Biden claims he was ‘raised’ in synagogues, adding to ever-growing list of exaggerated background claims
President Biden’s latest claim about being ‘raised in the synagogues’ of Delaware follows a long history of the octogenarian president exaggerating his cultural background in an attempt to connect with people he’s speaking to.
‘I, you might say, was raised in the synagogues of my state. You think I’m kidding, I’m not,’ Biden told a group of rabbis during a call Thursday ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year holiday that began Friday.
The president, who calls himself a devout Catholic, has made the claim before, though there’s little evidence to support it.
‘I probably went to shul more than many of you did,’ Biden said last year during a speech marking Rosh Hashanah. ‘You all think I’m kidding … I’m not. I’m not.’
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Biden said at the time, ‘I received my education’ at the Congregation Beth Shalom in Wilmington, Delaware. But neither of Biden’s memoirs make any mention of Beth Shalom or attending synagogue, the New York Post previously reported.
Biden also told the rabbis Thursday that he ‘got involved with the civil rights movement’ before becoming a senator – a claim that Biden himself acknowledged wasn’t true during his 1988 presidential bid that was derailed over plagiarism allegations.
‘During the ’60s, I was, in fact, very concerned about the civil rights movement,’ then-presidential candidate Biden said in 1987. ‘I was not an activist. I worked at an all-Black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware. I was involved in what they were thinking, in what they were feeling.’
‘But I was not out marching, I was not down in Selma,’ he continued. ‘I was not anywhere else.’
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Biden has also frequently claimed to have attended a Black church as a teenager despite longtime congregants insisting that they never saw him.
‘Let’s lay one thing to rest. I may be a practicing Catholic, but [I] used to go to 7:30 Mass every morning in high school and then in college before I went to the Black church,’ Biden said. ‘Not a joke.’
In February 2015, Biden raised eyebrows after he claimed he had ‘an awful lot’ of Somali friends who drove taxis.
‘Somalis have made my city of Wilmington, Delaware, [their home] on a smaller scale. There is a large, very identifiable Somali community,’ he said. ‘I might add if you ever come to the train station with me you’ll notice I have great relationships with them, because there’s an awful lot driving cabs and are friends of mine. For real. I’m not being solicitous. I’m being serious.’
The Washington Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, called the claim a ‘whopper’ and argued that the vast majority of refugees who settled in the area hailed from West African countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, not Somalia.
In February, Twitter users piled on Biden after he boasted about growing up in a Polish community while visiting the country.
At the time, Biden met with Polish President Andrzej Duda regarding the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine entering its second year. While speaking to the media, the president recalled his own connections to Poland, saying that his childhood home was in a Polish community.
‘I was, as a young man, I was born in a coal town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, northeastern Pennsylvania, in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood. Then when coal died, we moved down to Delaware, to a town called Claymont, Delaware, which was a working-class town, but everybody in town was either Polish or Italian. I grew up feeling self-conscious my name didn’t end in an S-K-I or an O,’ Biden said.
He continued, ‘But all kidding aside, the connection between — I was telling the president, the pride, the overwhelming, demonstrable pride that Polish Americans feel about Poland and the role you are playing now, we were talking about it, it is extreme. It is. You would be — if you haven’t seen it, you should come and see it.’
Several social media users have also pointed out that Biden has frequently claimed to have grown up in various communities, depending on his location, most notably the Puerto Rican community.
In October 2022, President Biden visited Puerto Rico on Monday in an effort to express support for the island following the impacts of Hurricane Fiona, saying he was raised in the Puerto Rican community on the U.S mainland in a political context.
‘We have a very… large Puerto Rican population in Delaware,’ he said. ‘I was sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community at home, politically. We came here for a long time as part of both business and pleasure. I’m committed to this island.’
Additionally, Biden insisted during Greek Independence Day 2009, ‘I’m an honorary Greek — not only today but every day!’ He also stated on another occasion, ‘We haven’t had a Greek in the White House, but now we have Joe Bidenopoulos.’
The White House did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.