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Biden's Law School Ranking Not as He Said

September 21, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. claimed during a campaign appearance in New Hampshire last spring that he finished in the top half of his law school class, although records indicate he finished near the bottom, Newsweek magazine reported today.

In a videotape released by the public service cable network C-SPAN, the Delaware Democrat was asked at a campaign stop in Claremont, N.H., about what law school he attended and how well he did.

"I went to (Syracuse) law school on a full academic scholarship," said Biden, who has been beset by revelations that he plagiarized in law school and used portions of a speech by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock without credit.

On the tape, Biden says he "ended up in the top half" of his class.

"I won the international moot-court competition. . . . I was the outstanding student in the political science department (as an undergraduate). . . . I graduated with three degrees from college," Biden told the questioner.

'Higher IQ Than You'

A clearly angered Biden added: "I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do.

Last week, however, the presidential candidate said at a news conference that he had finished 76th in a law school class of 85. Records he released indicated he had a partial, need-based scholarship as well as student loans.

The tape was aired April 12 as part of the network's "Road to the White House" series, C-SPAN spokeswoman Nan Gibson said.

Newsweek magazine said Biden does not mention the moot-court competition on his resume and did not win the political science award at University of Delaware, where he received a single B.A. in political science and history.

Biden told the New York Times that he was "frustrated" and "angry as hell" about the Newsweek report.

"It's so easy to make things look like there's something sinister about them," he said. "I guess every single word I've said is going to be dissected now."

Of his class ranking in law school, he said, "I exaggerate when I'm angry, but I've never gone around telling people things that aren't true about me."

Asked if his candidacy would survive the accusations, Biden said: "I think if I can get by the next week, I can pull out of this. If I can just get my story across."

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