Friday 23 August 2019

Joe Biden challenged to discuss 'only real Irishman' claims over a pint of Guinness

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (Keith Srakocic/AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (Keith Srakocic/AP)

Markus Krug

JOE Biden has been challenged to discuss his "only real Irishman" claim over a pint of Guinness by a fellow Democratic presidential candidate.

Former congressman John Delaney issued the challenge after Biden called himself the “only real Irishman” in the race for the White House, as reported by the Financial Times.

"I'm sure there's a civil way to figure this all out - maybe over a pint of Guinness in Rehoboth, @JoeBiden?" Mr Delaney tweeted on Tuesday.

This comes after Mr Biden proudly emphasised his Irish roots once again in an interview earlier this week.

A reporter introduced his question by asking: “Can an Irishman get a question?”

The former US vice president used the topic for a jab at his rivals. "The Irish guy? There's only one real Irishman running for president and it's me," he said at the end of the political event.

There are at least four other candidates of Irish ancestry hoping to become the next US president.

Besides Mr Delaney, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke have ties to the Emerald Isle.

Mr Biden's roots in Ireland can be traced to his great-grandfather, James Finnegan, who emigrated from Louth as a child in 1850. Overall, ten of his 16 great-great-grandparents are from Ireland.

While Mr Delaney, who has three grandparents of Irish descent, seemed to take Mr Biden's remarks in good humour, he did back a backlash from some online commentators.

Mr Biden was accused of making a swipe at the other candidates - supporters of former El Paso congressman O’Rourke, called the statement unnecessary and a “waste of breath” via Twitter.

Former vice president Joe Biden had announced that he would run for president in 2020 at the end of April. The 76-year-old had previously run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008 but had withdrawn from both races.

After his 2008 candidacy had failed, he agreed to become Barack Obama’s running mate and subsequently served two terms as his vice president.

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