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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero March 30, 2023

Biden’s 2020 remarks mischaracterized in video excerpt with wrong subtitles

If Your Time is short

  • This video was excerpted from an October 2020 campaign speech by then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. Biden was referring to a 2019 gaffe by former President Donald Trump. 

  • Subtitles on the video also misrepresent Biden’s remarks. He didn’t say "stable Jesus," he said "stable genius," a term that Trump has used to describe himself.

President Joe Biden is often mocked by pundits and social media users for his verbal blunders, which are often misleadingly cast by his critics as proof that he lacks competence. 

A March 26 viral Instagram video is the latest example. As Biden speaks in the footage, subtitles indicate that he said, "By the way, the same stable Jesus has said the biggest problem we had in the Revolutionary War is we didn’t have enough airports." Text above the video says, "Smartest president America ever had."

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

Is this another gaffe from Biden? No. First, the subtitles don’t accurately convey his remarks. And second, Biden was referencing 2019 comments by former President Donald Trump.

In his remarks, Biden didn’t say "stable Jesus," as the subtitles claim. A transcript from the event shows that he said "stable genius," a term Trump has used on multiple occasions to refer to himself.

Biden’s quote also was presented without any context. It was excerpted from a campaign speech Biden made Oct. 29, 2020, in Tampa, Florida, where he recalled some of Trump’s gaffes.

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Here’s what Biden said, in full, according to the transcript: 

"Donald Trump when he thinks of climate change, he says hoax. Well, guess what? Speaking of hoaxes, remember what he said about these increasing violent hurricanes and the frequency? He actually said, maybe we should detonate a nuclear bomb over the Atlantic. By the way, the same stable genius who said, the biggest problem we had in the Revolutionary War is we didn’t have enough airports. Whoa."

Biden was recalling a quote from Trump’s July 4, 2019, Salute to America speech, where he said: 

"The Continental Army suffered the bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware, and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown. Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts. It took over the airports. It did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their Star Spangled Banner waved defiant."

The Continental Army fought in the Revolutionary War, which ended in 1783. The first successful powered airplane was invented in 1903, more than a century after the war ended.

Trump later blamed his blunder on teleprompter glitches

We rate the claim that a video shows Biden referencing what "stable Jesus" said about airports False.

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Biden’s 2020 remarks mischaracterized in video excerpt with wrong subtitles

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