Joe Biden, in Latest Flub, Claims He Was Vice President in 2018

August 12, 2019 Updated: August 12, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden misspoke, claiming he was vice president in 2018, in the fourth such gaff this week, while speaking to reporters over the weekend.

“Those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president,” Biden told reporters in Iowa on Aug. 10, according to Bloomberg. The teenagers wanted to talk to members of Congress but lawmakers were “basically cowering, not wanting to see them. They did not want to face it on camera.”

The mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, took place in 2018. Biden left office in early 2017.

Biden and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords met with Marjory Stoneman Douglas students in Washington several days after the shooting.

Biden’s comment to reporters came after he made the same claim earlier in the day at a gun control forum in Des Moines sponsored by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. At the forum, Biden said: “I met with them and then they went off up on the Hill when I was vice president.”

An official with Biden’s campaign told Bloomberg that the former vice president made a mistake and was thinking about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, which took place in December 2012 while Biden was still in office.

Kate Bedingfield, a Biden spokeswoman, sent out a link on Twitter on Aug. 11 about Biden meeting with Parkland students, along with a comment.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who consoles Americans in their time of need so often that he sometimes mistakes the timing? But even more so, wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who will actually fight to prevent these tragedies?”

She didn’t address Biden’s latest claim.

Biden’s flubs came after he told a crowd of mostly Asian and Latino people on Aug. 8 that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

He paused as several people started applauding before adding “wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.”

The line was highlighted by President Donald Trump’s campaign team. Andrew Clark, rapid response director for the campaign, wrote of the “slip-up” on Twitter: “Yikes … have fun mitigating that one.”

Biden later told reporters that the crowd understood what he meant.

Biden also told a crowd at the state fair that “we choose truth over facts.”

At another point on Aug 8, he insisted to a reporter that Trump didn’t condemn neo-Nazis after Charlottesville, even though there’s video evidence showing the president doing just that.

Earlier in August, Biden mixed up the locations of the recent mass shootings, which took place El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, saying they happened in Houston and Michigan.

Trump’s campaign hammered Biden for his “poor kids” gaffe, saying it was part of “a pattern.”

Trump later told reporters that Biden “is not playing with a full deck.”

“He made that comment, I said, ‘Whoa!’” the president said.

“This is not somebody you can have as your president, but if he got the nomination, I’d be thrilled,” he said. “Joe Biden can’t answer a simple question; something’s gone wrong with him.”

“Donald Trump is desperate to change the subject from his atrocious record of using racism to divide this country,” Bedingfield said in response to Trump.

“Vice President Biden misspoke and immediately corrected himself during a refrain he often uses to make the point that all children deserve a fair shot, and children born into lower-income circumstances are just as smart as those born to wealthy parents,” she said.

The Trump campaign noted that Biden suggested in 2007 that one reason Washington schools fail is because they have a high percentage of minorities.

Trump took to Twitter over the weekend, adding: “Joe Biden just said, ‘We believe in facts, not truth.’ Does anybody really believe he is mentally fit to be president? We are ‘playing’ in a very big and complicated world. Joe doesn’t have a clue!”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

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