President Biden was under fire for making a dubious claim about the death of Beau Biden, his son, when speaking on the phone with the family members of a US service member killed by an Iran-backed militia while on base along the Syria-Jordan border. That service member was Specialist Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, and Biden told Sanders’ parents that he lost his son to the Iraq War.
As background, Beau Biden did not die in combat. Though he served one tour in the country from 2008 to 2009, he died of brain cancer in 2015. Biden maintains that his cancer death was connected to the infamous Iraq “burn pits” that do appear to have caused higher incidents of cancer among service members exposed to them, though he has offered no evidence to show that that is the case.
In any case, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that President Biden brought up his dubious claim about Beau’s death while on the phone with the parents of Specialist Sanders, who was being promoted posthumously to sergeant. Oneida Oliver-Sanders, the mother of Specialist Sanders, upon being given the news, said, “Oh wow, that is the best news I’ve heard today, thank you so much.” She added, “You don’t know how much that means to us.”
Biden, for his part, responded by making his dubious claim about Beau’s death, telling the family that he “lost” Beau to the Iraq War. He said, in response to Mrs. Sanders, “Oh, well, I tell you what, it means a lot to me. My son spent a year in Iraq; that’s how I lost him.”
He then repeated the claim later on the call, adding the detail about the burn pits. He said, “And my son Beau, he was living near a burn pit in Baghdad. He came down with stage 4 glioblastoma brain tumor, and we lost him too.”
Commenting on the president’s claims, the White House said, “The President was expressing respect and empathy for a family in terrible pain, after a loved one made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. When the President’s late son served in Iraq, he was exposed to toxic burn pits before being diagnosed with cancer, a tragic experience shared by many veterans.”
Watch Biden’s conversation here:
Of course Biden called one of the three families who lost their child in the Iran-backed drone attack annnnd he made it all about Beau, claiming he's been in their exact same position.
The nerve of this guy…. pic.twitter.com/ddBDWtOwkI
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 1, 2024
Predictably, conservatives on X skewered Biden for the comments. For example, Curtis Houck, the Managing Editor of NewsBusters, wrote, “Of course Biden called one of the three families who lost their child in the Iran-backed drone attack annnnd he made it all about Beau, claiming he’s been in their exact same position. The nerve of this guy….”
Similarly, RedState writer Buzz Patterson accused Biden of using Beau to gain the accolades and sympathy of a Gold Star parent. Patterson posted, “.@JoeBiden continues to use his dead son Beau to commit “Stolen Valor.” Biden is NOT a Gold Star dad and he needs to stop acting like he is.”
Another poster, commenting on what makes the Biden situation different, however sad it may be, wrote, “Beau Biden died surrounded by family. They had time to prepare, to tell him they loved him, to come to terms with death. These people had soldiers knock on their door with the worst possible news, unexpectedly. They had no time to say goodbye. Biden steals their valor.“
"*" indicates required fields