It’s an awkward moment when a presidential candidate greets the audience at a rally and names the wrong state.
Fortunately for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, that didn’t happen to him this week, despite a widely shared video that appears to show him saying “Hello, Minnesota” to a crowd in Florida.
It turns out he was, indeed, in Minnesota. The video that was shared had been altered to change the text on a sign and the podium to refer to Tampa, Florida, instead of Minnesota.
The short clip claims to show Biden mistakenly greeting the crowd at a campaign event in Tampa, Florida.
“Hello, Minnesota!” Biden says after taking the stage. Behind him, a sign appears to read, “Tampa, Florida” and “Battle for the Soul of the Nation.”
However, the Associate Press has assessed that the video is false and is a doctored version of footage from a Biden campaign event in Minnesota on October 30.
The sign behind Biden in the altered video has been edited to add the words “Tampa, Florida” and remove the words “TEXT MN to 30330.” The podium has also been edited to add “FL” instead of “MN.” Original video from this event confirms that Biden was in Minnesota and addressed the correct state in his greeting.
Biden continues, “Jessica, thank you for being here, for sharing your story.” Then, the 16-second clip ends.
— JJ Boogie ▶️???? (@JJ_Boogie) November 1, 2020
The video had more than a million views on Twitter on Sunday and was spreading quickly the weekend before the US presidential election. However, the words on the sign and the podium in this video have been manipulated. Several sources prove that Biden did not address the wrong state in his greeting and he was indeed in Minnesota.
An original version of the video on C-SPAN shows it was taken during an October 30 campaign stop in St. Paul, Minnesota. The sign did not read “Tampa, Florida,” but instead said “TEXT MN to 30330.” The podium did not read “TEXT FL to 30330,” but instead said “TEXT MN to 30330.”
Several Associated Press images from the event provide additional proof that the sign and podium said “TEXT MN to 30330” and did not include mention of Florida.
There are other contextual clues as well. The video shows Biden wearing a thick coat for Minnesota’s cold climate. At a recent appearance in the warmer Tampa, Florida, on October 29, Biden only wore a suit jacket.
The Biden campaign also confirmed to the AP that the video was taken in Minnesota.
Biden’s reference to someone named Jessica in his greeting was to Jessica Intermill, a Minnesotan with rheumatoid arthritis who spoke about health care at the St. Paul event before Biden took the stage.
Twitter marked as “manipulated media” one version of the video that was viewed over a million times before the user deleted it, CNN reported.
Trump, his campaign team and the president’s supporters have tried to claim that Biden is mentally unfit for office and repeatedly promoted misleading videos to back up the assertion.
Last week Trump mocked Biden for appearing to call him George.
Biden, 77, made the gaffe while virtually addressing a concert held to raise money for his campaign.
“What kind of country we’re gonna be? Four more years of George, ah, George, he… gonna find ourselves in a position where if Trump gets elected we’re gonna be in a different world,” Biden said.
Some have suggested that Biden confused Trump with comedian George Lopez, who was present at the virtual fundraiser and had just asked Biden a question, or with former presidents George W. Bush or George H.W. Bush.
Trump responded with a gleeful tweet, falsely claiming that Biden needed the interviewer to remind him of his name.
In March Trump retweeted a video that had been cut short to make it seem as though Biden had urged that the president be reelected. Then in August White House social media chief Dan Scavino shared a fake video that appeared to show Biden falling asleep during an interview, CNN reported.
A month later the Trump campaign pushed a doctored video that seemed to show that Biden forgetting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Americans went to the polls on Tuesday with Biden hoping to unseat incumbent Trump who is aiming for a second term in office.