Although Biden succeeded in deflecting questions away from his academic record, it was only a short term victory. In fact, a number of the statements he made in defense of his intelligence would be proved false, and disastrously so, a few short months later.
As the Washington Post reported in September 1987, Biden was not a star student by any means during either his undergraduate or law school years.
Biden’s credibility was too damaged for the electorate in 1988
by Haris Alic – 21 Aug 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at a teacher in the midst of his 1988 presidential run, attacking the man’s intelligence and comparing himself to Martin Luther King Jr. in the process.
The incident occurred during a New Hampshire meet and greet hosted by Biden’s campaign in April 1987. Joe Biden, then a 44-year-old U.S. senator waging his first bid for the White House, was asked by one the attendees, a local school teacher, to elaborate on his academic record in law school.
The question, which likely arose because of Biden’s frequent gaffes on the campaign trail and the yet-to-be-confirmed rumors of plagiarism, perturbed the candidate, as evidenced by a CSPAN video of the encounter.
“I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect,” Biden responded, wagging his finger at the questioner. “I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship.
Biden’s “undergraduate academic records show that he graduated from [the University of] Delaware 506th in a class of 688 with a ‘C’ average,” the Post noted. Neither did he graduate with three bachelors degrees as claimed but rather a “dual major in history and political science.”
It also emerged that Biden had not only lied about receiving a full ride to law school, but he fell far short of being in the top half of his class — ranking 76 out of 85.
More troublingly, though, was that Biden had been caught plagiarizing in law school. For a legal methods course, Biden lifted five pages from a published law review article and submitted them “without quotation or citation” in his own 15-page paper.