Joe Biden is like the onion that hides out undetected for six months at the back of your refrigerator’s vegetable crisper. When you finally peel away the top layer to see if there is anything salvageable underneath, you discover instead that every layer is rotten, right down to the core.
The DNC and Biden campaign are doing their best to focus away from the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations, hoping ultimately that the scandal will devolve into a “he said, she said.” And they have worn blinders when the former vice president’s many mental and verbal gaffes have been mentioned.
But even if Team Biden is successful in quashing those unpleasant realities, it is left having to defend his propensity for making stuff up about himself and his history of intellectual property theft.
Back in February when Biden’s campaign seemed destined to crash and burn, the New York Times — never one shy away from hitting a man when he’s down — reminded its readers that “Biden has recounted a story — three times in two weeks — about being arrested on his way to see Nelson Mandela. He did not mention it in his memoir or speak prominently of it before.”
“This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid,” Mr. Biden said at a campaign event in South Carolina last week. “I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on Robbens Island.”
None of this, the Times hastens to point out, ever happened, but that hasn’t prevented the presumptive Democratic nominee from repeating it several times since.
Last week, Politifact reminded prospective voters about a pack of lies about his educational credentials that Biden had unleashed at a campaign stop in 1987. Here’s the original boast, courtesy of C-SPAN:
And here is the media’s reaction to the story at the time, beginning at 0:30:
As for Biden’s intellectual property theft, Jeffrey Lord writes at NewsBusters:
Biden’s problem arose when the campaign manager for the rival campaign of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis leaked a video that had side-by-side comparisons of a Biden speech and a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. As is pointed out in the flashback, the side-by-side “clips showed Biden aping Kinnock talking about his wife being the first in her family to go to college, and about his ancestors playing football for hours after a long day of working in the mines.”
The video raised an immediate ruckus, which in turn resulted in a statement from the Biden campaign that this was simply a crediting mistake and that Biden did not plagiarize.
In September 1987, Lord goes on to note, Biden plagiarized a speech that Robert Kennedy had given.
These and dozens of other examples are sure to find their way into RNC ads and debate responses in the event the Democrats decided to gamble with Biden. It should be interesting to watch.