Joe Biden finally pulled the trigger to jump into the race for the Democrat nomination for president, but he does so on the basis of a lie about what Donald Trump said about the protestors at Charlottesville, Virginia.
In his campaign announcement video, Biden regurgitated the lie that Donald Trump said that he felt there were some “very fine Nazis” who showed up during the riots in Charlottesville in August of 2017.
But Trump never, never said any of this.
In a three-and-a-half minute video announcement, the former vice president insisted that the 2017 riot is his main reason for running against Trump, he went on to lie about what transpired there.
After talking about Charlottesville’s role in American history, Biden added, “Charlottesville is also home to a defining moment for this nation in the last few years,” then he added footage of a neo-Nazi procession.
Biden said these neo-Nazis were “chanting the same antisemitic bile heard in the ’30s.” Then he added that they were “met by a courageous group of Americans, and a violent clash ensured.”
Biden then cited the lie:
And that’s when we heard the words of the President of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said there were, quote, some “very fine people on both sides.” Very fine people on both sides? With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate, and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew that the threat to this nation was unlike any I had every seen in my lifetime.
Here is Biden’s lie-filled announcement, if you can stomach it:
This is all a lie. Trump was VERY clear that he was NOT referring to Nazis and white nationalists. He was talking about the rallies that preceded the riots where opposing groups met over the removal of the Confederate statues.
Here is a transcript of his comments:
REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.
TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.
REPORTER: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same.
TRUMP: Oh no, George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down – excuse me. Are we going to take down, are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Okay, good. Are we going to take down his statue? He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? You know what? It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.
So, right off the bat, Joe Biden launches his campaign with a lie.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.