the late Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) to vote for the Civil Rights Act — a statement critics quickly questioned on at least two points.

Biden was speaking to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law — on the 60th anniversary of the group’s founding — when he made the claim.


“Pause for just a moment. I thought things had changed,” Biden said. “I was able to — literally, not figuratively — talk Strom Thurmond into voting for the Civil Rights Act before he died. And I thought, ‘Well, maybe there’s real progress,’ but hate never dies, it just hides. It hides under the rocks.”

But Biden’s claim was problematic for at least a couple of reasons, not the least of which being that the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964 — nearly a decade before Biden was even elected to the U.S. Senate. In addition, Thurmond — who famously filibustered the bill in 1957 — voted no on the final bill.

“Any idea what Biden is talking about? Strom Thurmond voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he died almost 40 years later, and Biden was in college at that time …” @AGHamilton asked via a post on X.

“Biden has the same time-traveling powers as Joy Reid’s hacker,” journalist Glenn Greenwald joked.

“For those unaware, Biden was 22 when the Civil Rights Act passed,” John Hasson added. “So no, he definitely didn’t talk Strom Thurmond into voting for it.”

Congressional reporter Jamie Dupree suggested that President Biden might have been referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1991 — which was primarily a labor law passed in response to several Supreme Court decisions that imposed limits on the rights of employees suing employers for discrimination.


“I assume what Biden is talking about here is the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which Sen. Strom Thurmond R-SC did vote for. Thurmond opposed the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 & 1968, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” he said.

The White House told Fox News Digital a different story, however, saying that Biden had meant to say he convinced Thurmond to support the 1980 Voting Rights Act.

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