‘Members of the same club’: Teen offers testimonial for Biden, who helped with his stutter

VIDEO | 02:05
13-year-old says Joe Biden inspired him to speak, despite stuttering

13-year-old Brayden Harrington spoke at Thursday night’s Democratic National Convention


In an evening of testimonials to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, none stood out Thursday quite like 13-year-old Brayden Harrington’s.

When he met Biden in New Hampshire during the primaries, Harrington told the party’s national convention, “He told me that we were members of the same club. We stutter.”

After a long pause before saying the word stutter, Harrington went on, reading from a sheet of paper with occasional halts: “It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president. He told me about a book of poems by Yeats he would read out loud to practice. He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud. So I did the same thing today.”

The emotionally charged moment carried some political edge. President Trump, who mocked a disabled reporter during his 2016 campaign, has used Biden’s occasional verbal stumbles to portray the former vice president as borderline senile, but Harrington cast his speech patterns in a more positive light.


“I’m just a regular kid,” Harrington said. “In a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me feel more confident about something that was bothering me my whole life. Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us. Kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to. Someone who cares.”

Joe Biden, storied speechifier whose verbal gaffes have come under scrutiny, had a stutter as a child. How he overcame it says a lot about his character and speaking style.

Sept. 16, 2019