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Biden did not bungle the Pledge of Allegiance at a campaign stop

September 22, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden botching the Pledge of Allegiance. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Biden was not reciting the full Pledge of Allegiance. He was discussing, during a campaign stop in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, how he would govern as president. He also discussed coronavirus deaths in the U.S. surpassing 200,000 and details of his economic plan. 

THE FACTS: On Monday, a video clip of Biden circulated widely on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with claims that he incorrectly recited the Pledge of Allegiance. He was actually referencing the pledge in his speech discussing how he would govern.

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“I don’t pledge allegiance to the red states of America or blue states of America. I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, one nation, indivisible, under God, for real,” he said. I’m running as a proud Democrat. But I’m not going to govern as a Democratic president, I’m going to govern as president.” C-SPAN captured the remarks. 

In the shortened clip shared on social media, Biden says only: “I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, one nation, indivisible, under God, for real.”

One Twitter user posted the misleading clip commenting, “Joe Biden completely botches the Pledge of Allegiance.” The post had over 13,000 retweets by Tuesday afternoon. The shortened clip with the misleading comments also circulated widely on Facebook and YouTube

A spokesperson with the Biden campaign also confirmed to the AP that Biden was referencing the pledge in his remarks, not citing the pledge.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536