Jean-Pierre claims she ‘did not hear’ Biden falsely say in speech he was ‘appointed’ to Naval Academy in 1965

Well, that’s one way to dodge a question… White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked at Tuesday’s press briefing about President Biden’s yarn about being appointed to the Naval Academy in 1965 and responded to say she must have missed that part of the president’s speech.

“I wanted to just clarify from you, something he said on Friday during his address at the Naval Academy,” a reporter began. “The President was born in 1942, graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965. In his address, he said he was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1965. Was he? Was it in 1965? Can you clarify?”

“So, I — oh, I did not hear that part of the speech, so I would have to —,” Jean -Pierre began, before the reporter interjected to say it was “right at the beginning of the speech.”

When she countered to say she “missed” that part, the president’s spokesperson was reminded that “there’s been a lot of writing about it since.”

“No, I hear you. I hear you. I have not — I — I need to read it myself and just go back and see what you’re talking about exactly. I can’t speak to it right now,” she replied, before moving on.

While delivering the commencement address to Naval Academy graduates Friday, Biden told the midshipmen that Delaware Sen. J. Caleb Boggs, his 1972 opponent, had tried to get him into the Naval Academy in 1965.

“Before I begin my speech, a thought crossed my mind as I was told the Class of ‘72 is here,’ Biden said. “I was appointed to the Academy in 1965 by a senator who I was running against in 1972.”

“I didn’t come to the Academy because I wanted to be a football star,” the president continued. “And you had a guy named Staubach and Bellino here. So I went to Delaware.”

(This being a reference to Navy Heisman heroes Roger Staubach and Joe Bellino.)

“But all kidding aside, the best line of the debate was, after it was all over, the announcer — the questioner who was a good guy but supported my opponent, who was a good man as well, I might add, and he said, ‘Senator Boggs, you have anything else you want to say?’ And he said, ‘Yes, just one thing.’ And he took the microphone… he said, “You know, Joe, if you had accepted my commission to the Aca- – my appointment to the Academy, you’d still have one year and three months active duty, and I’d have no problems right now.”

Never mind that Biden graduated from the University of Delaware and there are no graduate programs at the Naval Academy, nor did Biden mention the tale in his 2008 biography. As it is, the fabled gangster Corn Pop will have to move over and make room for another fanciful take from the 79-year-old president fading before our very eyes.


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Tom Tillison


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