Research

Fact Checking Biden: 10 Lies And Counting

Biden Claimed He Wanted To Be “Completely Accurate” In The Debate, But Instead He Twisted The Facts

Biden: “I Don’t Want To Say Anything In The Debate That’s Not Completely Accurate.” “‘What I’ve been doing mostly, quite frankly, is studying up on Congressman Ryan’s positions on the issues, and Gov. Romney has embraced at least everything I can see. I don’t want to say anything in the debate that’s not completely accurate,’ Biden told reporters outside a Hy-Vee in Council Bluffs, Iowa.” (Arlette Saenz, “Vice President Joe Biden Says Accuracy Is Key At Next Week’s Debate,” ABC News’ Political Punch, 10/4/12)

LIE #1: BIDEN CLAIMED THE WHITE HOUSE DIDN’T KNOW THE LIBYAN EMBASSY WANTED MORE SECURITY

THE CLAIM: Biden: “We Weren’t Told They Wanted More Security There.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Biden Contradicted “Three State Department Officials And The Former Head Of Diplomatic Security In Libya.” “Vice President Joe Biden claimed that the administration wasn’t aware of requests for more security in Libya before the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi during Thursday night’s debate, contradicting three State Department officials and the former head of diplomatic security in Libya.” (Josh Rogin, “Biden Contradicts State Department On Benghazi Security,” Foreign Policy, 10/11/12)

  • “Two Security Officials Who Worked For The State Department In Libya … Repeatedly Requested More Security And Two State Department Officials Admitted They Had Denied Those Requests.” “In fact, two security officials who worked for the State Department in Libya at the time testified Thursday that they repeatedly requested more security and two State Department officials admitted they had denied those requests.” (Josh Rogin, “Biden Contradicts State Department On Benghazi Security,” Foreign Policy, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “This Was Contradicted By State Department Officials Just This Week, In Testimony Before A Congressional Panel And In Unclassified Cables Released By A Congressional Committee.” “But this was contradicted by State Department officials just this week, in testimony before a congressional panel and in unclassified cables released by a congressional committee. ‘All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources,’ said Eric Nordstrom, the top regional security officer in Libya earlier this year. A Utah national guardsman who led a security team, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, said: ‘We felt great frustration that those requests were ignored or just never met.’” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Check: State Department Contradicts Biden,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 10/11/12)

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: “The State Department Did Know In Real Time From Videos That Requests For More Security Resources Had Been Made And Were Turned Down. A State Department Official Acknowledged That Testifying On Capitol Hill Only Yesterday.” NBC’s ANDREA MITCHELL: “Vice President Biden called the deaths a tragedy but he then claimed that the Obama administration did not know that Ambassador Stevens and other personnel on the ground had been asking for more security help.” VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “We weren’t told they wanted more security again. We did not know they wanted more security again. And by the way, at the time we were told exactly — we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment.” MITCHELL: “It was an assessment but the State Department did know in real time from videos that requests for more security resources had been made and were turned down. A state department official acknowledged that testifying on Capitol Hill only yesterday.” (NBC, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Senior State Department Officials Told A House Committee They Turned Down Requests From The U.S. Embassy In Libya To Send More American Military Personnel To Guard The Diplomatic Facilities.” “One day earlier, however, senior State Department officials told a House committee they turned down requests from the U.S. embassy in Libya to send more American military personnel to guard the diplomatic facilities.” (Meghan McCarthy, Katy O’Donnell, Josh Smith, and Sara Sorcher, “Fact Check: The Vice Presidential Debate Between Biden And Ryan,” National Journal, 10/11/12)

  • “Charlene R. Lamb, A Deputy Assistant Secretary For Diplomatic Security, Told Lawmakers She Refused Requests For More Security In Benghazi.” “Ryan is right, judging by testimony from Obama administration officials at a congressional hearing this week. Charlene R. Lamb, a deputy assistant secretary for diplomatic security, told lawmakers she refused requests for more security in Benghazi, saying the department wanted to train Libyans to protect the consulate. ‘Yes, sir, I said personally I would not support it,’ she said.” (Calvin Woodward, “FACT CHECK: Slips On Libya, Syria, Auto Bailout,” The Associated Press, 10/11/12)
  • “Eric Nordstrom, Who Was The Top Security Official In Libya Earlier This Year, Testified He Was Criticized For Seeking More Security.” “Eric Nordstrom, who was the top security official in Libya earlier this year, testified he was criticized for seeking more security. He said conversations he had with people in Washington led him to believe that it was ‘abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. How thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?’” (Calvin Woodward, “FACT CHECK: Slips On Libya, Syria, Auto Bailout,” The Associated Press, 10/11/12)

