Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has had yet another significant gaffe during his campaign for president.
Biden was speaking to a room of about 400 supporters in New Hampshire when he told the story, in which, as the New York Post reported, “a four-star general had asked the then-veep to travel to Afghanistan…to honor the heroism of a Navy captain” who rescued a wounded comrade from “a 60-foot ravine under fire.” Biden claimed that “Obama administration advisers tried to talk him out of” going to the war zone, but Biden insisted on going, saying “we can lose a vice president.”
He then claimed that the captain in question refused to receive the award since the man he tried to rescue had died anyway, only for Biden to pin the Silver Star on his chest anyway.
Biden ended the story by saying “This is the God’s truth. My word as a Biden.”
However, it was later reported that the last time Biden ever visited Afghanistan was in 2008, when he was still a senator from Delaware, not the vice president. The alleged recipient, Kyle White, was not a Navy captain but “a 20-year-old Army specialist,” and White “never had a Silver Star or any other medal pinned on his chest by Biden.”
As reports first began to emerge about the numerous inaccuracies of the story, Biden doubled down in an interview with The South Carolina Post & Courier, claiming that “it was absolutely accurate what I said,” and calling the accusations of falsehoods “ridiculous.”
This is the latest major gaffe from the 76-year-old former vice president. At another recent rally in New Hampshire, Biden could not recall where exactly he had given a previous speech on that same day, telling rally-goers that “I’m not sure…where the hell I spoke,” before adding “I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts.”
Such gaffes have raised concerns about Biden’s age and health as he continues to remain the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. In recent weeks, his poll numbers have been declining; a recent Monmouth University poll ranked him in third with 19 percent, behind Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), with 20 percent each.