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Bill McCarthy
By Bill McCarthy February 9, 2021

Jumbled ‘teach a man to fish’ quote attributed to Joe Biden is fake

If Your Time is short

  • The jumbled version of the famous adage about teaching a man to fish is fake. PolitiFact found no record of President Joe Biden saying it.

You’ve probably heard the famous proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

According to a viral Facebook post, President Joe Biden tells the adage a little differently. "'Buy a man eat fish, he day, teach fish man, to a lifetime.' — Joe Biden," the Feb. 8 post says.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

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Biden, who stuttered as a child, made some verbal blunders during his campaign, but social media users often deceptively edited his remarks to manufacture errors or play up the false narrative that he is senile. In this case, the jumbled quote attributed to Biden appears to be made up. 

PolitiFact searched Google, Nexis news archives and, an interactive transcript website that tracks Biden’s public remarks. We found no record of Biden botching the saying in such a way.

If you found yourself fooled by this Facebook post, go fish. It’s Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Facebook post (archived), Feb. 8, 2021 

Various Google and Nexis searches, Feb. 9, 2021, accessed Feb. 9, 2021

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Jumbled ‘teach a man to fish’ quote attributed to Joe Biden is fake

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