The controversy surrounding Rep.-elect George Santos’s, R-N.Y., lies about his resume on the campaign trail has brought renewed attention to President Biden’s long history of fabrications, including embellishments about his college career that helped derail his 1988 presidential campaign.
Santos, who defeated Robert Zimmerman in the November general election, had falsely claimed he graduated from Baruch College and worked for Goldman Sachs and Citibank. After an investigation by the New York Times revealed major portions of his biography were fabricated, Santos’ purported employers confirmed to Fox News that he never worked for them, and Baruch College said he never attended there.
Santos admitted he lied in an interview Monday with the New York Post.
“I am not a criminal,” he said. “I’m embarrassed, and sorry for having embellished my resume.”
House Democrats, including Reps. Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu and Joaquin Castro, pounced after Santos admitted to lying, calling for him to resign from Congress or be forced to do so by Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
For years, Biden has been criticized for fabricating stories, from claiming to having been arrested in apartheid-era South Africa to being in a helicopter that was “forced down” by Al Qaeda insurgents in Afghanistan.
Most recently, Biden was criticized after telling the hurricane-devastated island of Puerto Rico that he had been “raised in the Puerto Rican community at home, politically,” in Delaware.
In November 2021, Biden said during a speech in New Hampshire that his house burned down with his wife Jill Biden inside. Weeks before that, he recounted for the fifth time during his presidency a false story about an Amtrak employee during a speech in New Jersey. The employee Biden frequently mentions actually died a year before the story was said to have taken place.
In 2019, Biden told a crowd of college students a harrowing story about a Navy captain in Afghanistan that was later debunked by The Washington Post.
In 2013, Biden said he heard the gunshots of an Amish schoolhouse shooting that killed five students while playing golf nearby in Pennsylvania in 2006. The Washington Times poured cold water on the claim at the time, reporting that no golf course in the area had any record of hosting Biden.
In 2007, Biden said he had been “shot at” during a trip years earlier to Iraq. He later clarified that he was “near where a shot landed.”
During his failed 1988 presidential campaign, Biden was busted for lying about his academic record and plagiarizing speeches on the campaign trail, which ultimately derailed his bid.
“I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship,” Biden said during a 1987 campaign stop in New Hampshire, adding that he “ended up in the top half of my class” and “graduated with three degrees from college.”
Biden later admitted that, in fact, he graduated at the bottom of his class, had only a partial scholarship and graduated with only one degree.
Biden also said at the time that he “marched with tens of thousands” of people during the Civil Rights Movement, but that also turned out to be false.
Conservatives on Twitter pointed out the apparent double standard by Democrats when it comes to Santos and Biden.
The Dispatch’s Jonah Goldberg tweeted, “I think Santos is a total embarrassment and has no place in public life. But a lot of folks on this site dinging him seem to have forgotten how much both the current president and his predecessor ‘embellished’ about their accomplishments.”
MSNBC’s “All In” host Chris Hayes jumped in to defend Biden’s lies as “normal politician bs-ing.”
“I think there’s a line between ‘normal’ politician bs-ing and conman serial lying, and he’s got infractions on either side of that line,” Hayes said of Santos. “I mean it would have been a pretty big deal if it turned out Joe Biden didn’t actually have a law degree!”
Santos compared his situation to Biden’s during an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday.
When guest host Tulsi Gabbard asked Santos if he “had no shame,” the Republican accused Democrats of being hypocritical.
“Tulsi, I can say the same thing about the Democrats and, and the party,” Santos responded.
“Look at Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s been lying to the American people for 40 years. He’s the president of the United States. Democrats over-resoundingly support him. Do they have no shame?”