President Joe Biden has a long history of making bizarre statements and outlandish claims about his personal life.
That trait resurfaced last week when he offered an embellished account of a house fire, claiming that first lady Jill Biden was inside at the time of the blaze.
“It’s a 10-mile detour just to get to the other side”
According to Fox News, the president’s statement came as he addressed the recently passed infrastructure bill at a spot near a bridge in New Hampshire.
“Without this bridge, as I said earlier, it’s a 10-mile detour just to get to the other side,” Biden told those in attendance.
He then segued into the supposedly autobiographical account, stating: “And I know, having had a house burn down with my wife in it — she got out safely — God willing, that having a significant portion of it burn I can tell, 10 minutes makes a hell of a difference.”
This was apparently not the first time Biden has referenced this incident. In 2013, Politico noted that Biden stated that the fire “destroyed a significant portion” of his family’s home.
Nearly a decade earlier, however, the Associated Press reported that there had been a “small fire that was contained to the kitchen” following a lightning strike. The 2004 AP article indicated that firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in roughly 20 minutes.
“I was not able to move where I wanted to go”
Of course, this was also not the first time that the president has faced accusations of fabricating details about his life. During last year’s presidential campaign, for example, he claimed to have been sent to jail in South Africa for attempting to visit Nelson Mandela.
Even the left-leaning fact-checking website Snopes ranked that claim as false, noting that Biden himself later told CNN that he had only been briefly detained at a South African airport.
The then-candidate attempted to walk back his earlier statements, declaring: “I guess I wasn’t arrested, I was stopped. I was not able to move where I wanted to go.”
Although there are plenty of factors contributing to the president’s decreasing popularity, it seems clear that his penchant for exaggerated personal anecdotes will not do much to help reverse his sagging approval rating.