Aides to former Vice President Joe Biden made an attempt to explain away Biden’s 1987 claim to have “marched” in the civil rights movement. But it caused laughter from a panel on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
CNN anchor Jake Tapper introduced the topic by recounting a New York Times account of Biden’s 1987 “false claim” published Monday. The 2020 presidential candidate’s direct quote from the report, which discusses the “calamity” and “missteps” of his first presidential run, reads:
“When I marched in the civil rights movement, I did not march with a 12-point program,” Mr. Biden said with emotion. He was testing his presidential message in February 1987 before a New Hampshire audience. “I marched with tens of thousands of others to change attitudes. And we changed attitudes.”
Advisers then gently reminded Mr. Biden of the problem with this formulation: He had not actually marched during the civil rights movement. And more than once, Mr. Biden assured them he understood — and kept telling the story anyway.
“That is really, really weird,” Tapper said before handing the conversation off to his panel.
CNN Senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny agreed:
“It is … When he gets very comfortable out on the stump speaking and other things, he has tended to embellish. He has tended to, you know, make things sound slightly rosier than they are. Now, his aides have went back to say, ‘Look, he was in office marching for the idea of civil rights, but was not actually marching in the streets.’ But that would not fly as much [today].”
The panel then started to laugh.
“That’s not what the word marching means,” Tapper joked. “I know, you’re just telling what they said.”
“But in the day of Twitter and Instagram, there would be pictures of him not marching,” said Zeleny. “So, you cannot get away with that. That’s his big challenge, can he modernize, and has he sort of brushed away all of those old tendencies he had that ultimately ended up with him dropping out before the Iowa Caucuses by — because he plagiarized a speech.”
Former Hillary Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney called the idea of another candidate questioning Biden on his claim “a perfect moment for a debate.”
Credit: Daily Caller