President Biden on Monday repeated a false personal story about an Amtrak conductor who purportedly proclaimed, ‘Joey, baby!’ while extolling Biden’s rail ridership — despite the tale repeatedly being debunked by fact-checkers. Biden told the anecdote twice Monday during a pro-commuter rail event in Delaware, bringing his total number of tellings to at least 12 since he took office as president.
The first iteration Monday was heard by pool reporters as the 80-year-old president conversed with Amtrak employees just before a speech in Bear, Del., near Wilmington.After taking the stage, Biden told the tall tale again — adding details that made the version even more removed from established facts.
‘When I was vice president, I flew over a million miles on Air Force Two, but I traveled further than that on Amtrak over the years,’ Biden said as he touted rail spending in the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.
‘I was coming home to see my mom, and I just — she was living at this time, my dad had passed away. And I got on the train on a Friday, and I won’t get him [the Amtrak conductor] into complete trouble, I’ll just tell you his first name, but I’ll just tell you his first name. He was No. 2 in seniority at the time, Angelo,’ Biden said.
‘And Ang came up to me as I was walking in, and he said, ‘Joey!’ and he grabbed my cheek, and he said, ‘Joey, Baby!’
‘They had just published in the newspaper that I had traveled 1,200,000 miles on Air Force planes as vice president, they published that on a regular basis,’ the president continued.
‘He said ‘Big …’ — I won’t quote him exactly — but he said, ‘Big deal, Joey!’
‘And I said, ‘What’s it mean, Ang?’ And he said … you know how many miles you traveled on Amtrak?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘A million … [and] 320,000 miles.’ And I said, ‘How do you figure that?’ And he said, ‘Well, 180 days a year, almost 300 miles a day, 36 years.’
The story was rated ‘False’ in 2021 by CNN ‘Facts First’ journalist Daniel Dale, who noted that Biden didn’t reach a million miles aboard Air Force Two until September 2015, well after Angelo Negri’s retirement from Amtrak in 1993 and death in May 2014. Biden’s daily private schedule as vice president included a note about how many Air Force miles he had traveled.
Biden, who turns 81 this month, retold the story as polling indicates most voters think he’s too old to serve another four-year term, with a New York Times poll released Sunday finding 71% of swing-state voters say so.
The oldest-ever commander in chief also has a decades-long propensity for embellishing personal stories and was forced to drop out of his first presidential bid in 1987 because of plagiarism of speeches and a law school paper, in addition to exaggerations about his academic performance.
Source: NY Post