FACT CHECK: How Many Times Has Joe Biden Run For President?

Joseph Lafave | Contributor

Not long after former Vice President Joe Biden announced his 2020 presidential campaign, The Salty Liberal Facebook page posted an image claiming that Biden had previously run for president three times.

“Joe Biden has run for President 3 times (1984, 1988, and 2008),” claims the meme.

Verdict: False

Biden has made two, not three, other bids for president. Although he considered a 1984 run, he ultimately did not enter the race.

Fact Check:

Biden declared his candidacy for president on April 25. Polling data released in the days before his announcement showed him leading the pack of Democratic challengers.

The meme quickly questioned Biden’s prospects, however, stating that he had earned only one delegate at the Democratic National Convention in 1984, two delegates in 1988 and zero in 2008. “You really want this guy to try running for President again?” it asks. (RELATED: Did Joe Biden Never Receive More Than 1 Percent When He Ran For President?)

Biden did win one delegate, or 0.03 percent of the vote, during the 1984 Democratic National Convention. However, he hadn’t declared his candidacy for president that year. He filled out the necessary paperwork to be added to the primary ballot in one state, but did not submit the documents.

“I had no intention of running in 1984, and the people closest to me knew that,” Biden wrote in his 2007 memoir, “Promises to Keep.”

Biden successfully ran for re-election to the Senate that year.

In the 1988 election cycle, Biden did make a short-lived bid for the Democratic nomination, but withdrew after he was accused of plagiarism. He won two delegates, or 0.05 percent of the vote, at the Democratic convention, as the meme correctly states.

Biden ran again in 2008, drawing early criticism after he called then-candidate Barack Obama “the first sort of mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” He dropped out in January 2008 after he placed fifth in the Iowa caucuses, and during the 2008 convention, he received zero delegate votes.

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Joseph Lafave