Thirty-three years ago, current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s first attempt to run for president collapsed after a plagiarism scandal and numerous, blatant falsehoods came to light.
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway reported Friday that Biden has now resurrected one of the false claims that led to him dropping out of the Democratic primary in 1987. During a CNN Town Hall on Thursday night, Biden claimed he was the first member of his family to go to college, a claim he admitted was not true back in 1987.
That didn’t stop Biden-supporting political reporters from praising the line, including Politico’s Tim Albert, who called it possibly the “single-most effective line deployed against Trump since he rode down the escalator.”
Yet the line is not true.
In 1987, The New York Times published a quote from Biden admitting that he was not the first in his family to go to college.
“In addition, Mr. Biden said … he had miscast some of his own forebears, painting them as having rather more humble origins than they in fact did. For example, borrowing Mr. Kinnock’s sentiments, Mr. Biden had said he was ‘the first in his family ever to go to university.’ In fact, Mr. Biden said today, ‘there are Finnegans, my mother’s family, that went to college,’” the Times reported.
As Hemingway noted, Biden’s “great-grandfather attended college at a time in which fewer than 2 percent of college-aged men and women in the United States did so.”
It wasn’t the only lie regarding his education that Biden made back in 1987 while running for president, as Hemingway reported. During a campaign stop 33 years ago, a voter asked Biden what law school he attended and how well he did. Biden responded:
I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my — in my class to have a full academic scholarship. In the first year in law school I decided didn’t want to be in law school and ended up in the bottom two-thirds of my class, and then decided I wanted to stay, went back to law school, and in fact ended up in the top half of my class. I won the international moot-court competition. I was the outstanding student in the political science department at the end of my year. I graduated with three degrees from undergraduate school and 165 credits — I only needed 123 credits. And I’d be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you’d like Frank.
Hemingway explained how many falsehoods were included in that one Biden response:
It turned out that Biden did not receive a full academic scholarship, but a half scholarship based on financial need. He did not end up in the top half of his class, but near the very bottom. There is no record of him winning the moot court competition. He did not receive the outstanding student award at the University of Delaware. And he graduated with only one degree.
This was the same failed presidential campaign where it was discovered Biden plagiarized five pages of a law review article and lifted biographical details from British Labor politician Neil Kinnock.