Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden seemed to be struggling with his selective memory again at a campaign event in South Carolina.
The former vice president told his Georgetown audience this week that he “became a professor” after leaving the White House in 2017, despite the fact that he never taught a single class.
Though Biden was named the “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor” for the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, the school apparently never expected him to actually teach any classes.
Biden baffled voters with his claim, adding to a growing list of gaffes, misstatements and distorted recollections that have plagued the 77-year-old Democrat.
“When I got out of teaching – excuse me – when I got out of the United States Senate, instead of taking a Wall Street job, they’re not bad…but instead of doing the things I never did before, I figured I wasn’t going to change all these years of what I was comfortable doing,” Biden rambled.
“So I became a teacher, I became a professor,” he said.
“But here’s the deal, I also wrote a book about my son because I wanted people to know what a remarkable kid my son was,” he added, referring to Beau Biden, an Iraq War veteran who served as the attorney general of Delaware and died at the age of 46 after a battle with brain cancer. “It stunned me, I didn’t realize it, I made a lot of money.”
But Biden’s educational stint was not quite accurate, and did not follow on the heels of his Senate departure but came at the end of his tenure as vice president in the Obama administration.
An article in The Daily Pennsylvanian in 2017 declared in its headline “No One Is Really Sure What Joe Biden Will Be Doing At Penn,” and reported that “administrators, professors and politically minded students alike are still confused about the nature of his role at the University.”
Biden spokesperson Kate Bedingfield told the news outlet at the time that the former vice president would not be teaching classes. University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy said the “details are still being ironed out” on Biden’s role a few weeks after he was hired in February 2017, soon after he left office.
Vice Provost Anita Allen indicated that Biden was hired to “lead the Washington D.C. Penn Biden Center” though that did not open until 2018. Biden reportedly he took a leave of absence in April 2019 to launch his presidential bid. He was reportedly paid $776,527 by the school for four speeches in 2017 and another four speeches in 2018.
“Joe Biden is paid an egregious amount of money for the limited amount of work that he does on this campus,” student James Morrison wrote last year, noting that his salary was $371,159 in 2017 and $405,368 in 2018.
Morrison argued that the university was “paying an awful lot of money for someone whose job more or less boils down to being a PR prop.”
Biden’s stretching of the facts during this week’s campaign event followed clarifications he was forced to make about claims that he was arrested in the 1970s as he sought to meet with anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
Biden walks claim about being arrested in South Africa while trying to reach Nelson Mandela https://t.co/j4bmrJ14AC
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 28, 2020
“When I said ‘arrested’ I meant I was not able to move, cops would not let me go with them and made me stay where I was,” he told CNN. “I guess I wasn’t arrested, I was stopped, I was not able to move where I wanted to go.”
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