Biden Adds a Claim to His Biography: An Arrest in South Africa

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Mr. Biden’s repetition in current days of the tale about an arrest in South Africa arrives as he confronts complicated political headwinds. As soon as the national entrance-runner, he turned in disappointing benefits in Iowa and New Hampshire, two seriously white states, in which he finished fourth and fifth, respectively. His marketing campaign is banking on at minimum a next-area complete in Nevada on Saturday and a victory in South Carolina, two diverse states where voters of colour play crucial roles. He routinely utilizes his remarks to test to link with black voters, these types of as saying in Nevada and elsewhere that he was “raised in the black church.’’

In South Carolina in certain, Mr. Biden is pinning his hopes on a robust exhibiting with African-American voters, a constituency with which he polled strongly all through much of the race, while he now faces expanding competition for the aid of black voters.

Right after recounting the story of his arrest in South Carolina past 7 days, Mr. Biden subsequently told it 2 times much more in Nevada, mistakenly saying Robbens Island as a substitute of Robben, wherever Mr. Mandela was held for substantially of his 27-yr imprisonment.

And on Sunday, as he experienced in South Carolina, he also sent a coda to the story.

“After he got free and turned president, he arrived to Washington and arrived to my office environment,” Mr. Biden mentioned of Mr. Mandela at a black historical past awards brunch in Las Vegas. “He threw his arms all over me and explained, ‘I want to say thank you.’ I reported, ‘What are you thanking me for, Mr. President?’ He mentioned, ‘You tried out to see me. You received arrested attempting to see me.’”

On Tuesday, talking in Las Vegas at an occasion with Asian-American and Pacific Islander voters, he explained that he “came back from South Africa, attempting to see Nelson Mandela and having arrested for attempting to see him,” correct ahead of he acquired an solution to his relationship proposal from his now-spouse, Jill Biden.

Mr. Biden has beforehand discussed browsing South Africa as a younger senator — but his emphasis in talking about his travel there has not been on an arrest.

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