President Joe Biden has once again made headlines for his false exaggeration of his own small personal tragedy. This time, the falsehood was made as the President addressed the devastation of Hurricane Idalia and the wildfires in Hawaii.
At the White House Wednesday, Biden commented on the calamities, saying, “I didn’t have anything like that, but lightning struck my house. We had to be out of that house for about seven months while it was repaired because so much damage was done to the house.”
In actuality, Biden’s home didn’t suffer major damage from lightning. Rather, in 2004 a small kitchen fire started inside the home. The incident was reported by the Associated Press, explaining, “Lightning struck the home of Sen. Joseph Biden, starting a small fire that was contained to the kitchen.”
Biden again compares his kitchen fire to the wildfires in Hawaii and Hurricane Idalia. pic.twitter.com/7dUIm8KUDj
— Conservative War Machine (@WarMachineRR) August 30, 2023
The President’s false exaggeration didn’t end at the White House. Biden spoke of his tale to those affected by the Hawaii wildfires, saying, “I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense — Jill and I — of what it’s like to lose a home. Years ago now — 15 years ago … lightning struck at home on a little lake that is outside of our home.”
He continued, “To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette and my cat.” He concluded these comments with a joke that, in the aftermath of serious destruction, came off as callous and insensitive.
The White House has yet to clarify the initial comments made by Biden in Washington, and what can be concluded is that Biden has a habit of over-exaggerating his own tragedy when addressing issues for the nation to appear sympathetic.
In an online statement, April Taliaferrow of Citizens United to Protect Our People remarked: “This type of behavior from any public figure is deeply concerning, as it serves to undermine the truth and history of those that have actually experienced tragedy”.
Biden has been caught falsely exaggerating stories in the past, including discussing his son's military service — a lie that has been covered by Fox News, CNN, and other purveyors of the news.
As an individual holding the highest and most political position in the United States, Biden’s actions speak volumes about truth, accuracy, and empathy — characteristics of any good leader. A president should represent the truth and a dedication to accuracy, not an inclination toward personal exaggeration. Accordingly, these egregious misstep calls into question the trustworthiness of our nation’s leader, and calls for accountability.