Did Joe Biden call service members "stupid bastards" during a speech that was recorded on camera? Yes, but that claim is missing context. A viral claim implies Biden disrespected members of the military when he made the remarks at a military base in 2016. Then-Vice President Biden was making a joke when he called the service members "stupid bastards" when they didn't immediately clap for a comment he made about their fellow member. The short video clip takes Biden's comment out of context.
Video emerges of Joe Biden telling our servicemen and servicewomen to "clap you stupid bastards."
You be the judge on whether this is disrespectful. What would the media say if President Trump did this?
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Sep 29 21:07:36 2020 UTC)
Video of Biden making the comment is from March 2016 when he was giving a speech at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, when he was still vice president.
Clips of the video have been posted on Facebook, showing Biden saying:
I just want you to know, notwithstanding what you may hear about me, I have incredibly good judgment. One, I married Jill. And two, I appointed Johnson to the academy. I just want you to know that. Clap for that, you stupid bastards."
The video has spawned a meme that has taken Biden's comments out of context. Donald Trump Jr. posted the meme that claims, "So the media uses unnamed sources to fabricate the story of Trump fictitiously calling servicemen losers and it's a top story. And Biden calls our service men and women "Stupid Bastards" ON FILM...and the media is silent."
This is the BS we are up against every day.Posted by Donald Trump Jr. on Monday, September 28, 2020
Biden was referring to Lt. Karen Johnson, who had introduced him and whom he nominated to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy when he was still a senator from Delaware. In his remarks, he spoke highly about the troops and his late son, Beau Biden, who served as a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, during his speech. Beau Biden died from brain cancer in May 2015.
Biden's presidential campaign released a statement noting he was joking when he made the "stupid basdards" remark and that he praised the troops.
Vice President Biden was jokingly encouraging the audience to clap for an airwoman on the stage, and a number of service members can be seen laughing and smiling at the comment," Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Biden's campaign, told Politifact. "Seconds before, he praised them for 'the incredible sacrifices [they] make for our country.' He thanked them for their patriotism and courage throughout, and closed his remarks by saying, 'you're the finest generation of warriors the world has ever, ever known' -- receiving an enthusiastic ovation."
Hello! (Applause.) It's great to see you all. Jill and I are really honored to be here. I've been doing this job for a while, and everywhere I go I see warriors like all of you before me and behind me here. Excuse my back, folks.
"I've been in and out of the Balkans 25 times; in and out of Iraq 26 times; in and out of Afghanistan about 10 or 12 times. And I have one regret every time I'm with you all -- and I mean this sincerely -- is the folks back home can't see you; can't see you in place. Don't get to fly on the mission with you. Don't understand -- they appreciate, but they don't fully understand the incredible sacrifices you make for our country.
"And I want you to know notwithstanding what you may hear about me, I have incredibly good judgment. One, I married Jill. And two, I appointed Johnson to the academy. I just want you to know that. Clap for that, you stupid bastards. (Applause.) Come on, man. Man, you are a dull bunch. Must be slow here, man. I don't know.
"Look, in full disclosure, Lieutenant Johnson, she came to see me in 2008 and I appointed her -- back in the days of the Senate. And I had the great privilege of nominating her to the Air Force Academy. And I'm so proud to see how her career has advanced.
"I also want to thank very much Brigadier General Orcutt for welcoming me and my family here today. And we know you all -- the temp ops here is pretty high, and you got better things to do than come and see Jill and me. But we never pass up an opportunity wherever we are around the world to try to see our warriors."
Biden ended the speech saying, "You're the finest generation of warriors the world has ever, ever known."