LIE #2: BIDEN CLAIMED THERE WAS NO WASTE OR ABUSE OF STIMULUS MONEY

THE CLAIM: Biden Claimed There Was “Not One Single Piece Of Evidence” Of Stimulus Cronyism And “Less Than Four-Tenths Of 1 Percent Waste Or Fraud.” BIDEN: “And now he’s sitting here looking at me — and by the way, that program — again, investigated — what the Congress said was, it was a model: less than four-tenths of 1 percent waste or fraud in the program. And all this talk about cronyism — they investigated, investigated; did not find one single piece of evidence. I wish he would just tell — be a little more candid.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “A Report By Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., And John McCain, R-Ariz., In 2010 Highlighted 100 ‘Wasteful’ Projects.” “A report by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and John McCain, R-Ariz., in 2010 highlighted 100 ‘wasteful’ projects to research things like how cocaine affects monkeys, or a study of exotic ants. Recipients of such funds said the research had important implications for humans, but critics said the money should have been used to create more jobs.” (Meghan McCarthy, Katy O’Donnell, Josh Smith, and Sara Sorcher, “Fact Check: The Vice Presidential Debate Between Biden And Ryan,” National Journal, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “As For Abuse, Biden Himself Said In 2010 That About $3 Million In Stimulus Money Had Been Found To Involve Fraud.” “As for abuse, Biden himself said in 2010 that about $3 million in stimulus money had been found to involve fraud. When the vice president made that statement in 2010, there had been at least 22 convictions and judgments for stimulus fraud, according to USA Today.” (Meghan McCarthy, Katy O’Donnell, Josh Smith, and Sara Sorcher, “Fact Check: The Vice Presidential Debate Between Biden And Ryan,” National Journal, 10/11/12)

LIE #3: BIDEN CLAIMED THE ADMISTRATION SAVED MONEY FROM MEDICARE AND PUT IT BACK IN THE PROGRAM

THE CLAIM: Biden: “What We Did Is, We Saved $716 Billion And Put It Back, Applied It To Medicare.” BIDEN: “But let’s talk about Medicare. What we did is we saved $716 billion and put it back — applied it to Medicare. We cut the cost of Medicare.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Contrary To Biden’s Assertion, Not All The Money Cut From Medicare Is Going Back Into The Program In Some Other Way.” “ Contrary to Biden’s assertion, not all the money cut from Medicare is going back into the program in some other way. The administration is cutting $716 billion over 10 years in Medicare payments to providers and using some of the money to improve benefits under the program. But most of the money is being used to expand health care coverage outside of Medicare.” (Becky Bowers, “Fact-Checking The Vice Presidential Debate,” PolitiFact, 10/11/12)

LIE #4: BIDEN CLAIMED OBAMACARE WOULD NOT REQUIRE RELIGIOUS GROUPS TO COVER CONTRACEPTIVES

THE CLAIM: Biden Claimed That ObamaCare Would Not Require Religious Groups Or Institutions To Finance Contraceptives. BIDEN: “With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear: No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise – including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy, any hospital – none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Biden Went A Bit Far Saying It Is A Fact That They Will Not Pay For Contraceptives.” “But there are still unsettled issues in this matter, so Biden went a bit far saying it is a fact that they will not pay for contraceptives.” (Josh Hicks, “Fact Check: Biden Goes A Bit Far On Birth Control,” The Washington Post, 10/11/12)

  • The Obama Administration Has Yet To Come Up With An Accommodation For Religious Groups So That They Will Not Pay For Contraceptive Coverage. Some church organizations still object to the mandate despite the exemption for religion-affiliated groups, arguing that they could end up paying for birth control indirectly if the mandate causes their health insurance costs to rise. Furthermore, the Obama administration said in March that it will come up with an accommodation for religiously affiliated employers that self-insure, but it has not yet decided how to handle that seven months later.” (Josh Hicks, “Fact Check: Biden Goes A Bit Far On Birth Control,” The Washington Post, 10/11/12)

LIE #5: BIDEN CLAIMED ROMNEY WOULDN’T “ MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH TO GET BIN LADEN

THE CLAIM: Biden Claimed That Romney “Wouldn’t Move Heaven And Earth To Get Bin Laden.” BIDEN: “Prior to being sworn in, Governor Romney was asked a question about how he would proceed. He said I wouldn’t move heaven and earth to get bin Laden.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: The Fact Checker: Biden “Ignored The Rest Of The Interview” And “Romney Clarified” His Remarks. “But Biden has ignored the rest of the interview, which the AP quoted him as saying was that ‘Instead, he said he supports a broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement.’ Romney also clarified that his remarks in an MSNBC debate a few days later.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Check: Biden on Bin Laden,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 10/11/12)

