Joe Biden Has Always Been a Compulsive Liar

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Joe Biden is many things, but fit for the presidency is not one of them. Among his many idiosyncrasies—hair sniffing, weirdly snapping at supporters who ask questions, encouraging kids to play with his leg hair, general incoherency, credible accusations of sexual abuse, plagiarism, multiple presidential bids snuffed out for various weirdness—his penchant for lying often escapes scrutiny. The historical record will show, however, throughout his life in public service, Joe has always had a compulsion to lie, even when the situation didn’t warrant it. The only conclusion to draw is Joe Biden is a compulsive liar.

There remains no question that Joe Biden lies like most people breathe air. Many of us have met these types of people over the years. They lie about nothing at all, for no reason at all. Sometimes they lie deliberately to achieve a goal or to attain power. Many times they don’t realize they’ve lied, or don’t care. Many other times, however, they lie deliberately, knowingly, and have no remorse.

Mother Jones, of all outlets, had a thorough breakdown of Joe’s multiple lies about his academic record:

A commenter at the wonderful blog Lawyers, Guns, and Money dug up this C-SPAN video of Joe Biden lying about his academic credentials in 1987.

He later apologized for misrepresenting his record. Here’s the New York Times report published soon after the incident.

In his statement today, Mr. Biden, who attended the Syracuse College of Law and graduated 76th in a class of 85, acknowledged: “I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inacurate.”

As for receiving three degrees, Mr. Biden said: “I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors – I said ‘three’ and should have said ‘two.’” Mr. Biden received a single B.A. in history and political science.

”With regard to my being the outstanding student in the political science department,” the statement went on. “My name was put up for that award by David Ingersoll, who is still at the University of Delaware.”

In the Sunday interview, Mr. Biden said of his claim that he went to school on full academic scholarship: ”My recollection is – and I’d have to confirm this – but I don’t recall paying any money to go to law school.” Newsweek said Mr. Biden had gone to Syracuse ”on half scholarship based on financial need.”

Then there was the time during his 2008 bid for vice president when he inexplicably lied about having family in the coal mining industry:

CASTLEWOOD, Va. – In his first visit to Southwest Virginia, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, speaking at the United Mine Workers’ annual fish fry here on Saturday, was quick to tout his ties to coal.

“I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I am a hard-coal miner, anthracite coal, Scranton, Pa.,” Biden said. “It’s nice to be back in coal country. . . . It’s a different accent [in Southwest Virginia] . . . but it’s the same deal. We were taught that our faith and our family was the only really important thing, and our faith and our family informed everything we did.”

Biden, a U.S. senator from Delaware, told the story of his great-grandfather, a mining engineer who was elected to the state Senate in 1904 and was rumored to be a Molly Maguire, a member of a secret organization tied to union activism and crime in the Pennsylvania coalfields in the 19th century.

Except, in 2004, he went on The Daily Show and told Jon Stewart he’d fabricated the story. That’s what got him busted in 1988 and ended his presidential run, when it was discovered he lifted the story from a speech by a British politician. “Hell, I might be president now,” Biden said, “if it weren’t for the fact I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner. Turns out I didn’t have anybody in the coal mines, you know what I mean? I tried that crap — it didn’t work.”

And yet, four years after he admitted “trying that crap,” he tried that crap again. One wonders if he can even recognize his real memories and distinguish them from the lies he’s told over the years.

Last year, The Washington Examiner gave many examples of lies Joe has repeatedly told throughout his career:

  • Joe Biden claimed twice recently that he met with Parkland, Florida, shooting survivors when he was vice president, despite the fact that he was already out of office when the attack took place.
  • Biden said his helicopter was “forced down” near Osama bin Laden’s lair in Afghanistan. The helicopter actually landed to wait out a snowstorm, according to the Associated Press.
  • Biden said he was “shot at” in Iraq. When asked for details about the shooting, a Biden campaign aide told the Hill that the then-senator was staying at a hotel in the Green Zone when a mortar landed several hundred yards away.
  • Biden said he participated in sit-ins at segregated restaurants and movie theaters. In the 1970s and 1980s, Biden regularly claimed to have been an activist in the civil rights movement and said he participated in sit-ins along U.S. Route 40 in Delaware in 1961. When Biden dropped out of the 1988 presidential race amid his plagiarism scandal, he said the extent of his civil rights participation was working at an all-black swimming pool for a summer in college.
  • Biden said he criticized President George W. Bush during lengthy private meetings in the Oval Office. “The president would never sit through two hours of Joe Biden,” Candida P. Wolff, Bush’s White House liaison to Congress, told Fox News. “I don’t ever remember Biden being in the Oval. He was such a blowhard on all that stuff — there wasn’t a reason to bring him in.”

