At a campaign stop Friday, Aug. 23, Joe Biden pondered a very serious and awkward question: What if Barack Obama had been assassinated during his 2008 presidential campaign?
Biden embodied two of his political heroes, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, toward the end of an event in Hanover. Both were assassinated in 1968, while Kennedy ran for president.
“I have one hero who was my dad, but I have two political heroes … Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy,” Biden said. “My senior semester they were both shot and killed,” according to Politico.
Biden said: “Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee? What would have happened in America?”
The strange question came just days after Biden mistakenly said the two men had been assassinated in the 1970s instead of 1968.
Biden’s campaign wanted to make Friday a celebration of the time Barack Obama chose him as his running mate.
The 76-year-old Biden served two terms as Obama’s vice president and was a 36-year U.S. senator representing Delaware. After two unsuccessful campaigns in the 1988 and 2008 seasons, he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president for a third time.
Biden has been prone to gaffes and misrepresentation for a long time, another aspect of his candidacy that has been under scrutiny during his latest run.
Biden’s two appearances Friday included several other problematic comments as he riffed to the crowd. As he talked about teachers, he referenced his wife, Jill Biden, a teacher, saying “I’d be sleeping alone” if he didn’t support teachers.
At his final day event as he talked about taking away some tax breaks for wealthy Americans, Biden said, “I find most rich people as patriotic as poor people.”
Includes reporting from the Associated Press