Research

Fact Checking Biden: Seventeen Pinocchios

Biden’s Debate Performance Belied The Facts – Seventeen Times Over

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: “MAYBE BIDEN WAS TOO BUSY IN DEBATE PREP…”

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’s Bold Statement Was Directly Contradicted By State Department Officials Just This Week…” “Biden’s bold statement was directly contradicted by State Department officials just this week, in testimony before a congressional panel and in unclassified cables released by a congressional committee.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Checking The Vice-Presidential Debate,” The Washington Post ‘s The Fact Checker, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: Biden’s Defense That The Administration Was Unaware Of Benghazi’s Numerous Requests For Additional Security “Runs Counter To Evidence And Testimonies That Were Presented At A House Oversight Committee Hearing.” “That assertion runs counter to evidence and testimonies that were presented at a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday, where the committee released five memos requesting additional security, and witnesses from the State Department confirmed that those requests had been denied. During the hearing, Eric Nordstrom, who was in charge of security in Libya for the State Department, recalled his frustration when he tried to request more agents in Benghazi. He told a regional director, he said, that the toughest part of his job was ‘not the hardships, it’s not the gunfire, it’s not the threats. It’s dealing, and fighting, against the people, programs, and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me.’ He added, ‘For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building.’” (Rebecca Berg, “Biden Contradicts Evidence On Benghazi Security Requests,” BuzzFeed, 10/12/12)

  • THE FACTS: “Ryan Is Right, Judging By Testimony From Obama Administration Officials At A Congressional Hearing This Week.” “In context: Ryan is right, judging by testimony from Obama administration officials at a congressional hearing this week. Charlene 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. Eric Nordstrom, who was the top security official in Libya earlier this year, 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.’” (“Fact Check: Biden Stretches Tax Plan, While Ryan Misused Statement On Syria,” The Dallas Morning News, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Former State Department “Point Man On Security In Libya” Testified To Congress That He Requested Additional Security In Benghazi But Was Denied. “On Wednesday, the State Department’s former point man on security in Libya told the House Oversight Committee that he asked for additional security help for the Benghazi facility months before the attack, but was denied.” (“CNN Fact Check: What About The Security In Benghazi,” CNN, 10/12/12)

  • Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom: “For Me And My Staff, It Was Abundantly Clear That We Were Not Going To Get Resources Until The Aftermath Of An Incident.” “‘For me and my staff, it was abundantly clear that we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident,’ Nordstrom said.” (“CNN Fact Check: What About The Security In Benghazi,” CNN, 10/12/12)

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 MEDICARE’S ACTUARY DID NOT SAY HOSPITALS WOULD GO OUT OF BUSINESS DUE TO OBAMACARE’S CUTS TO MEDICARE

THE CLAIM: Biden Claimed The Medicare’s Actuary Did Not Say That One Out Of Six Hospitals And Nursing Homes Are Going To Go Out Of Business As A Result Of ObamaCare’s Cuts To Medicare. PAUL RYAN: “Their own actuary from the administration came to Congress and said one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this.” BIDEN: “That’s not what they said.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Ryan Is Right, And Biden Is Wrong.” “Ryan is right, and Biden is wrong. ‘It is doubtful that many [hospitals and other health care providers] will be able to improve their own productivity to the degree’ necessary to accommodate the cuts, Medicare actuary Richard S. Foster has written. ‘Thus, providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantial portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable, and, absent legislative intervention, might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing care for beneficiaries. [Our] simulations…suggest that roughly 15 percent of [hospitalization] providers would become unprofitable within the 10-year projection as a result of the [spending cuts].’ Last time we checked, 15 percent is just shy of ‘one out six’ (16.67 percent).” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Check: State Department Contradicts Biden,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 10/11/12)

LIE #3: BIDEN CLAIMED HIS PREDECESSOR’S POLICIES CAUSED THE RECESSION

THE CLAIM: Biden Claimed The Recession Was Caused By The War Spending, Medicare Drug Benefit, And Tax Cuts. BIDEN: “And, by the way, they talk about this Great Recession if it fell out of the sky, like, ‘Oh, my goodness, where did it come from?’ It came from this man [Ryan] voting to put two wars on a credit card, to at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for the very wealthy. I was there. I voted against them. I said, ‘No, we can’t afford that.’” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Biden Was Reaching… The Downturn Was Primarily Due To The Collapse Of Financial Markets.” “Biden was reaching. While many factors contributed to the deep recession between December, 2007 and June 2009, the downturn was primarily due to the collapse of financial markets amid a tidal wave of bad debts, over borrowing by consumers and businesses and a wildly over-valued housing market.” (“Fact Check: US Vice Presidential Debate,” Reuters, 10/12/12)