The Hill has even more examples:

Over the past year, Biden thundered that the Obama administration “didn’t lock people up in cages.” He also claimed that, “Immediately, the moment [the Iraq War] started, I came out against it.” And… “I was always labeled one of the most liberal members of Congress.” Politico’s rating of all three assertions? False.

In regards to lying about his academic resume, The Hill explains:

Biden explained in his 2007 autobiography “Promises to Keep” that he had been angry at that rally since “it sounded to me that one of my own supporters doubted my intelligence.” According to a 1987 Newsweek piece, a supporter had “politely” asked Biden what law school he attended and how well he had done.

Biden bristled, saying “I think I have a much higher IQ than you do,” reeled off his fabricated accomplishments and concluded “I’d be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you’d like, Frank.”

The Newsweek reporter wrote that Biden appears “hyper, glib and intellectually insecure,” and says the 1987 encounter was critical to understanding why Biden’s first run at higher office flopped. “The clip…reflects a view of Biden’s character widely shared in the community. Reporters and political consultants long ago concluded that Biden’s chief character flaw was his tendency to wing it. He seems to lack a crucial synapse between brain and tongue, the one that makes the do-I-really-want-to-say-this decision.”


Interestingly, just last summer complaints arose about Biden “borrowing” the work of others, in putting together his climate plan. As Vox reported, Biden’s plan “contains a number of passages that seem to have been copied and pasted, at times with very superficial changes” from a variety of sources.

If you have the stomach to read Shaun King, who has only tangential connections himself to the civil rights movement, he offers up a thorough evisceration of Biden’s claims of involvement in the fights in the ’60s and ’70s for civil rights.

Larry Elder wrote at Townhall in 2019,

So what if he says since 2007, “150 million people” — almost half of the U.S. population — “have been killed” due to gun violence?

So what if he boasts about his “arrest” in South Africa for supposedly attempting to visit Nelson Mandela, an effort Mandela allegedly later thanked Biden for attempting? Never mind that none of it is true — not the arrest, not the attempted visit and not the thank you from Mandela. According to the Daily Beast: “Biden finally admitted that the story was much different than he’d initially described, saying he told police while on a congressional delegation to South Africa that he was ‘not going to go in that door that says white only’ and separate from his black colleagues.” And so what if Biden, who voted for the Iraq War resolution and publicly accused Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of possessing weapons of mass destruction, now claims he “didn’t believe (Saddam Hussein) had those weapons of mass destruction”?

Elder then brings up probably the most troubling lie told repeatedly by Biden over the years: the circumstances of the horrific death of his wife and daughter:

More disturbingly, Biden lied on at least two occasions about a man named Curtis C. Dunn. Dunn was the tractor-trailer driver who, in 1972, tragically struck and killed Biden’s wife and his infant daughter. Along with many other news outlets, the Huffington Post, in 2008, described the accident this way: “Delaware’s Senator-elect would face a more difficult challenge soon after his election, when a drunk driver struck the car carrying his family, killing his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi and severely wounding sons Hunter and Beau.”

Based on Joe Biden’s account, the Huffington Post got it right. Dunn was driving drunk. After all, in a 2001 speech at the University of Delaware, Biden said, “An errant driver who stopped to drink instead of drive and hit — a tractor-trailer — hit my children and my wife and killed them.” But the then-Delaware prosecutor, now a judge, who investigated the accident says, “The rumor about alcohol being involved by either party, especially the truck driver (Dunn), is incorrect.” Furthermore, the tractor-trailer driver had the right of way, and Dunn immediately got out of his truck and tried to render assistance. He was no drunk driver.

He’s lied about the big things. He’s lied about the small things (like getting hired as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, which never actually happened). He’s plagiarized large items. He’s plagiarized small items. And yet he finds himself elevated to the nomination for the Democratic Party to take on incumbent President Donald Trump. The weirdest aspect of his lies is that they’re so unnecessary. He doesn’t need to embellish his record to show leadership. This indicates that he has a compulsion.

He cannot stop, nor does he want to.

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available now at Jeff hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff.


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