FUTURE first lady Jill Biden has slammed critics who ridiculed thedoctorate she "worked so hard for".
It comes after a Wall Street Journal opinion piece challenged her to drop the title 'Dr.' – claiming it "sounds and feel fraudulent".
The 69-year-old – who is married to president-elect Joe Biden – hit out at "tone" of the article by Joseph Epstein, which she says took her by surprise.
Speaking on The Late Show, Stephen Colbert said: "You once said in your memoir 'the role I have always felt most at home in is Dr Biden'. Some people have recently taken it upon themselves to question that title."
Dr Biden responded: "Yeah, that was such a surprise. And it was really the tone of it I think – you know he called me kiddo.
"One of the things I'm most proud of is my doctorate. I mean I worked so hard for it."
Jill Biden received a Doctor of Education in educational leadership in 2007.
Before Joe was elected Vice President, she taught English for 15 years at Delaware Technical and Community College.
In January 2007 she received a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership from the University of Delaware.
Epstein gave Dr Biden some advice in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on December 11, titled "Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.".
"Any chance you might drop the 'Dr.' before your name?" he wrote.
“'Dr. Jill Biden'” sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.
"Your degree is, I believe, an Ed.D., a doctor of education, earned at the University of Delaware through a dissertation with the unpromising title 'Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs.'"
Fox News host Tucker Carlson agreed with Epstein's remarks, slating Dr Biden as "borderline illiterate" after spotting her typo-ridden PhD dissertation.
He spent ten minutes mocking her thesis and for using a 'Dr' honoric, days after saying she was only a doctor "in the same sense Dr Pepper is".
Former first lady Michelle Obama leapt to Dr Biden's defense, calling her a "terrific role model".
Writing on Instagram , she said: "For eight years, I saw Dr. Jill Biden do what a lot of professional women do – successfully manage more than one responsibility at a time, from her teaching duties to her official obligations in the White House to her roles as a mother, wife and friend.
"And right now, we're all seeing what also happens to so many professional women, whether their titles are Dr., Ms, Mrs, or even First Lady.
"All too often, our accomplishment are met with skepticism, even derision.
"We're doubted by those who choose the weakness of ridicule over the strength of respect."
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