  • These Words Are “Cherry-Picked” And Gloss “Over Comments Describing His [Romney's] Broader Approach.” “We’ve rated a similar claim from an Obama ad, that Romney’s view on killing bin Laden was ‘it’s not worth moving heaven and earth.’ The Obama team was right that Romney used those words, but cherry-picked them, glossing over comments describing his broader approach. Romney said he wanted to pursue all of al-Qaida, not just its leaders.” (Becky Bowers, “Fact-Checking The Vice Presidential Debate,” PolitiFact, 10/11/12)

LIE #6: BIDEN CLAIMED ROMNEY WANTED DETROIT TO GO BANKRUPT

THE CLAIM: Biden: “He Said, Let It Go Bankrupt, Period.” BIDEN: “But you know what, I know he had no commitment to the automobile industry. He just let — he said, let it go bankrupt, period, let it drop out. All this talk — we saved a million jobs. Two hundred thousand people are working today.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Romney’s “Meaning Was More Nuanced And He Emphasized That He Was Not Referring To Liquidation.” “We checked a similar claim from Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, at the Democratic National Convention in September. She said that Romney’s response to the crisis in the auto industry was, ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.’ Romney did use the words about letting Detroit go bankrupt in a CBS TV interview, but his meaning was more nuanced and he emphasized that he was not referring to liquidation.” (Becky Bowers, “Fact-Checking The Vice Presidential Debate,” PolitiFact, 10/11/12)

THE CLAIM: Biden Said Gov. Romney “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: “We can and we will get it under 6 percent. Let’s take a look at the facts. Let’s look at where we were when we came into office. The economy was in freefall. We had the great recession hit. 9 million people lost their jobs. $1.60 trillion in wealth lost in equity in your homes, retirement accounts for the middle class. We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued general motors. We went ahead and made sure we cut taxes for the middle class. In addition to that, when that occurred, what did Romney do? – Romney said, no, Let Detroit go bankrupt.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Gov. Romney “Did Not Say That In The Article,” And The Managed Bankruptcy He Actually Called For Is What Eventually Transpired. “ Biden claimed that Romney wanted the auto industry to go bankrupt. This statement is drawn from a headline – ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’ – on an opinion article written by Romney for the New York Times. But he did not say that in the article. (He repeated the line, however, on television.) Although ‘bankrupt’ often conjures up images of liquidation, Romney called for a “managed bankruptcy.” This is a process in which the company uses the bankruptcy code to discharge its debts, but emerges from the process a leaner, less leveraged company. Ultimately, along with getting nearly $80 billion in loans and other assistance from the Bush and Obama administrations, GM and Chrysler did go through a managed bankruptcy. But many independent analysts have concluded that taking the approach recommended by Romney would not have worked in 2008, simply because the credit markets were so frozen that a bankruptcy was not a viable option at the time.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Check: Biden On Letting Detroit Go Bankrupt,” The Washington Post ‘s The Fact Checker, 10/11/12)

LIE #7: BIDEN CLAIMED RYAN’S BUDGET CUTS WERE TO BLAME FOR THE LACK OF EMBASSY SECURITY

THE CLAIM: Biden Accused Ryan Of Cutting Embassy Security In His House Budget Proposal. BIDEN: “Number one, the — this lecture on embassy security — the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for, number one. So much for the embassy security piece.” (Vice President Joe Biden, “2012 Vice Presidential Debate”, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Ryan Has Not Made Any Such Specific Proposal. “Mr. Ryan has not made any such specific proposal. But his broader budget proposal would squeeze the nondefense discretionary budget. Presuming that those budget cuts were applied evenly across federal programs, it would result in a $300 million cut for securing and maintaining embassies, the Obama campaign has argued.” (Annie Lowry, “Fact Check: Budget Cuts And Embassy Security,” The New York Times, 10/11/12)

  • Over The Course Of The Campaign, “Democrats Have Repeatedly Extrapolated” Ryan’s Broader Budget. “‘The president certainly doesn’t need lectures on securing our facilities overseas from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who’ve proposed slashing funding for our diplomatic and embassy security by $298 million dollars’ in 2014, an Obama campaign official told The Hill. Democrats have repeatedly extrapolated how Mr. Ryan’s broader budget proposal might squeeze individual programs over the course of the campaign.” (“Fact Check: Budget Cuts And Embassy Security,” The New York Times, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Ryan’s Budget “Blueprint Doesn’t Specify Cuts To Embassy Security.” “Ryan’s budget plan would have cut non-defense discretionary spending by 19% in 2014, according to The Hill newspaper. The blueprint doesn’t specify cuts to embassy security, but the Obama campaign says the figure – if applied across the board – would result in a $300 million decrease in funding for protection, construction and maintenance of all U.S. embassies. The Romney campaign disputed the claim, saying no specific cuts were recommended.” (Tim Mullaney, Susan Davis, Jackie Kucinich, Paul Davidson and Aamer Madhani, “Fact Check: A 2nd Look At Biden And Ryan Claims.”USA Today, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: State Department Official Charlene Lamb Testified Before The House Oversight Committee That Budget Cuts Had Nothing To Do With Security Decisions In Benghazi. REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R-CA): “It has been suggested the budget cuts are responsible for lack of security in Benghazi, and I’d like to ask Ms. Lamb, you made this decision personally, was there any budget consideration and lack of budget that led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?” STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS CHARLENE LAMB: “No, sir.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Oversight And Government Reform Committee, Hearing, 10/10/12)

