- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 24, 2019

White House hopeful Joe Biden waxed rhetorical Friday about former President Barack Obama being killed on the campaign trail.

Speaking at a town hall event in New Hampshire, the former vice president and current Democratic frontrunner was discussing the impact made by the 1968 slayings of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy when he proposed a similar, hypothetical scenario involving Mr. Obama.

“My two political heroes were MLK and Bobby Kennedy. My senior semester, they were both shot and killed,” said Mr. Biden. “Imagine if, God forbid, Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee. What would have happened in America?”

“Things changed,” added Mr. Biden, who continued by recalling the 1970 shooting at Kent State University where four students were killed protesting the Vietnam War.

He misstated the number of casualties, however, falsely saying that “over 40 kids” were shot by the National Guard.

Symone D. Sanders, an adviser for Mr. Biden’s campaign, said the candidate made the analogy between Mr. Obama and the slain politicians to show how traumatic the assassinations were for Americans alive at the time. Reporters aggregating the remarks are “chasing clicks,” she said on Twitter.

Mr. Biden, 76, has frequently credited both Kennedy and King with inspiring him to enter politics. He successfully ran for U.S. Senate in 1972 at the age of 29, where he served until becoming Mr. Obama’s running mate in the 2008 presidential race.

Recent polls have placed Mr. Biden as the top choice among Democratic voters compared to other candidates seeking the party’s nomination to run against President Trump in 2020.

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