President Joe Biden has once again made a false statement about his past — this time claiming that he “literally” convinced former Dixiecrat Sen. Strom Thurmond (SC) to vote for the Civil Rights Act.
The president made the false claim on Monday while speaking on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law — a civil rights legal group.
“Pause for just a moment. I thought things had changed. I was able to literally, not figuratively, talk Strom Thurmond into voting for the Civil Rights Act before he died, and I thought, ‘Well maybe there’s real progress,’ But hate never dies. It just hides, it hides under the rocks,” Biden said.
Biden says he "literally, not figuratively, talked Strom Thurmond into voting for the Civil Rights Act before he died." pic.twitter.com/sUDhrfePg8
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 28, 2023
Biden’s claim is blatantly false. Thurmond, who later switched to the Republican Party after years as a Democrat, voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Furthermore, at that time, Biden was only 21 years old and was in college — not Congress. Thurmond also holds the record for the longest-ever filibuster, where he filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1957 for 24 hours and 18 minutes.
The president’s assertion about the timing of his talk with Thurmond, “before he died,” also makes no sense — as he died in 2003, several decades after the passing of civil rights.
Any idea what Biden is talking about?
— AG (@AGHamilton29) August 28, 2023
A White House spokesperson later attempted to clarify Biden’s comments in a written statement to Fox News, claiming that Biden was “instrumental in getting Thurmond’s vote for the Voting Rights Act, in 1980.”
Thurmond served as governor of South Carolina from 1947 to 1951, and ran for president as a Dixiecrat in 1948 on a platform that included “calling for continued racial segregation and opposing federal civil rights laws,” according to a Senate biography. Thurmond was a Democrat until 1964, when he switched to the Republican Party. Nonetheless, he still ended up opposing the renewal of several parts of the Civil Rights Act in 1982 — claiming that it was an unwarranted federal intrusion into local affairs.
This is just the latest in a long line of gaffes from Biden, many of which involve him telling fictional stories about his past — including repeatedly insisting that his late son, Beau Biden, died in Iraq, claiming that he had been arrested while protesting for civil rights and claiming that he awarded his long-dead uncle with the Purple Heart while he was vice president.