Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in campaign event at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, Minnesota, on October 30, 2020 (AFP / Jim Watson)

Altered video aims to portray Biden as confused about his location

Copyright AFP 2017-2023. All rights reserved.

Videos appearing to show US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden greeting Florida voters with “Hello, Minnesota!” -- making it seem like the former vice president didn’t know where he was -- have spread online just before the election campaign ends. This is misleading; the rally took place in Minnesota, as Biden said, but the video was altered to make the background read “Tampa, Florida.”

“Meanwhile in Florida...Biden: "Hello Minnesota," a November 1, 2020 Facebook post says.

The footage shows Biden standing in front of an American flag and a billboard that reads: “Tampa, Florida: BATTLE for the SOUL of the NATION.” A sign on Biden’s lectern reads, “Text FL to 30330.” 

Screenshot of an altered video on Facebook, taken on November 2, 2020

“Sleepy joe Biden forget to take his Medication,” another post reads. 

More examples are circulating on Facebook here and here.

But photographs and other videos confirm the event did not take place in Florida.

TV channel C-SPAN published the original video of the event, where Biden climbs up to the stage at 28:24.

Biden’s YouTube channel also showed the speech here.

C-SPAN describes the event as a drive-in rally in St Paul, Minnesota on October 30, 2020. 

A screenshot of the footage at around the same time as the clip in the Facebook post shows that the top of the backdrop did not read “Tampa, Florida,” but rather “Text MN to 30330.”

The lectern sign also says “Text MN,” not “Text FL,” as the video on social media claims.

Screenshot taken on November 2, 2020 of C-SPAN footage showing an October 30, 2020 Joe Biden campaign event
A side-by-side comparison of the altered video (left) and the original C-SPAN footage (right)

AFP also covered the October 30 drive-in rally and published several photos of the event including this one.

Metadata from AFP’s photo indicate that the image was taken the evening of October 30 in St Paul, Minnesota.

An AFP photo by Jim Watson taken on October 30, 2020 showing Joe Biden at a campaign event in St. Paul, Minnesota (AFP / Jim Watson)

Republican candidate Donald Trump, trailing his opponent in polls, has sought to portray the Democratic candidate as senile, calling him “Sleepy Joe,” though the two men are only three years apart in age.

The claim that Biden is “sleepy” formed the basis of a manipulated video debunked by AFP Fact Check, alongside other claims about the Democratic nominee including here and here.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here for more.
US Elections 2020