LIE #4: BIDEN CLAIMED THE JOINT CHIEFS SUPPORTED OBAMA’S TIMETABLE FOR REMOVING SURGE TROOPS FROM IRAQ

THE CLAIM: Biden Claimed The Joint Chiefs All Supported The Timetable For Removing The Surge From Afghanistan. BIDEN: “The military reason was bringing — by the way, when the president announced the surge — you’ll remember, Martha — he said, the surge will be out by the end of the summer. The military said, the surge will be out. Nothing political about this. Before the surge occurred — so you be a little straight with me here, too — before the surge occurred, we said, they’ll be out by the end of the summer. That’s what the military said. The reason for that is – ” ABC’s MARTHA RADDATZ: “Military follows orders. They — I mean, there — trust me, there are people – ” BIDEN: “Sure – ” RADDATZ: “who were concerned about pulling out on the fighting season.” BIDEN: “But — there are people that were concerned, but not the Joint Chiefs. That was their recommendation in the Oval Office to the president of the United States of America. I sat there. I’m sure you’ll find someone who disagrees with the Pentagon. I’m positive you’ll find that within the military. But that’s not the case here.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

  • THE CLAIM: Biden: “On Iraq, The President Said He Would End The War…He Ended It. Governor Romney Said That Was A Tragic Mistake, We Should Have Left 30,000 Troops There.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Not Everyone In Uniform Agreed With It.” “The Joint Chiefs publicly backed the Obama administration’s withdrawal plan, but not everyone in uniform agreed with it.” David S. Cloud, “Fact Check: Ryan, Biden Tell Partial Story On Afghanistan,” Los Angeles Times’ Politics Now, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: General Petraeus Favored Keeping 30,000 Surge Troops In Afghanistan Until The End Of The Year. “Gen. David Petraeus, who was in command in Afghanistan until he was appointed CIA director last year, told lawmakers he favored keeping more of the 30,000 surge troops in Afghanistan until the end of this year — not bringing them all out by last month, as the White House ordered.” David S. Cloud, “Fact Check: Ryan, Biden Tell Partial Story On Afghanistan,” Los Angeles Times’ Politics Now, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Others At The Pentagon Shared Petraeus’ View That The White House Was Removing The Reinforcements Too Quickly.” (David S. Cloud, “Fact Check: Ryan, Biden Tell Partial Story On Afghanistan,” Los Angeles Times’ Politics Now, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: Biden Forgot To Mention That “The Obama Administration Also Wanted To Leave A Substantial Number Of American Forces Behind.” “However, Biden glossed over an important fact: even though Obama regularly boasts about the complete U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, the Obama administration also wanted to leave a substantial number of American forces behind.” (Josh Gerstein and Samuel Sohn, “Vice Presidential Debate Fact Check,” Politico, 10/12/12)

LIE #5: BIDEN PUSHED BACK ON THE ACCUSATION THAT THE ADMINISTRATION CALLED SYRIA DICTATOR ASSAD A REFORMER

THE CLAIM: Biden Sought Clarification On Who In The Obama Administration Called Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad A Reformer. PAUL RYAN: “Well, we agree with the same red line, actually, they do on chemical weapons, but not putting American troops in, other than to secure those chemical weapons. They’re right about that. But what we should have done earlier is work with those freedom fighters, those dissidents in Syria. We should not have called Bashar Assad a reformer, and we should not have — we should not have waited to Russia to give us the green light -” BIDEN: “Who is calling Assad -” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: So, Who’s Right? Ryan.” “So, who’s right? Ryan. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a March 27, 2011, interview on ‘Face the Nation’ explained why the U.S. would intervene in Libya, but not Syria – despite a recent attack by Syrian police on civilians. At the time, there were reports that as many as 20 Syrian civilians had been killed. Clinton called Assad a ‘different leader’ who many in Congress believe is ‘a reformer.’” (“Veep Debate Violations,” FactCheck.org, 10/12/12)

