OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden’s legendary ‘storytelling’ got another boost on Friday during his commencement speech to the graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
According to a video clip posted by the RNC, Biden claimed that he had been accepted to the vaunted military institution back in 1965, but he declined the invite because future NFL Hall of Fame Roger Staubach blocked his path to playing for the Midshipmen.
The president said that he instead went to the University of Delaware, which is accurate, but he never played varsity football there and there is no evidence he was offered but turned down an invite to play for Navy.
Additionally, according to The Daily Wire, the years do not come close to aligning, adding: “It appears to be the latest example of Biden trying to fit in with a crowd of people he’s addressing by saying he’s been in their shoes.”
“I was appointed to the Academy in 1965 by a senator who I was running against in 1972,” Biden noted in his speech as part of a story about Sen. J. Caleb Boggs, whom he beat to become the country’s youngest senator at the time.
Joe Biden falsely claimed he “was appointed to the [Naval] Academy in 1965” while speaking to Naval Academy graduates today.
Biden graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965, making that impossible. pic.twitter.com/oSTmjeqSLb
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 27, 2022
“I didn’t come to the Academy because I wanted to be a football star,” Biden continued. “And you had a guy named Staubach and Bellino here. So I went to Delaware.”
But again, the dates don’t align, the Daily Wire points out:
Biden would’ve been 23 in 1965 and graduated from the University of Delaware that same year.
Biden was a pretty good wide receiver at Wilmington’s Archmere Academy, once catching three touchdown passes from quarterback Bill Peterman during their 1-6 junior year. During his 1960 senior year at Archmere, with a new coach, Biden scored 10 touchdowns in eight games and the team went undefeated.
Staubach and Joe Bellino, the only two Navy players to win the Heisman trophy, were gone before 1965. Staubach graduated in 1964, and went off to fight in Vietnam before coming home and having a storied career with the Dallas Cowboys. Bellino was a halfback who graduated in 1961, also fought in Vietnam, and had a brief career in the NFL.
In 2008, Biden took heat for telling what seemed to be a tall football tale about playing for the University of Delaware against Ohio University.
“I came here in 1963, and I had to go back, I just double-checked my memory – you know, you get my age and you’re not so sure of it, you know, your glory days look more glorious than they really were and all that, so we went back on the Internet and I just want you to know, I came here in October 1963, and we beat you Bobcats 29-12,” the president claimed.
However, a fact-check revealed that Biden had only briefly been on the school’s freshman football team during the 1961 season and was never a varsity player.
“Joe Biden DID play on the 1961 University of Delaware freshman team, but did not finish out the season in order to earn a letter,” noted Delaware Sports Information Director Scott Selheimer in 2012. “He later came out for the team in the spring of 1963 and took part in practices, but did not end up playing varsity football in the fall of 1963 when the official competition season takes place. Thus he was not listed on the roster.”
At the time, a spokesperson for the then-vice president clarified that what Biden really meant was that he went to cheer on the Delaware team, not actually play.
“The Vice President went to Athens with the University of Delaware football team to cheer,” the aide said. “As he makes clear in his statement, he played football, but not during the fall of his junior year.”
During the same speech, Biden had another odd ‘whisper into the mic’ moment and made a false statement regarding North Korea.
“Did anybody think, when I called for sanctions against Russia, in addition to NATO, did Australia, Japan, North Korea … would stand up and support?” he said, confusing North Korea for South Korea.
After accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of attempting to wipe out Ukrainian culture with his invasion, he then leaned in to whisper what may have been a scary reminder to most of the 1,200 graduating midshipmen: “I’m your commander-in-chief.”
Also, Biden exaggerated the number of times he had been to U.S.-involved war zones over the years.
“I’ve been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan of over 40 I think 38 times,” the president said.
Fox News noted: “That number was incorrect, however. A spokesperson for Biden’s National Security Council (NSC) said Friday the correct number of times Biden visited Iraq and Afghanistan is 21.”