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During a recent press conference, President Joe Biden claimed that he once convinced former Dixiecrat presidential candidate and staunch opponent of the Civil Rights Act Strom Thurmond to actually vote for the Civil Rights Act "before he died."
The president gave remarks from the podium on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the civil rights legal group Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law by claiming he convinced a segregationist to vote in favor of the Civil Rights Act, several outlets reported.
“Pause for just a moment. I thought things had changed. I was able to literally, not figuratively, talk Strom Thurmond into voting for the Civil Rights Act before he died, and I thought, ‘Well maybe there’s real progress.’ But hate never dies. It just hides, it hides under the rocks,” Biden said.
This drew confusion from reporters across the country.
RedState noted that two major versions of the Civil Rights Act were passed in 1957 and 1964. Thurmond voted against both of them. Furthermore, Biden would have been just 21 years old during the 1964 vote. Biden did not enter politics until 1971 and did not become a senator until 1973.
As Breitbart pointed out, Thurmond also holds the record for the longest-ever filibuster at 24 hours and 18 minutes in length. The filibuster was in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
A White House spokesperson later attempted to clarify that Biden had meant that he was “instrumental in getting Thurmond’s vote for the Voting Rights Act, in 1980," according to Fox News.
Thurmond passed away in 2003, long after any of the supposed scenarios could have taken place.
Following serving in World War II, Thurmond became governor of South Carolina from 1947 to 1951, according to an official Senate biography. He ran for president as a Dixiecrat in 1948, "calling for continued racial segregation and opposing federal civil rights laws."
In 1956, Thurmond signed the Southern Manifesto, a statement that called for "resistance to desegregation in public education."
He was a Democrat until 1964 before completing a switch to the Republican Party that year.
In 1982, Thurmond even opposed the renewal of parts of the Civil Rights Act, and, along with others, the senator contended that it was an unwarranted federal intrusion into local affairs.
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