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President Biden apparently went off the rails with a heartfelt story about how he’d ridden some 1.5 million miles on Amtrak and being personally congratulated by an Amtrak conductor — who had actually retired some 20 years before.
“When I became vice president, one of the Capitol Hill newspapers estimated that I had taken more than 7,000 round trips on Amtrak over my career. I think that’s an exaggeration,” Biden said on Friday when he helped the nation’s passenger rail system celebrate 50 years, Fox News reported.
The president then told a touching story about being informed of the 1.5 million miles milestone on a trip to visit his sick mother while in his “fourth or fifth year as vice president” — when his mother had already passed away.
“I’m going to rely on those two conductors … one of them was a guy named Angelo Negri,” said the president, an avid rail user who earned the name “Amtrak Joe” as a senator.
“There was an article, I guess my fourth or fifth year as vice president, saying Biden travels 1,300,000 miles on Air Force One [Two]. I used to – the Secret Service didn’t like it – but I used to like to take the train home,” he continued.
“My mom was sick and I used to try to come home almost every weekend as vice president to see her. I got on the train and Angelo Negri came up and he goes, ‘Joey, baby,’ and he grabbed my cheek like he always did. I thought he was going to get shot. I’m serious. I said, ‘No, no, he’s a friend,’” Biden steamed ahead.
“He said, ‘Joey, what’s the big deal? 1,300,000 miles on Air Force Two? Do you know how many miles you traveled on Amtrak?’ I said, ‘No, Angie, I don’t know.’ He gave me the calculation and he said you traveled 1,500,000 miles on Amtrak. The fact is, I’d probably take Angie’s word before I’d take the word of what the article said,” Biden said.
But Fox News poked holes in the commander-in-chief’s long-winded account, noting that he entered the fourth year of his vice presidency around 2013 — and that Negri’s obit said he had retired from Amtrak in 1993, when Biden was in the Senate.
The president’s mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan, also died in 2010, according to Fox News — before he entered his fourth year of vice presidency.
The outlet also pointed out that Biden’s office celebrated him reaching 1 million miles on Air Force Two in 2015.
“A few months ago, Vice President Joe Biden crossed the million-mile mark aboard Air Force Two – the official plane of the Vice President. … I wanted to give you a sense of what those more-than 1 million miles have looked like these past seven years,” vice presidential photographer David Lienemann wrote in a blog post in February 2016, according to Fox News.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.
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