Joe Biden

Joe Caught Plagiarizing Reagan: Caught Playing His Old Game Again


Ya can’t make this stuff up. In 1987, when I was a young Reagan White House political director and Senator Joe Biden was running his first campaign for president – I caught him plagiarizing.

In brief, Biden had been caught stealing lines from the. British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. Biden’s rival for the Democratic nomination was Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, caught on to what Biden was doing and put together a devastating tape comparing the two.

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Incredibly, Biden tried to cast this as an accident. But I knew better. I myself had watched him on C-SPAN giving a speech to California Democrats and realized I was getting to the end of his speeches before he was. Why? As a teenager, I was a huge fan of then-New York Senator Robert Kennedy. When he was assassinated, long-playing records of his speeches were produced. I bought them and, little geek that I was, memorized the speeches. And there was no doubt in my mind that the Biden speech I listened to was a direct plagiarism from Robert Kennedy.

So it was that I picked up the phone and called then-New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd. She was incredulous. She asked if I could prove my charge. I said absolutely. I retrieved my Kennedy album with the specific speech of RFK’s and delivered it to the Times Washington bureau. Maureen matched them exactly. Two days later she had a front-page story in The Times that quoted me.  The flood gates opened and it was soon realized Biden had also stolen lines from President John F. Kennedy as well. Within days Biden withdrew from the race.

Right here is a compilation of those moments put together by The Washington Post:

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Joe Biden’s plagiarizing habit, it seems, has not died out with age.

The other day Biden spoke to the graduating class of the US Coast Guard and made a joke – a joke that was received with silence, causing him to chastise his audience for not laughing. Alas for him, as Sean Hannity pointed out on his television show, the very same joke was used by…President Ronald Reagan. At a Coast Guard graduation ceremony. But in the original, Reagan got the laughs. Here it is, about 9 minutes into this Hannity clip.

As I said, ya can’t make this stuff up. A full 34 years later and Joe Biden is still plagiarizing.

Somewhere Bobby Kennedy and Ronald Reagan are sharing a laugh. The rest of us who have to experience a Biden presidency are rolling our eyes.

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