LIE #6: BIDEN LIED ABOUT THE ADMINISTRATION’S ABILITY TO GET UNEMPLOYMENT BELOW 6 PERCENT

THE CLAIM: Biden On Unemployment: “We Can And We Will Get It Under 6 Percent.” BIDEN: “We can and we will get it under 6 percent. Let’s look at the — let’s take a look at the facts. Let’s look at where we were when we came to office. The economy was in free fall. We had — the Great Recession hit. Nine million people lost their job, 1.7 — $1.6 trillion in wealth lost in equity in your homes, in retirement accounts from the middle class.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “There’s Nothing The Obama-Biden Administration Has Put On The Table That Would Accomplish This On Any Reasonably Short Time Frame.” “I hope we can and I hope we will, but there’s nothing the Obama-Biden administration has put on the table that would accomplish this on any reasonably short time frame. Indeed, even the White House’s own claims about its American Jobs Act don’t support a change on that scale.” (Matthew Yglesias, “Five Big Dubious Claims In The VP Debate,” Slate’s MoneyBox, 10/11/12)

LIE #7: BIDEN GROSSLY MISREPRESENTED GOV. ROMNEY’S TAX PLAN

THE CLAIM: Biden Said Gov. Romney’s Plan Will Raise Taxes For Middle Income Earners. VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “We say, let’s have a vote — let’s have a vote on the middle class tax cut and let’s have a vote on the upper tax cut. Let’s go ahead and vote on it. They’re are saying no. They’re holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy. And on top of that they got another tax cut coming. That’s $5 trillion that the all the studies point out will in fact give another $250, 000 to those 120,000 families and raise taxes for people who are middle income with a child by $2,000 a year. This is unconscionable. There is no need for this. The middle class got knocked on their heels. The great recession crushed them. They need some help now, the last people who need help are 120,000 families for another $500 billion tax cut over the next ten years.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: The Study That Biden Is Referring To “Is Not A Study Of Romney’s Plan.” “Biden is referring to an August study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. It’s true that the report (page 19) calculates that those in the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers would receive a $246,652 net tax break. It also says on page six that ‘taxpayers with children who make less than $200,000 would pay, on average, $2,000 more in taxes.’ But it is not a study of Romney’s plan. It is an exercise in trying to determine if a “revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney proposed” could be revenue neutral without benefiting the wealthy.” (“Veep Debate Violations,” FactCheck.org, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: The Director Of The Group That Biden Cites Disagrees With His Own Interpretation Of The Study. “TPC Director Donald Marron disagrees with Biden’s interpretation of the study. ‘I don’t interpret this as evidence that Governor Romney wants to increase taxes on the middle class in order to cut taxes for the rich, as an Obama campaign ad claimed,’ Marron wrote.” (“Veep Debate Violations,” FactCheck.org, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: Biden’s Claim “Is An Overstatement… The Figure Reflects Just Half Of The Story About The Plan.” “In context: The claim that Mitt Romney’s plan would be a $5 trillion net tax cut is an overstatement. Romney has said he will make his plan ‘revenue-neutral’ by eliminating tax loopholes and deductions, much as Ronald Reagan did when he passed his 1986 tax reform. So the figure reflects just half of the story about the plan – the cut in tax rates that Romney would make. But Romney has declined to outline what deductions he would limit, so he can’t provide the specific math of the plan.” (“Fact Check: Biden Stretches Tax Plan, While Ryan Misused Statement On Syria,” The Dallas Morning News, 10/11/12)

LIE#8: BIDEN LIED ABOUT OBAMA’S PLANS FOR AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL

THE CLAIM: Biden: “We Are Leaving. We Are Leaving By 2014, Period.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Washington And Its International Allies Have Committed To A Long-Term Relationship With Afghanistan That Could Include Thousand Or Tens Of Thousands Of U.S. And International Troops.” “But the 2014 date is the point at which the American ‘combat mission’ is supposed to end in Afghanistan, and U.S. troops are supposed to hand primary responsibility to the Afghan National Security Forces. Washington and its international allies have committed to a long-term relationship with Afghanistan that could include thousand or tens of thousands of U.S. and international troops helping to train their Afghan counterparts and hunt terrorists.” (Josh Gerstein and Samuel Sohn, “Vice Presidential Debate Fact Check,” Politico, 10/12/12)

LIE #9: 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 #10: BIDEN CLAIMED THE ADMINISTRATION 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 #11: 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 Overstated The Policy” As “Religious Groups Feel That Their Dollars Are Going Toward Contraception, Even If They’re Not Paying For It Directly.” “And Biden overstated the policy. Some of the obstacles arise because religious groups feel that their dollars are going toward contraception, even if they’re not paying for it directly. Private employers who oppose contraception are not exempt from the requirement that the employee health plan cover it. More than 30 private employers and nonprofit organizations have sued, and those cases are still pending.” (Josh Gerstein and Samuel Sohn, “Vice Presidential Debate Fact Check,” Politico, 10/12/12)