LIE #8: BIDEN CLAIMED RYAN’S BUDGET WOULD COST SENIORS AN EXTRA $6,400

THE CLAIM: Biden Said Ryan’s Medicare Plan Would Force Seniors To Pay An Extra $6,400 Per Year. BIDEN: “Number two, guaranteed benefit – it’s a voucher. When they first proposed — when the congressman had his first voucher program, the CBO said it would cost $6,400 a year, Martha, more for every senior 55 and below when they got there. He knew that, yet he got it — all the guys in Congress, and women in the Republican party to vote for it. Governor Romney, knowing that, said, I — I — I would sign it were I there. Who you believe, the AMA? Me? A guy who’s fought his whole life for this? Or somebody who had actually put in motion a plan that knowingly cut — added $6,400 a year more to the cost of Medicare?” (Vice President Joe Biden, “2012 Vice Presidential Debate”, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “It Is Not A Number That CBO’s Economists Offered Themselves. Instead, It Is An Interpretation Of CBO’s Analysis.” “It comes from a Congressional Budget Office analysis of Ryan’s first budget plan, which would convert Medicare into a voucher program. It is not a number that CBO’s economists offered themselves. Instead, it is an interpretation of CBO’s analysis. Liberal thinkers took CBO’s first estimates of Ryan’s Medicare plan and used simple subtraction to arrive at the $6,400 figure-taking the difference between what seniors would have to pay for the estimated cost of a private Medicare plan in 2022 and what traditional Medicare would cost seniors that same year.” (Meghan McCarthy, Katy O’Donnell, Josh Smith, and Sara Sorcher, “Fact Check: The Vice Presidential Debate Between Biden And Ryan,” National Journal, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Most Recent Version Of Ryan’s Plan May Require Seniors To Pay As Little As $800 A Year More Than Under Current Law.” “This figure actually applies to the first of three Medicare proposals Ryan has made, as he tweaks his core idea of shifting Medicare toward a voucher-based approach for people now younger than 55. It was calculated by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, and confirmed by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Even so, the most recent version of Ryan’s plan may require seniors to pay as little as $800 a year more than under current law, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported in August.” (Tim Mullaney, Susan Davis, Jackie Kucinich, Paul Davidson and Aamer Madhani, “Fact Check: A 2nd Look At Biden And Ryan Claims.” USA Today, 10/11/12)

  • “Ryan’s Second Budget Plan And The Medicare Plan From Romney Keeps The Traditional Federal Health Program For The Elderly As An Option For Seniors.” “Ryan’s second budget plan and the Medicare plan from Romney keeps the traditional federal health program for the elderly as an option for seniors, a significant shift from the first Ryan budget that the $6,400 figure is based on.” (Meghan McCarthy, Katy O’Donnell, Josh Smith, and Sara Sorcher, “Fact Check: The Vice Presidential Debate Between Biden And Ryan,” National Journal, 10/11/12)

LIE #9: BIDEN CLAIMED OBAMA ONLY WANTS TO RAISE TAXES ON MILLIONAIRES

THE CLAIM: Biden: Only Millionaires Will Pay More Under Obama’s Tax Plan. BIDEN: “The middle class will pay less, and people making a million dollars or more will begin to contribute slightly more.” (Vice President Joe Biden, “2012 Vice Presidential Debate”, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Obama’s Proposed Tax Increase Reaches Farther Down The Income Ladder Than Millionaires.” “Obama’s proposed tax increase reaches farther down the income ladder than millionaires. He wants to roll back Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making over $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Check: Biden on Bin Laden,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 10/11/12)

LIE #10: BIDEN CLAIMED OBAMA RESCUED THE AUTO INDUSTRY

THE CLAIM: Biden: “We Went Out And Rescued General Motors.” BIDEN: “We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued General Motors.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: The Auto Bailout Began Under The Previous Administration, Not Under Obama. “Actually, the auto bailout of General Motors and Chrysler began under President George W. Bush. The Obama administration continued and expanded it.” (Calvin Woodward, “FACT CHECK: Slips On Libya, Syria, Auto Bailout,” The Associated Press, 10/11/12)