A 1987 clip of Joe Biden has resurfaced, showing him exaggerating his academic record, boasting that he graduated “in the top half of my class” - before he later admitted that he graduated 76th in a class of 85.
The former vice president, who’s currently the leading 2020 presidential candidate, was running back then for the Democratic Party's nomination for president when he got combative and made the blunder amid questioning by a reporter about his academic credentials at the Syracuse University College of Law.
“I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship,” he told the reporter during a campaign stop in Claremont, New Hampshire.
“In the first year of the law school, I decided I didn’t want to be in law school and ended up in the bottom two-thirds of my class,” he continued. “And then I decided to stay, went back to law school, and in fact ended up in the top half of my class.”
“And then I decided to stay, went back to law school, and in fact ended up in the top half of my class.”
He added that he was an “outstanding student in the political science department” and “graduated with three degrees from college.”
Shortly after making the claims, Biden had to come out with a confession that he lied about his academic record and actually graduated 76th in a class of 85.
“I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inaccurate,” he told the New York Times in a statement.
“I did not graduate in the top half of my class at law school and my recollection of this was inaccurate.”
“I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors - I said 'three' and should have said 'two,’” he added, though the newspaper points out that Biden actually received a single B.A. degree in history and political science.
During an interview with the Times, he also didn’t dispute the reports that he actually went on the law school “on half scholarship based on financial need” rather than full scholarship as he claimed.
“My recollection is - and I'd have to confirm this - but I don't recall paying any money to go to law school,” he said.
Biden’s 1988 run for Democratic nomination for president ended shortly after the controversy, which also included accusations of plagiarism in his academic work and campaign speeches.
The video resurfaced amid mounting criticism against Biden and his decades-long career in politics that include his support for tough-on-crime bill in the 1990s and his treatment of Anita Hill. Supporters of more progressive candidates such as Sen. Bernie Sanders say Biden’s candidacy is a step backward for the party.