Biden retells Naval Academy nomination story at West Point commencement

During his commencement address at West Point on Saturday, President Biden repeated a claim that he turned down an appointment to the Naval Academy because he said he wanted to play football.

Years before Biden, 81, defeated him in the 1972 election to become a U.S. senator, Republican Delaware Sen. J. Caleb Boggs told the graduates he was “one of 10” commissioned at the Naval Academy.

“I was recruited to the Naval Academy at the age of 29 by the player I competed against. I am one of 10 people. I wanted to play football,” Biden said said in his remarks.

“Two days ago they had a quarterback named Roger Stabuck and a halfback named Joe Bellino — and I said, ‘I’m not going there. I’m going to Delaware. No joke,'” the president said.

Biden told West Point graduates he wanted to play football at the Naval Academy, but declined the meeting. Fox News
Biden previously told the same story to midshipmen graduating in 2022. Fox News

Biden previously told a similar story to midshipmen graduating in 2022, where he said he was accepted to a military institute in 1965 but declined to attend.

He did not specify the date in Saturday’s version of the story.

Bellino and Staubach are the only two Navy football players to win the Heisman Trophy. Staubach, an NFL Hall of Famer, played his first game for Navy in 1962 and graduated in 1964. Bellino played his last game in January 1961 — four years before he considered attending the Naval Academy.

Biden was a standout high school football player at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware, where he graduated in 1961. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965. He reportedly played football his freshman year, but did not finish the season.

Biden said Roger Staubach influenced him to turn down an appointment to the Naval Academy. Associated Press

RNC Research, an X account run by the Republican National Committee’s Rapid Response Team, uncovered Biden’s dubious story.

“He has repeated this lie many times before and yet there is no record of it happening,” the RNC posted.

Biden’s 2008 autobiography, “Promise to Keep,” does not specifically mention the Naval Academy.

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