During a town hall Friday afternoon, former Vice President Joe Biden asked a New Hampshire audience to imagine what it would have been like if Barack Obama had been assassinated when he became the Democratic nominee for president in 2008 and how it would’ve affected the country.
The scenario came as Biden discussed the impact that the 1968 assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy had on his own life and how that had prompted him to run for office.
“My two political heroes were MLK and Bobby Kennedy. My senior semester, they were both shot and killed,” Biden said during a health care town hall at Dartmouth College. “Imagine if, God forbid, Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee. What would have happened in America?”
Biden went on to briefly discuss the 1970 shootings at Kent State University, misstating the number of people shot by the National Guard, saying “over 40 kids were shot.” Four students were killed and nine people wounded.
The former vice president often references King’s and Kennedy’s assassinations as pivotal moments in his life. A Biden campaign official tells CNN that Biden has made a similar comment about Obama before as he’s tried to stress and explain the significance of Kennedy’s and King’s assassinations to people who may not have been alive at the time.