Even the obviously left-leaning news outlet, MSNBC, seems to have had it with the gaffe prone former VP.
One of the network’s most outspokenly anti-Trump hosts, Chris Matthews blasted current Democratic front-runner, Joe Biden over a military story he told on the campaign trail that has been called into question, insisting that a “reporter would be fired” for making such errors.
“He never seems to hurt anybody, really, with these gaffes,” Matthews began the panel discussion on Friday. “The trouble is you don’t know whether there ever was a conversation between the former Vice President and the four-star general where he said, ‘We could lose a vice president.'” Matthews continued, “I mean, he’s not Ernest Hemingway. You don’t get to make it up based upon facts. You have to have the facts.”
The “Hardball” host praised The Washington Post’s reporting, calling its critique of Biden’s account a “beautiful story” that debunked the remarks “point by point.”
“A reporter would be fired for this stuff,” Matthews added.
The Democratic frontrunner’s blunder took place in late August when Biden recounted a story he claimed to be “God’s truth” at a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
At the rally, Biden offered an emotional account of his decision to travel to Afghanistan, despite concerns about the dangers of visiting a war-torn area, in order to honor a Navy captain for retrieving the body of his dead comrade during battle.
According to Biden, he brushed off concerns about the risk of him traveling to the deadly area. “We can lose a vice president,” he said, recounting his words to a crowd during an event on Friday. “We can’t lose many more of these kids. Not a joke.”
The heart-pounding story involved the captain telling Biden that he didn’t “want the medal because his comrade ended up dying.” It left many in the audience breathless. The only problem is, according to The Washington Post it “never happened.” The Post came to that conclusion after speaking with a dozen military and campaign sources.
Comedy of Errors
According to the Post, Biden misremembered and “jumbled” a few different events. “It appears as though the former Vice President has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story,” The Post’s Matt Viser and Greg Jaffe wrote. “In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony.”
During an interview on Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart’s “Cape Up” podcast, Biden acknowledged that he had not read the report but stood firm against the criticism. “I have not read the article but my response is similar to a story you had about the fact that, you know, ‘Joe Biden, you know talked about the assassination of Barack Obama.’ Well, everybody understood the context. It was a totally different context that it was all about. Later, everybody clarified it,” Biden began. “There was no gaffe there. I was making the point to a group of young people that imagine if your generation were confronted with the things that happened in mine.”
“I was making the point about how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we lost. And I don’t know what the problem is. I mean, what is it that I said wrong?”