The claim: In 1973, Joe Biden said he knows ‘what is good for the negro’
As former Vice President Joe Biden makes his third run for the White House, his nearly five decades as a political figure have become an area ripe for scrutiny.
His record of votes, speeches and more dates back to when he was first elected to the Senate in 1972.
Recently, Peggy Hubbard — who ran unsuccessfully to represent the Republican Party as a candidate for the Senate — took to Facebook to share a purported quote from a speech early in his career.
“Joe Biden in 1973: ‘I know what is good for the negro,'” reads text overlaid on the black-and-white photo of Biden that Hubbard posted.
In the caption, she questioned which presidential candidate would be more beneficial to Black Americans, if elected.
“Joe Biden said, President Trump will put US back in chains…I think that’s in reverse, Joe will,” Hubbard wrote. “THIS BLACK GIRL VOTES TRUMP!”
In response to a request for comment from USA TODAY, Hubbard wrote that USA TODAY is “left leaning and bias.”
“Joe Biden has made MANY racially charged comments and statements about black Americans,” she added.
In 1973, Biden said he thought ‘the two party system’ was ‘good for the negro’
It’s true that Biden made a similar remark at a speech at The City Club of Cleveland in 1973.
On its website, The City Club of Cleveland explained that Biden was actually a substitute speaker and discussed the topic of Watergate. He also discussed “his views on the Republican Party, politics overall and money.”
The City Club of Cleveland made a recording of the speech — delivered May 18, 1973 — available online.
Asked if he had noticed Southern senators becoming “warmer now toward the problems of the negro in America,” Biden listed Southern Democrats who he thought led the “change in attitude.”
“And you have Republicans alike, coming up,” he added. “It’s not confined to a party.”
Then, he launched into the quote in question:
“I think the two-party system, although my Democratic colleagues won’t like me saying this, I think the two-party system is good for the South, and good for the negro and good for the black in the South,” Biden said. “Other than the fact they still call me ‘boy,’ I think they’ve changed their mind a little bit.”
TJ Ducklo, a spokesperson for his campaign, told Cleveland.com that the purpose of that speech was about the preservation of political institutions.
“Vice President Biden believes Donald Trump is deliberately undermining the very institutions of our democracy that Biden and so many others have fought to strengthen,” Ducklo said. “He believes the Trump Administration continues to commit gross abuses of power, and it has to stop. He’s running for president to bring respected leadership back to the world stage and dignified leadership here at home, and to end the corruption that has become the hallmark of this Administration.”
Our rating: False
Based on our research, the claim that Biden said “I know what is good for the negro” is FALSE. In 1973, Biden said he thought that the two-party system was “good for the South, and good for the negro and good for the black in the South,” per a recording from The City Club of Cleveland, where he gave the speech. However, he did not say, verbatim, “I know what is good for the negro.”
Our fact-check sources:
The City Club of Cleveland, June 13, 2019, Then Senator Joseph Biden, Jr., Addresses the City Club in 1973
The City Club of Cleveland, May 18, 1973, Remarks from Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Cleveland.com, May 2, 2019, Joe Biden’s comments from a 1973 City Club appearance show it may be hard to reconcile past with present
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim about Joe Biden 1973 remark in Ohio speech