Joe Biden’s stump speech in South Carolina has included a claim he was arrested while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in South Africa. He has repeated the lie many times until today.

Biden was on CNN with John Berman when Berman asked about the story of the arrest. Biden is now claiming he was stopped and separated from his group but not arrested. In previous reports (see below), former UN Ambassador Andrew Young said he remembers nothing about Biden being arrested.

Here’s Joe Biden spinning like crazy to get out of his latest tall tale:


Former Vice President Joe Biden is at it again. He’s known for telling ‘tall tales’ and plagiarizing. Still, Biden’s latest is a curious claim that he was arrested with former UN Ambassador Andrew Young while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in South Africa in the ’70s.

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Andrew Young just weighed in on Biden’s claim during a phone interview with the New York Times:

“No, I was never arrested and I don’t think he was, either. Now, people were being arrested in Washington. I don’t think there was ever a situation where congressmen were arrested in South Africa.”

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Young just added doubt to Biden’s story, but there are also other factors that make Biden’s claim questionable. The NYT never denied Biden’s account of the arrest, but there is no record of the arrest of Biden and he has NEVER mentioned it before now.

Is this a case of pandering gone bad?

Biden mentioned the arrest during an event in South Carolina last week where he’s been pandering for the black vote in a big way:

“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.”

The New York Times notes that Biden never mentioned the arrest in his 2007 memoir.


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