Categories: Politics

Fact check: Did Joe Biden get arrested in an Ohio U. women’s dorm in the ’60s?

Darrel Rowland
USA TODAY

Published 5:20 PM EDT May 22, 2020

The claim: Joe Biden was ‘arrested’ for ‘following women’ into an ‘all female dorm room’ during the early 1960s at Ohio University when he was a visiting college student.

Admittedly, the Instagram headline is a grabber: “Video emerges showing Biden admitted he was arrested for ‘following’ women.” Clip from 2008 shows Biden confess to arrest in all-female dorm room in Ohio.

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” says the post from Mariana Hirmas, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump with more than 33,000 followers who called the “newly unearthed” video “yet another blow to Joe Biden’s scandal-ridden campaign.”

“A video has emerged from 2008 that shows the former vice president admitting he was arrested in Ohio after he was caught following women into an all-female dorm room,” the post states.

The source for this shocking news?

Biden himself. Well, mostly.

Biden describes his visit in 2008

The story emerged from an anecdote Biden shared on Oct. 15, 2008, during a campaign stop at the Athens County Fairgrounds, not far from the Ohio University campus, as Barack Obama’s running mate.

Oddly, the Instagram post links only to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer describing Biden’s remarks, not a video of Biden itself.

Yet news accounts from the visit confirm the gist of the post.

The most detailed is from Ryan Corsaro, embedded with the Biden campaign for CBS News and now with network affiliate WBBM-TV in Chicago. Corsaro recounts how Biden laughingly told of visiting the campus decades earlier for the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens football game versus the OU Bobcats, and “made a little mistake.”

“I wandered in, I met this lovely group of Ohio University … students,” Biden said winkingly to laughs from the crowd.

“And, uh, without knowing it, I shouldn’t admit this on national television because it’ll reveal that I’m over 60, but I thought that we were gonna go get something to eat.

“See, I … and so I just said to young, two young women I had met, said well why don’t you … we’ll be right back, I said well I’ll come with you, and they said OK, and I walked into their dormitory and was immediately accosted by a cop who arrested me because back in those days men were not allowed in women’s dormitories.

“But I promise you I never breached the first floor, and it was only a temporary detention. But that’s what I most remember about Athens.”

The key portion about Biden walking into the dorm and being arrested also showed up in accounts by AP, CNN and The Post, the university’s independent student newspaper. The remarks drew laughter from many of his estimated 1,000-plus listeners. Then-Gov. Ted Strickland, Sen. Sherrod Brown and then-state Treasurer Richard Cordray also were on hand.

A revision in 2012

The anecdote apparently went over so well that Biden pulled the chestnut out again during a return campaign visit to Ohio University on Sept. 8, 2012. But the gaffe-prone Democrat revised a key detail:

“The last time I was here, I want to be clear to the press, I didn’t get arrested, but I almost did.”

And he said when he went to the women’s dorm, “I thought I was walking into the waiting room.” He added, “I got escorted out very quickly by an Athens policeman.”

Oh, and his college’s team beat Ohio U. that October 1963 day, 29-12.

The CNN clip featured in the Instagram post characterizes Biden’s 2008 story as a “playful admission.” Of course, this was years before the #MeToo movement sprang to life. And it is worth noting that accounts of the dormitory story do not go beyond him entering a building in which women lived.

The host of Biden detractors citing the video say it shows Biden displayed untoward behavior toward women since the time he became an adult.

Biden recently has denied an allegation of sexual misconduct during his current presidential campaign. Tara Reade accuses him of sexually assaulting her when she worked for his Senate office in 1993.

More: Joe Biden: People who believe Tara Reade ‘probably shouldn’t vote for me’

Our rating: Partly false

We rate this claim as PARTLY FALSE, based on our research.

It is true that while on a visit to Ohio University, Biden walked into a women’s dorm and encountered a law enforcement officer.

But it’s easy to debunk the part about Biden being in a women’s “dorm room.” There is zero evidence of that. It’s a huge difference being inside a women’s dorm room rather than in a first-floor hallway.

And whatever offense Biden committed, it was for being in a women’s dorm – not for the much more creepy-sounding assertion that Biden admitted he was arrested for “following women.” Those two words create an entirely different implication than just wandering into the first floor of a dorm and being quickly stopped by an officer.

The more difficult judgment comes on the part of the post about Biden being “arrested.” In defense of the headline, there is no dispute from accounts of the speech that is the word Biden used in 2008. No police record has been produced; Ohio University police say it’s dubious such records from 1963 still exist.

So that makes Biden the sole source of the information at this point, and he corrected the story in 2012, when he apparently was under no pressure to do so. Accounts of the newer speech are more widely available, including easily accessible video. But those got nary a mention in the Instagram posting.

Thus the standard used in some libel lawsuits – reckless disregard of the truth – seems appropriate here.

Our fact-check sources:

  • CNN political ticker: Biden remembers college arrest
  • Associated Press (via Huntington, West Virginia, Herald Dispatch: Biden touts infrastructure projects in Ohio
  • CNN: A complicated life and conflicting accounts muddle efforts to understand Tara Reade’s allegation against Joe Biden
  • Twitter: Tweet by and replies to Ryan Saavedre, Daily Wire reporter
  • JoshWho News: Video Emerges of Biden Admitting He Was Arrested for ‘Following’ Female College Students
  • ABC News: List of Trump’s accusers and their allegations of sexual misconduct

Reach Darrel Rowland at drowland@dispatch.com or @darreldrowland.

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

The USA Today Network’s fact-checking is funded in part by a grant from Facebook.

Read More : Source

ibenews

Share
Published by
ibenews

Recent Posts

Huawei VP Responds to Reports Britain Plans to Reduce Company’s Role in 5G Network: It ‘Don’t Make Sense’

Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang expressed confusion on Saturday over emerging reports that reveal Britain's…

3 days ago

‘Liberty Fest’ Anti-Lockdown Protesters Gather At California’s Capitol

A major protest rally against California Governor Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order began at the state…

3 days ago

Over 100 Mosques Demand U.K. Watchdog Investigate Conservative Party

Over a hundred mosques and 40 high profile Muslim organizations have signed a letter demanding…

3 days ago

Michigan GOP-Led Legislature Files Appeal Over Whitmer Ruling, as Governor Extends State’s Stay-at-Home Order

The Michigan Republican-led legislature filed an appeal Friday over a judge's recent decision upholding Governor…

3 days ago

China Reports First Day of Zero Coronavirus Deaths or Symptomatic Cases as Wuhan Tests 11M Residents

China has recorded no new confirmed cases of the coronavirus for the first time since…

3 days ago

myspaghetti/macos-virtualbox

Push-button installer of macOS Catalina, Mojave, and High Sierra guests in Virtualbox for Windows, Linux,…

3 days ago

This website uses cookies.