Joe Biden has a long history of claiming arrests which never happened
Joe Biden’s “No Malarkey” bus may need a tune up.
While the former vice president’s family has almost made a sport of racking up arrests and skirting jail time, Biden himself suffers from the opposite problem — bragging about arrests which seemingly never happened.
During his long career, Biden has boasted or spoken of being collared at least three times in his life, but later confessed they were not in fact arrests, a Post review shows.
Unlike his colorful family — who have a collective rap sheet that includes drunk driving, grand larceny, and assault charges spanning decades — Biden employs the cop tales as cute anecdotes in stump speeches and elsewhere.
On at least three occasions in February, Biden told some version of a story about visiting Nelson Mandela in South Africa in the 1970s and being arrested with the independence hero.
“This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid. 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 Robben Island,” Biden told a crowd during a campaign event in Columbia, S.C. on Feb. 11, when Bernie Sanders was still a threat.
The only problem was it didn’t happen.
“It’s a lie,” liberal commentator Mehdi Hasan said in a March video in which he also said Biden was in cognitive decline. “He didn’t misspeak. He didn’t misremember. It wasn’t a gaffe. It was a lie and a really bad one.”
The story was also denounced by independent fact-checkers like Politifact and the Washington Post — which gave the “ridiculous claim” four Pinnocchios. Biden ultimately came clean on CNN two weeks later.
“When I said arrested I meant I was not able to move, cops and Afrikaners would not let me go with them … I guess I wasn’t arrested I was stopped,” he said.
In 2008 — with the presidential election looming — CNN’s Wolf Blitzer tried to put the bravest face on yet another “arrest” back when Biden was a student at the University of Delaware. During remarks to students at the University of Ohio, he riffed on being busted for accidentally wandering into a women’s dormitory while on campus to watch a football game.
“Barack Obama’s running mate playfully admitting he was arrested more than 40 years ago. Biden joked about it in Ohio. He said he was attending a football game between his university and Ohio University and he mistakenly followed what he called … ‘a lovely group of women into an all female dormitory.’ Biden said an officer quickly stopped him noting that men were not allowed inside,” Blitzer said.
In the pre-MeToo era, the story never became a national scandal and an Associated Press account of the remarks at the time said the anecdote was met with “laughter.”
Retelling the moment in 2012 in Athens, Ohio, Biden made an important clarification: “The last time I was here, I want to make clear to the press, I didn’t get arrested, but I almost did. Because back in those days … men weren’t allowed anywhere near a women’s dorm,” he said.
A third “arrest” happened in 1963, when he was a 21-year-old student visiting acquaintances in Washington D.C. On an early Saturday morning, when most of his other friends were still hungover, the future vice president ventured out to the Senate building and walked in for an unofficial stroll.
“I sat down on the presiding officer’s chair and a police officer grabbed me, arrested me, took me downstairs,” Biden recalled in a 2016 interview with C-SPAN. Continuing with the story, Biden said he had a run-in with the same officer eight years later after returning to the chamber legally as a freshman Senator from Delaware.
“I walked in the same door and a cop grabbed me [on] the shoulder and he said, ‘You can’t go there, sir,’ and I turned around and he got a big grin in his face and said, ‘I hope you appreciate the humor, Senator, I arrested you 8 years ago, walking around the floor of the Senate.’ ”
The story also shows up in his 2007 memoir “Promises to Keep,” albeit with no mention of any arrest. Two years later while telling the story again during his farewell address to the Senate, Biden specifically insisted he had not been arrested.
“And the next thing I know, I feel this hand on my shoulder, and a guy picked me — a Capitol policeman picks me up and spins me around, and he said, “What are you doing?” Biden said. “And after a few moments, he realized I was just a dumb-struck kid and didn’t arrest me or anything.”
Reps for the Biden campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Biden’s rap sheet from The Post.
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