Fact Check: Did Joe Biden teach political theory at UPenn? Claim sparks mass trolling online

Joe Biden. (Photo via Getty Images)
Joe Biden (Photo via Getty Images)

American President Joe Biden was trolled online after he claimed that he taught at the University of Pennsylvania. On September 14, the 80-year-old politician gave a speech at Maryland’s Prince George’s Community College, where he made some comments about his past career that were not true. Biden made the claims while trying to make a contrast of economies between his coined term "Bidenomics" with the policies of his predecessor and former President Donald Trump.

As per the New York Post, Biden said:

“Our democracy is under attack, and we got to fight for it. I taught at the University of Pennsylvania for four years and I used to teach political theory. And folks, you always hear, every generation has to fight for democracy.”

Between the beginning of his presidential campaign and his tenure as vice president in the White House, from February 2017 to April 2019, Joe Biden held the position of Benjamin Franklin Presidential Professor of the Practice at the Philadelphia institution, where he was an honorary professor.

However, he was never tasked with teaching semester-long courses, pursuing independent research, or managing administrative duties—duties typically associated with professors. At one point, Joe Biden abruptly returned to a frequent subject in his address, that Democracy is "under attack," when he mentioned his time at the University of Pennsylvania.


Netizens react to Joe Biden claiming he taught at UPenn

After Joe Biden made claims that he taught at UPenn during a speech at Prince George’s Community College, Maryland, X (formerly Twitter) users were furious. Several users trolled the politician, pointing out that he never taught any class at UPenn and was there only as an "honorary" position.

Others mocked him for his statement, concocting different hypothetical situations, with some branding him as a "pathological liar."

Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)
Screenshot of an X user remarking on Biden's claims of teaching at UPenn (Photo via @greg_price11/X)

In recent weeks, Joe Biden has also claimed incorrectly that he was at Ground Zero the morning of the 9/11 terror attacks, that he watched a bridge fall in Pittsburgh, and that his grandpa died days before his birth.

While speaking to the White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, Washington Times reporter Jeff Mordock asked:

"The president has lied about being at Ground Zero the day after the Sept. 11 attacks, falsely claimed he saw the Pittsburgh bridge collapse, claimed his grandfather died in the hospital days before his birth. What is going on with the president? Is he just believing things that didn’t happen did happen, or is he just randomly making stuff up?”

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Joe Biden visited the UPenn campus for formal activities nearly a dozen times between leaving the vice presidency and launching his presidential campaign.

However, these were never full-time courses and consisted primarily of Q&A sessions and public events.

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Edited by Nikita Nikhil
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