Did Joe Biden Really Confuse Donald Trump With Abraham Lincoln?

A viral social media post claims that Joe Biden confused President Trump with Abraham Lincoln during the final presidential debate last Thursday.

The caption of the post reads as follows:

Biden Confuses Trump With Abraham Lincoln, Promptly Gets DESTROYED By Trump

TRUMP: “I am the least racist person in the room.”

BIDEN: “Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist Presidents we’ve had in modern history.”

This post is missing context. It’s true that Biden referred to Trump as “Abraham Lincoln,” but he seemingly did so facetiously.

Earlier in the evening, during a segment on race in America, Trump referenced Abraham Lincoln and said the following:

“Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump. And if you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, possible exception, but the exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has done what I’ve done.”

Later in the discussion, Trump described himself as “the least racist person in this room.” Biden’s retort harkened back to Trump’s earlier reference to Lincoln:

“Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history, he pours fuel on every single racist fire, every single one,” said Biden. “He started off his campaign coming down the escalator saying he’s getting rid of those Mexican rapists, he’s banned Muslims because they’re Muslims, he has moved around and made everything worse across the board.”

In response to Biden’s apparently facetious characterization, Trump said: “No, he made a reference to Abraham Lincoln, where did that come in?” to which Biden said: “You said you’re Abraham Lincoln.”

Trump, taking Biden literally (if not seriously), countered: “No, I said, not since Abraham Lincoln has anybody done what I’ve done for the black community.”

Clearly sensing some miscommunication, Biden laughs while Trump continues to explain he is not claiming to be the 16th president.

While sarcasm is always somewhat subjective, Biden is pretty clearly referencing Donald Trump’s often-repeated claim that he is competing with Abraham Lincoln for the status of the president who has done the most for black people. We invite readers to watch the video, marshal their common sense, and draw their own conclusions.

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Photographs by Brendan Smialowski, Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.

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