The Washington Post awarded President Biden its harshest fact-check rating of “Four Pinocchios” over his false claim this week that he was “arrested” for the first time as a teenager while attending a civil rights protest in Delaware.
In a Thursday piece headlined, “Biden claims yet another arrest for which there’s little evidence,” Glenn Kessler, The Post’s resident fact-checker, wrote that Biden was “not always a reliable source” when it came to his “exaggerated” stories, and that too many elements of his claim didn’t add up.
“I did not walk in the shoes of generations of students who walked these grounds. But I walked other grounds. Because I’m so damn old, I was there as well. You think I’m kidding, man. It seems like yesterday the first time I got arrested,” Biden told the crowd at his Tuesday speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
According to Kessler, Biden appeared to be referencing a story he told on a number of occasions about a conversation he had with his mother in 2008 when deciding whether he should accept former President Obama’s offer to become his running mate.
In the story, Biden’s mother reminded him of when he was a teenager and went to support a Black family who purchased a home in a town not far from where the Biden’s lived amid a protest against the family moving in.
Kessler noted that Biden told the story with several variations over time, with some referencing him getting “arrested” by the police, and others saying they brought him home to his parents to keep him from getting in trouble. Other variations included his age, as well as the protest location.
Kessler added that Biden also never made any mention of the arrest in his memoirs, even when discussing the same conversation with his mother.