Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden returned Wednesday to his longtime habit of gilding his academic credentials.
Mr. Biden claimed to be an Ivy League professor at the end of a nearly 8-minute, rambling answer to a question from an 18-year-old on what he was doing to appeal to young voters who may favor Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“There’s a lot we can do. When I left the United States Senate, I became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania,” he said, bringing up that fact to claim that his professorship established a bond with college students.
After mentioning a school that bears the Biden name at the University of Delaware, Mr. Biden said, “I’ve spent a lot of time on campus with college students.”
In fact, Mr. Biden was given an honorary-professor position one week after he left the vice president’s office in 2017. (He also misstated the time of his becoming the first “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor,” as he left the Senate in 2009 to become vice president.)
He was neither supposed to nor did he ever teach a class, according to his own spokesperson and multiple Philadelphia media accounts.
Last July, the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that Penn has paid Mr. Biden $900,000 and asked “what did he do to earn the money?”
The paper said Mr. Biden held, “a vaguely defined role that involved no regular classes and around a dozen public appearances on campus, mostly in big, ticketed events.”
The Wednesday video meeting was not the first time that Mr. Biden had claimed to be an Ivy League professor.
Campaigning last month in South Carolina, according to the Daily Wire, Mr. Biden said that when he left the White House in 2017, instead of “taking a Wall Street job,” he “became a teacher, became a professor.”
While Mr. Biden’s formal title at Penn was indeed “professor,” if only an honorary one, “teacher” would be a claim to be doing something Mr. Biden was not.
Mr. Biden has a lengthier history of aggrandizing his academic credentials.
In 1987, in a presidential campaign that also was rocked by plagiarism charges, Mr. Biden claimed he had graduated in the top half of his law school class.
However, the Associated Press reported that “records indicate he finished near the bottom.”
That same year he also claimed to have attended law school on a full academic scholarship, which was not true.