President Biden faced backlash on social media after stating that he taught “political theory” at the University of Pennsylvania.
Doubters questioned the authenticity of this claim, highlighting the lack of proof that he conducted regular classes at the institution, even though he held an honorary professor title there.
During a speech in Maryland discussing the economy, Biden elaborated on the challenges democracy is currently facing in the U.S. He linked his insights on the matter to his alleged experience teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, expressing the importance of defending democracy.
Many users on X (previously known as Twitter) were critical of Biden’s statements, suggesting that he might be fabricating the story.
Prominent conservative voices, including digital strategist Greg Price, shared video clips of Biden’s comments, pointing out that there’s no record of him teaching a class at the university. Author Carol Roth humorously remarked on Biden’s “imaginary life,” while commentator Erielle Davidson drew comparisons between the public reactions to Biden and other politicians who were previously accused of dishonesty.
Vince Langman, a pro-Trump user, pondered if Biden’s remarks were indicative of dishonesty or possible cognitive decline. Derek Hunter, a conservative podcaster, called upon prominent fact-checkers to investigate the claim. Other political figures and commentators also chimed in, often with a critical tone.
Despite the uproar, available evidence suggests that Biden did hold the title of Benjamin Franklin Presidential Professor of Practice from 2017 to 2021 at the University of Pennsylvania. However, a fact-check from Snopes highlighted that during his tenure, Biden didn’t teach a full semester but did engage in giving talks and lectures to students. Politifact also noted that while Biden held the position, it was not for four years and his role didn’t encompass all the responsibilities typically associated with being a “full professor.”
Biden’s statement about teaching “political theory” might have referred to his sporadic lectures, but the exact context remains ambiguous.
Biden claims he "taught political theory" at the University of Pennsylvania.
He never taught a single class at UPenn. pic.twitter.com/i7Or2dfp4k
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 14, 2023