Biden’s Empathy Persona Is Based on Lies

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

In 2020, the media pitted Joe Biden’s empathy against Donald Trump’s supposed cruel demeanor. Biden frequently cited his character on the campaign trail, proclaiming himself to be a man of empathy.

But the empathy that supposedly defines Biden’s persona is all based on lies. He can’t speak before an audience of a particular group without claiming to have been a part of that community in his youth. By his own account, he was “raised” in a black church, a Jewish synagogue, and the Puerto Rican community. He’ll tell the LGBTQ community he had an epiphany on same-sex marriage as a teenager, even though as a senator he supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Art. He even opposed civil unions for same-sex couples as vice president. His also grossly exaggerates his record on civil rights and getting arrested. He’s claimed his son Beau died in combat in Iraq, even though he actually died from brain cancer.

He tells these tall tales about his life to curry favor with certain groups, and they, in turn, have contributed to the perception that he is a man of empathy. He is so committed to the lies that even when his stories get debunked, he continues to tell them—even after those he is attempting to empathize with are insulted by them.

After ignoring the people affected by the wildfires in Maui, when Biden finally showed up he compared the plight of the victims to another one of his fictional stories: the house fire that he claims nearly destroyed his home. “I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense — Jill and I — what it’s like to lose a home. I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette, and my cat.”

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His grossly exaggerated story sparked outrage among the victims. At the time, the Associated Press described the fire as “a small fire that was contained to the kitchen.”  One would think that maybe someone at the White House would say, “Stop telling this fake story to empathize with victims because you sound ridiculous” — but no. Biden once again referred to the same incident when discussing the plight of victims of Hurricane Idalia in Florida. After speaking of what happened in Hawaii, Biden said, “I didn’t [have] anything like that, but lightning struck my house. We had to be out of that house for about seven months while it was repaired, because so much damage was done to the house,” before adding a new embellishment: that “half the house almost collapsed.”

Biden also previously told a version of the same story in October 2022 to victims of Hurricane Ian in Florida, telling them, “I know from experience, how much — how much anxiety and fear and concern [unintelligible] the people. We didn’t lose our whole home, but lightning struck and we lost an awful lot of it about 15 years ago.”

How many times can Biden keep lying about that kitchen fire story, tweaking it each time to suit the occasion? Biden is not a man of empathy. He’s a politician, and one of the phoniest one at that. His entire life story—the one he tells publicly—is full of falsehoods and embellishments.

How much longer will he be allow to get away with it?


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