Biden: Hey, remember that time I got arrested in a civil-rights protest?

Biden: Hey, remember that time I got arrested in a civil-rights protest?

Spoiler alert: The correct answer to a question about remembering a mythical event is no. If Joe Biden actually remembers “the first time I got arrested” for participating in a civil rights protest, then it’s time for a presidential cognition test.  In all likelihood, this is just Biden lying as a condescending, stolen-honor pander to his audience (via Twitchy):

Biden often claims to have gotten arrested as a measure of his civil-rights bona fides. Just as often, those claims get exposed as outright lies, prompting Biden to dissemble … and then come back and make the same claims all over again. Remember this PolitiFact “Pants on Fire” rating on Biden’s claim about getting arrested in South Africa on his way to meet Nelson Mandela?

“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 Robbens Island.” (It’s actually Robben Island.)

The New York Times recounted how Biden made similar statements two other times, but reporters could not find evidence to back up his claim that he was arrested. The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker then gave Biden Four Pinocchios. Snopes and also fact-checked his statements.

In the language of PolitiFact, it was a Pants on Fire story. We contacted Biden’s campaign to ask about his initial claims that he was arrested, and the later accounts in which he said he was stopped, and did not get a reply.

Biden later claimed he was “stopped” on the tarmac of the airport during a visit, which PolitiFact confirmed with Andrew Young. He objected to the apartheid-mandated separate entrances to the airport that would have separated the congressional delegation, stood his ground, and the entire delegation went in through the baggage claim area together. That’s an admirable stand to take, but it’s not an “arrest” or even a “stop” by police, and it had nothing to do with access to Mandela. Even after Young’s explanation, PolitiFact kepts its Pants On Fire rating.

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler notes that Biden’s lied about his civil-rights activities before as well. The claim about a civil-rights arrest here in the US is something new to Kessler’s ears, however:

As always, let’s the man speak for himself … in 1987:

If he wan’t marching or an activist, then when exactly did Biden get “arrested” on behalf of the civil rights movement? We know he picketed a movie theater once and walked out of a restaurant once over objections to segregated access — again, both laudable but hardly the activism that Biden wants to claim now.

Kessler seems primed to delve into Biden’s lengthy rap sheet at some point, so we can perhaps hope for a fact check out of the Washington Post. Perhaps PolitiFact might pick up this thread, too. Expect the White House to either ignore these questions or come up with a parking ticket to explain this new claim of civil-rights martyrdom from Biden. In the meantime, we can marvel at just how often and breezily Biden lies about himself and others while the media largely suspends its presidential-lies hysteria after four years of intense focus.

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