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 #12: 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: There Was More To Romney’s Position Than Biden Lets On.” “We first fact-checked Biden when he quoted Romney’s ‘heaven and earth’ comment during his speech at the Democratic convention. A transcript of Romney’s interview with the Associated Press in April 2007 – when Bin Laden was still alive – shows there was more to Romney’s position than Biden lets on.” (“Veep Debate Violations,” FactCheck.org, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: Biden Has Ignored The Rest Of The Interview…” “Romney made this statement in a 2007 interview with the Associated Press: ‘It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.’ But Biden has ignored the rest of the interview, in which the AP quoted Romney as saying “he supports a broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Checking The Vice-Presidential Debate,” The Washington Post ‘s The Fact Checker, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: “The Quote Was Taken Out Of Context.” “The quote was taken out of context. He said the country would be safer by only ‘a small percentage’ and would see ‘a very insignificant increase in safety’ because another terrorist would take his place. Romney also said the country should not focus on one person but should have a ‘broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement,’ according to FactCheck.org. In a subsequent interview with CNBC, Romney clarified that he would aggressively pursue bin Laden but that another terrorist leader would rise to power.” (Tim Mullaney, Susa Davis, Jackie Kucinich, Paul Davidson, and Aamer Madhani, “Fact Check: A 2nd Look At Biden And Ryan Claims,” USA Today, 10/12/12)

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 #13: 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 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)

THE FACTS: “The Column Called For A ‘Managed Bankruptcy’… This Is Essentially What The Obama Administration Did In Their Auto Rescue.” “Mitt Romney absolutely wrote a 2008 New York Times op-ed that was given the headline ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.’ This has been the fodder for dozens of Democratic attacks, but those of us who write for a living know that nuance is often lost as editors seek to give something an eye-catching headline. The column called for a ‘managed bankruptcy’ in which the federal government would ‘provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk’ while restructuring GM and Chrysler’s debts and labor contracts. This is essentially what the Obama administration did in their auto rescue.” (Matthew Yglesias, “Five Big Dubious Claims In The VP Debate,” Slate’s MoneyBox, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: CNN’s John Berman: Biden’s Claim That Romney Called For Letting “Detroit Go Bankrupt” Is “False.” “Here are the facts. On November 18, 2008, Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in The New York Times that the editors titled, ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.’ Romney never used those words in the piece. In it, he opposed the federal bailout of the industry but he did call for a managed bankruptcy of the auto companies. Something that the Obama administration ultimately implemented. By the letter here, our verdict is ‘false.’ Romney never did say ‘let Detroit go bankrupt,’ even if he supported a managed bankruptcy. Also, his opposition to the bailout or direct federal investment puts him at odds with both the Bush and Obama administrations.” (CNN’s “Inside The Spin Room,” 10/11/12)

  • THE FACTS: Romney Called For A “Managed Bankruptcy,” Which Ultimately Is What Happened. “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.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Checking The Vice-Presidential Debate,” The Washington Post ‘s The Fact Checker, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: “The Often-Stated Claim That Romney Wanted To Let The Auto Companies Go Out Of Business Stem From A November 2008 New York Times Op-Ed Titled -Not By Romney.” “The often-stated claim that Romney wanted to let the auto companies go out of business stem from a November 2008 New York Times op-ed titled -not by Romney – ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt,’ but his position was not that simple. Many Republicans, including Romney, argued that filing for bankruptcy to restructure the auto companies would be a better strategy for the long-term health of the industry than federal assistance. ‘Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check,’ Romney wrote.” (Tim Mullaney, Susa Davis, Jackie Kucinich, Paul Davidson, and Aamer Madhani, “Fact Check: A 2nd Look At Biden And Ryan Claims,” USA Today, 10/12/12)

LIE #14: 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, 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)

THE FACTS: “That’s An Exaggeration” “Biden claimed that Ryan “cut embassy security in his budget $300 million below what we asked for.” That’s an exaggeration. The fiscal year 2012 funding was $264 million less than the administration had requested, and the funding isn’t only for security. It covers construction and maintenance as well.” (“Veep Debate Violations,” FactCheck.org, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: “Biden Was Extrapolating.” “Biden was extrapolating. The figure comes from the budget blueprint Ryan prepared as chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, which would have cut non-defense discretionary spending by 19 percent in 2014. That would equal about $300 million for embassy security, construction and maintenance.” (“Fact Check: US Vice Presidential Debate,” Reuters, 10/12/12)

