Joseph R. Biden declared last year on the campaign trail that he began his academic career at Delaware State University, a historically Black college, a claim that the school refutes.
Carlos Holmes, director of news service for Delaware State, said that Mr. Biden was never a student, although he has made appearances twice on campus for commencement speeches at the public university in Dover, one of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
“Vice President Biden did not attend DSU,” said Mr. Holmes in a Thursday email. “However he was the Commencement keynote speaker in 2003 and , and during the former he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree.”
Mr. Biden made the claim ahead of the South Carolina Democratic primary during a town hall held Oct. 26, 2019, at historic Wilson High School in Florence, which was founded in 1866 by the Freedmen’s Bureau for Black children seeking an education.
“I got started out of an HBCU, Delaware State — now, I don’t want to hear anything negative about Delaware State,” Mr. Biden told the audience, drawing laughter, as shown on video. “They’re my folks.”
Mr. Biden, who went on to win the South Carolina primary on his way to the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has been long accused of making up the DSU connection, but the university’s denial appears to erase any doubt.
The Washington Times has reached out to the Biden campaign for comment.
Mr. Biden’s 2007 memoir, “Promises to Keep,” proceeds from his years at Archmere Academy, a private Catholic school in Clayton, Delaware, to his enrollment as a freshman at the University of Delaware without mentioning Delaware State.
Biden claims he “got started out of an HBCU, Delaware State” when he did not attend the universitypic.twitter.com/LnBOS1wQlT
— Tommy Pigott (@TCPigott) October 26, 2019
The former vice president has been caught numerous times embellishing his biography, including statements that he was the first in his family to attend college and that his relatives worked as coal miners, both of which he later admitted were false.
Mr. Biden has also been accused of exaggerating his record on civil-rights activism, such as his assertions about participating in marches. During his first presidential run in 1987, for example, he declared that he “marched with tens of thousands,” a claim that has been largely discounted.
The 2010 biography “Joe Biden” by veteran political reporter Jules Witcover described him as someone who was sympathetic to the movement but “was taking no visible part in either the local racial unrest or the war protest.”
“It was not until his exposure to black contemporaries as a lifeguard, he said, that he finally began to understand, and then he saw his best engagement as a lawyer, not a marcher,” the book said.
Earlier this month, the Biden campaign named DSU President Tony Allen, who previously worked as a speechwriter in Mr. Biden’s Senate office, to the Biden transition team advisory council.
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