Post misquotes Biden's mention of Vietnam in interview | Fact check

The claim: Biden said he’s running for president to 'reduce the prospect of war in Vietnam'

post misquotes biden's mention of vietnam in interview | fact check

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden reacts to questions from reporters during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 17, 2024. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

A June 20 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) includes a clip of an interview with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office that was originally posted to X, formerly Twitter.

“Joe Biden just said he’s running to reduce the prospect of war in Vietnam,” reads the text in the X post. “Yes, Vietnam.”

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The post received more than 3,000 likes in a day.

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Our rating: False

The post misquotes Biden, who in an answer to a question about his legacy, said one reason he first ran for office was to reduce the prospect of war "because of" Vietnam – not “in” the southeast Asian country. He also makes clearer in the interview that he is referencing his bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 1972 – during the Vietnam War – not the presidency in 2024.

Post misquotes Biden’s answer to question about his legacy

The X post from April 10 includes a 49-second clip taken from the 40-minute report posted April 9 by Univision on Biden’s interview with the network. The interview covered topics including immigration and the economy.

But the X post misquotes one of Biden’s answers.

The full interview shows reporter Enrique Acevedo asking Biden, who is 81, if he often thinks about his legacy in light of the possibility that the 2024 race will be his final political campaign.

“I hope the legacy is that I kept my word, that I said the reason I was running was to help change the life of ordinary people, and reduce the prospect of war, and, because of Vietnam,” he said.

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Biden continued by making a reference to his successful U.S. Senate campaign in 1972, the third year of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and the year he turned 30.

“And when I ran, I said that – I was once asked why, when I was 29 years old. They said, ‘It must be a secret,’” he said. “And I said, ‘Yeah, the secret you’ve got to ask yourself is, “What are you willing to lose over?” You figure out what you’re willing to lose over, you’ve got an idea of what you should be doing.’ And so I hope my legacy is that I was honest, straightforward and did what I said.”

That response came minutes after Biden made a separate reference to the 1972 Senate campaign that was not included in the clip shared to X. The walk-and-talk segment in the Oval Office began with Biden telling a story about “running for office when I was 29 years old” and backing labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez’s efforts to unionize farm workers in Delaware.

Biden’s mental acuity has been the subject of misinformation on social media. USA TODAY has debunked false claims that Biden agreed to resign if he fails a cognitive test and that he was declared “mentally unfit” to stand trial.

USA TODAY reached out to the Instagram and X users who shared the post but did not immediately receive responses from either.

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    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Post misquotes Biden's mention of Vietnam in interview | Fact check

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