On Monday night, President Joe Biden took a break from his many vacations to give remarks at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law Reception. In an entirely predictable move, the president told one of his many tall tales, which included discussing the late Strom Thurmond, who, as a senator from South Carolina, had in 1957 attempted to filibuster the Civil Rights Act. He also voted against other versions. According to Biden's version of events, not only did Thurmond vote for the Civil Rights Act, but Biden talked him into it, with the president even adding a "literally."
The president had discussed "white supremacy" as "the greatest terrorist threat we face in the homeland," and the need "to act" and how "hate will not prevail in America." That's when he added some embellishment. "But pause for just a moment. I thought things had changed. I was able--literally, not figuratively--talk Strom Thurmond into voting for the--the Civil Rights Act before he died. And I thought, 'Well, maybe there’s real progress.'"
Biden says he "literally, not figuratively, talked Strom Thurmond into voting for the Civil Rights Act before he died." pic.twitter.com/sUDhrfePg8— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 28, 2023
As many were quick to point out, that story is impossible. It is well known that Thurmond, a segregationist, opposed the Civil Rights Act, including in 1957 and 1964. Biden's Monday night remarks actually took place on the 66th anniversary of when Thurmond held a filibuster that lasted for 24 hours and 18 minutes. It remains the longest filibuster conducted by a single senator. The bill passed anyway, and was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
That was in 1957. As Sister Toldjah called to mind when writing for our sister site of RedState, Thurmond was part of a "multi-speaker" filibuster for the 1964 version of the bill which lasted for 60 days.
#OTD Aug 28, 1957: Senator Strom Thurmond begins a filibuster to prevent the Senate from voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. It began at 8:54pm & lasted until 9:12pm the next day: 24hrs & 18 minutes, the longest filibuster ever conducted by a single Senator.#History pic.twitter.com/IXQDcTOb0L— Jazz the Professor (@LikeButta3) August 28, 2023
Our sister site of Twitchy also referred to Biden as a "time traveler" for his claim.
Fox News highlighted how Biden was only 21-years-old at the time when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, which again, Thurmond voted against. Although he was a particularly young senator, he wasn't 21-years-old, and he wasn't in the Senate until 1973.
The piece also pointed to a statement from the White House, which mentioned a bill in 1980 that Thurmond eventually voted for on its final version. "A White House spokesperson told Fox News Digital that Biden was instrumental in getting Thurmond's vote for the Voting Rights Act, in 1980."
While Thurmond did support the bill that the statement is referring to, as reported at the time by The New York Times, those who would know better are disputing that Biden had a role.
Commentator Armstrong Williams tweeted out on Tuesday morning that what the president claimed was "absolute revisionist history." He also explained he was so close with Thurmond because he worked for him.
"And I can tell you as an absolute fact that Biden did not, as he said, 'literally' convince Strom Thurmond to support the Civil Rights Act," Williams' tweet read in part.
"Here’s the real reason why he eventually supported the Civil Rights Act. It’s because people working for him, like myself, had meetings set up with Martin Luther King, Jr widow Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Dr. Legree Daniels, Clarence Pendleton, Art Fletcher, and Sam Cornelius. It was these conversations which eventually changed Strom Thurmond’s mind. It’s disgraceful that Biden would blatantly take credit for something that he so obviously didn’t do, that real people fought and worked hard for. He deserves no credit," Williams continued.
At the recent Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law conference, Biden made a bold claim - one which I know personally to be absolute revisionist history .— Armstrong Williams 🇺🇸 (@Arightside) August 29, 2023
Biden claims that he convinced Strom Thurmond to support the Civil Rights Act. Now, I was very close with Strom… pic.twitter.com/JEM6kIxUlv
Biden trying to earn credit for Thurmond eventually coming around to supporting civil rights isn't exactly new. As someone who has been in office for decades, he's had plenty of time to embellish and mislead about his role, including when it comes to civil rights activism.
While Biden is currently in Washington, D.C., he will once more head to the beach on Friday.
WATCH: 20 times Joe Biden lied about being a civil rights activist pic.twitter.com/wq5S4kQ3FA— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 29, 2023