Fact Check

Did Joe Biden Misremember Who Attacked Pearl Harbor?

Don't believe everything you see in a meme, even supposed quotes from gaffe-prone politicians.

Published Aug. 4, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden once said that "the Germans" bombed Pearl Harbor.

Although Joe Biden has been dubbed "gaffe prone" by some media outlets, one thing the former Vice President did not say is that the "Germans bombed Pearl Harbor," as suggested by a widely circulated meme:

This image has been circulating online since at least 2012, when it was created to spoof a seemingly nonsensical tweet sent by @TheDemocrats:

Shortly after @TheDemocrats sent out the above-referenced tweet, social media were flooded with faux nonsensical quotes supposedly issued by Joe Biden:

It should also be noted that in March 2012, a few months before this Joe Biden meme was created, Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison did mistakenly state during a Fox News interview with Bill O'Reilly that the Germans had bombed Pearl Harbor:

While it is likely that the creator of the meme was simultaneously mocking Ellison and Biden, it's more likely that the "Germans bombed Pearl Harbor" quote was inspired by John Belushi's famous and politically incorrect speech from the 1978 film comedy Animal House:

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.