Fact Check: Video Is NOT Proof Of Joe Biden And Hillary Clinton Plagiarizing Each Other

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Video Is NOT Proof Of Joe Biden And Hillary Clinton Plagiarizing Each Other Song Quote

Does a video that shows President Joe Biden and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton saying similar phrases prove that the two politicians plagiarized each other? No, that's not true: They were both quoting the same gospel song. Longer clips of their speeches show Biden and Clinton introduced the song before quoting its lyrics.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Instagram on January 24, 2024. The posted video included short clips of Biden and Clinton saying similar phrases. The account holder commented:

All scripts and copied all fake

This is what the post looked like at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-03-15 at 8.33.24 AM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Mar 15 08:33:24 2024 UTC)

The clip of Biden was taken from a speech he gave on January 8, 2024, at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A copy of his remarks can be read here (archived here) and watched:

He said:

As the gospel song sings, 'We've come too far from where we started/ Nobody told me the road would be easy/ I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me.'

Biden was quoting James Cleveland's gospel song "I Don't Feel Noways Tired." You can read the lyrics of that song here (archived here).

Similarly, Clinton was quoting that song when she told the audience at First Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama, on March 4, 2007:

On this Lord's Day, let us say with one voice the words of James Cleveland's great freedom hymn, 'I don't feel no ways tired/ I come too far from where I started from/ Nobody told me that the road would be easy/ I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me.'

You can watch a clip of her speech here (archived here).

In other words, neither politician was plagiarizing the other. Longer clips from their speeches make clear that both were quoting Cleveland's song.

Previous Lead Stories fact checks of claims about Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton can be read here and here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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