2020 hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden looks ahead to Super Tuesday with Chris Wallace.
Former Vice President Joe Biden continued on Sunday to walk back his comment that he was arrested in apartheid-era South Africa when trying to visit Nelson Mandela – saying during in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” that it would have been better to say he had been detained.
“We landed in Johannesburg and the Afrikaners took me off the plane and took me into one direction, wanted me to go through a white-only door, and in fact I wouldn’t move,” Biden said. They said no you can’t. And I said so I’m staying here, I’m not going to move, and they would not let me move anywhere.
He added: “So I guess I should have said I was detained, that I was not able to move forward.”
Biden was recently criticized for saying on multiple occasions in recent weeks that he was arrested three decades ago as he sought to visit Mandela on a trip to South Africa.
“This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid,” Biden said at a campaign event in South Carolina, as reported by The New York Times. “I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on Robben Island.”
At another event in Las Vegas, he said that Mandela thanked him for getting arrested.
“After he got free and became president, he came to Washington and came to my office,” Biden said, according to the Times. “He threw his arms around me and said, ‘I want to say thank you.’ I said, ‘What are you thanking me for, Mr. President?’ He said, ‘You tried to see me. You got arrested trying to see me.’”
The South Africa incident, along with others, has raised questions about Biden’s shakiness while on the campaign trail.
Moderator Chris Wallace also questioned Biden on a comment from last week in which he referred to himself as “a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate” despite not having served in the upper chamber of Congress since 2008.
Biden said his remark was taken out of context and that what he said was typical of how he has campaigned in the past.
“I said look I’m going to say the same things I’ve always said, like I used to campaign in Delaware,” Biden said. “That’s a sentence I’ve repeated throughout making the case and I’m here now to ask you all to look me over.”
Biden, who for months was the Democratic presidential primary front-runner, has been on his heels the last few weeks following poor performances in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. His win Saturday evening in the South Carolina primary injected a much-needed boost into his campaign, but his presidential bid still remains uncertain as the election season heads into Super Tuesday.
The former vice president trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the majority of races and a disastrous showing on Tuesday could doom the once-favorite’s White House bid. Biden, however, said no matter what happens on Super Tuesday, there are a number of key states still left undecided.
“There’s a lot of big states coming up after that, Florida and Georgia and Pennsylvania and Michigan,” he said. “I think we’ve now begun to raise money, nothing like [his opponents] have raised. We have raised about $18 million this month, just $5 million overnight, and so I think things are picking up.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.