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Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg January 17, 2020

Viral story twists Biden’s words of sympathy into womanizing advice

A right wing website copied an article from another right wing website to put Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in a bad light.

"Biden Caught In Damaging Gaffe On Hot Mic – Tells Men To Marry Into Families ‘With 3 Or 4 Sisters’," read the headline on Thepoliticalbrief.com, Jan. 12.

The article builds on tape of Biden working the rope line after a town hall in Vinton, Iowa, Jan. 4. A C-SPAN video catches Biden saying the words that drove the headline.

"I tell all the guys that ask me about getting married is that you always marry into a family with three or four sisters," Biden says. "I married one with five. Know why? That way, one will always love you...not the same one."

"America’s had its fill of creepy, womanizing presidents," the post said. "Is he saying that he cheats on his wife… with one of her sisters?"

This plays off of stories that have dogged Biden of being too physical with women and overstepping the boundaries of personal space.

But the piece gets the context of these comments decidedly wrong — Biden was talking to and sympathizing with a woman whose sister had recently died. The short video in the article misses those key details.

Here’s the full exchange and setting, which begins at 1:18:30 in the C-SPAN video:

Biden is mixing it up with supporters. A middle-aged woman comes up, introduces her husband and her sister.

"We had a sister who passed away four weeks ago," she says.

Biden shakes his head in sympathy and they take a selfie with the woman and her sister. 

"I tell all the guys that ask me about getting married is that you always marry into a family with three or four sisters," Biden said. "I married one with five. Know why? That way, one will always love you..not the same one. (The three laugh.) You’ll always have a partner, you’ll always have a buddy with you. I’m so sorry."

"Yeah, a few weeks ago she passed away."

"I’m so sorry," Biden says, and hugs her. "You know what I’m talking about. God love you. How old was she?

The answer is indistinct. Biden shakes his head and says, "ugh."

Thepoliticalbrief.com copied the article word for word from a site called GOP Daily Brief. A short video snippet of the moment in Iowa came from a tweet

The article cast Biden’s words as sexist, and by ignoring who he was speaking to and what they were talking about, it suggests he was talking to a man, not a woman.

Some people might see Biden’s words as awkward, but they had nothing to do with what the article said.

The article is a distortion. We rate it False.

 

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Viral story twists Biden’s words of sympathy into womanizing advice

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