  • If Ryan’s Budget Had Been Enacted, “Appropriations Committees Would Have Been The Ones To Determine How Much Something As Specific As Diplomatic Mission Security Would Be Funded.” “Ryan’s budget proposal passed the Republican House but never came to a vote in the Democratic-majority Senate. Had it been enacted, appropriations committees would have been the ones to determine how much something as specific as diplomatic mission security would be funded.” (“Fact Check: US Vice Presidential Debate,” Reuters, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: There Were No Specific Cuts In Embassy Security It Is Not A Real Number.” “There were no specific cuts in embassy security, but Democrats have extrapolated the number, across the board, to come up with this statistic. But it is not a real number with true budget impact.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Checking The Vice-Presidential Debate,” The Washington Post ‘s The Fact Checker, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: Biden’s Accusation Actually Refers To Ryan’s Across The Board Cut Which Includes “Number Also Includes Money That’s Used For Construction And Maintenance;” It Does Not Single Out Embassy Security. “Biden’s charge comes from assuming that non-defense discretionary spending proposed by Ryan in his budget would make cuts off the top of each program. Ryan’s budget called for a 19 percent across-the-board cut to non-defense discretionary spending in the year 2014. Assuming an across-the-board distribution of cuts, his proposal would cut $298 million for Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance, and it’d slash Protection of Foreign Missions and Officials by $5 million, for a total of $303 million. Still, that number also includes money that’s used for construction and maintenance.”(“Fact Checking The Vice Presidential Debate,” ABC News’ Fact Check Team, 10/12/12)

  • “Biden Suggests This Cut That Has Already Been Realized As A Result Of The Ryan Budget, But In His Budget There Are No Spending Levels Enumerated” For Embassy Security. “Biden suggests this cut that has already been realized as a result of the Ryan Budget, but in his budget there are no spending levels enumerated for something as specific as Worldwide Security Protection. Funding for that comes from the State/Foreign Ops bill or the Site Security Team (SST – what actually provided security in Benghazi), which comes from Department of Defense’s budget.” (“Fact Checking The Vice Presidential Debate,” ABC News’ Fact Check Team, 10/12/12)
  • Additionally, The Ryan Budget Never Became Law, And His Budget Does Not Go Into Detail On Exactly How Cuts Would Shake Out. “Plus, the Ryan Budget never became law. It’s not possible to know exactly how cuts to these programs would shake out because Ryan’s budget resolution doesn’t go into that much detail. If Ryan’s budget was ever passed, the House appropriations committee would have to work within that blueprint to pass the appropriations bills and figure out exactly how the money is divvied up and which programs would suffer the brunt of the cuts.”(“Fact Checking The Vice Presidential Debate,” ABC News’ Fact Check Team, 10/12/12)

THE FACTS: Ryan’s Budget “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, Susa Davis, Jackie Kucinich, Paul Davidson, and Aamer Madhani, “Fact Check: A 2nd Look At Biden And Ryan Claims,” USA Today, 10/12/12)

LIE #15: 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, 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)

THE FACTS:While The $6,000 Estimate Applies To A Previous Iteration Of Ryan’s Plan, The Number Is Old.” “The $6,400 figure comes from a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities study. based on the CBO’s projections. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities projected that seniors’ out-of-pocket costs would rise from $6,150 to $12,500 per year on average under Ryan’s plan. Since then, Ryan has made some changes to his plan, removing a cap on ‘premium-support payments’ and including a traditional-Medicare, government-paid health plan as an alternative to private plans, from which seniors would choose on an exchange. So, while the $6,000 estimate applies to a previous iteration of Ryan” plan, the number is old.”(“Fact Checking The Vice Presidential Debate,” ABC News’ Fact Check Team, 10/12/12)

LIE #16: 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, 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 #17: 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)

THE FACTS: Biden “Overstated” The Obama Administration’s Role In The Bailout. “Biden also overstated the Obama administration’s role in saving the auto industry, glossing over the fact that the outgoing George W. Bush administration first bailed out General Motors and Chrysler.” (Glenn Kessler, “Fact Checking The Vice-Presidential Debate,” The Washington Post ‘s The Fact Checker, 10/12/12)