Biden Repeats Two Falsehoods in Less Than a Minute

September 18, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden repeated two falsehoods in less than one minute Thursday night, first that he would be the first president that didn't go to an Ivy League school and then that he was the first person in his family to go to college.

Neither of the claims are true—Ronald Reagan was the most recent U.S. president who did not attend an Ivy League university, but there were many others, including Harry Truman, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington. Biden also admitted to the New York Times back in 1987 that there were members of his mother's family who had attended college before him.

When Biden was running for president in 1987, Biden was found to have borrowed significant portions of speeches by British Labor Party politician Neil Kinnock, including a line about being the first in his family to go to college. Biden claimed he did not knowingly plagiarize Kinnock, but the scandal helped sink his presidential aspirations.

Biden was fact-checked for his falsehoods afterward but still has the response posted on his Twitter account.

Biden's answer came in response to a question from CNN's Anderson Cooper, who asked the former vice president if he had benefited from his "white privilege." Biden said that he had, but then he went on to tout his Scranton, Pa., roots and lack of an Ivy League degree.

Published under: Fact Check , Joe Biden