Former vice president Joe Biden said Monday that “I don’t count drunk driving as a felony” during a Vice News panel on minority issues, despite falsely claiming for years that his first wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver.
Biden’s comments came after he was asked “what exact changes would you bring to ICE as an agency,” and he responded by saying he would fire an agent who tried to deport an undocumented immigrant not charged with a felony.
“You change the culture by saying you are going to get fired. You are fired if, in fact, you do that. You only arrest for the purpose of dealing with a felony that’s committed, and I don’t count drunk driving as a felony,” Biden said.
Following a 1972 tragedy in which Biden’s first wife and baby daughter were killed when their car was struck by a tractor-trailer, Biden stated that the other driver was drinking at the time of the accident, despite the driver never being charged with drunk driving.
In a 2001 speech at the University of Delaware, he told the crowd that an “it was an errant driver who stopped to drink instead of drive and hit—a tractor-trailer—hit my children and my wife and killed them.”
“A tractor-trailer, a guy who allegedly — and I never pursued it — drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch, broadsided my family and killed my wife instantly and killed my daughter instantly and hospitalized my two sons,” Biden said while campaigning in 2007.
After CBS aired Biden’s unfounded criticisms in 2008, the man’s daughter told a reporter from the News Journal in Delaware that there no evidence to the accusations.
The family feels these statements are both hurtful and untrue and we didn’t know where they originated from,” Pamela Hamill said at the time. She told Politico last January that, following a 2009 report from CBS on how her father Curtis Dunn “was haunted and was tormented” by the crash, Biden called to apologize.
He apologized for hurting my family in any way,” she said. “So we accepted that — and kind of end of story from there.”