When President Joe Biden passingly said in a voting rights speech last week that he had been “arrested” in the context of the civil rights movement — even suggesting this had happened more than once — it was a classic Biden false claim: an anecdote about his past for which there is no evidence, prompted by a decision to ad-lib rather than stick to a prepared text, resulting in easily avoidable questions about his honesty.Biden’s imaginary or embellished stories about his own history were the most memorable falsehoods of his first year in office. They were not, however, the only ones.The President also made multiple false claims about important policy matters, notably including three subjects that occupied much of his time: the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic.
And Biden was incorrect on numerous occasions when ad-libbing about a wide assortment of facts and figures — sometimes in a way that appeared inadvertent, but other times in a way that helped him make a political point.
Unlike his uniquely dishonest predecessor, Biden did not bury fact-checkers in a daily avalanche of serial falseness. Biden never came close to making a dozen false claims in a single speech, let alone five dozen false claims in one address, as Trump once did. In fact, the total number of Biden false claims so far is in the dozens, while Trump delivered well over 1,000 total false claims in his own first year and more than 3,000 the next year.
So Biden is no Trump. With that said, dozens of false claims from the President of the United States is not nothing. And considering that Biden added dozens more claims that were misleading or lacking in important context, he provided more than enough material to keep fact-checkers on their toes.Here is a roundup of Biden’s first year in inaccuracy. The White House declined to comment for this article; it has previously commented for individual fact checks on some of the false claims we are discussing again below.
False claims about his own past
Biden made a series of claims about his own past that were just not true. It was these easy-to-understand, hard-to-defend personal falsehoods — more than his false claims about complex policy issues or obscure statistics, which supporters could more easily dismiss as good-faith errors — that provided the best ammunition for opponents looking to portray him as deceptive.And like some of Trump’s tall tales about his past, Biden’s tended to be peripheral to his message. In other words, he was hurting his reputation for little possible gain.While talking in November to technical college students standing near a truck, Biden claimed, “I used to drive a tractor-trailer,” though only for “part of a summer.” This was similar to something he had said at a Mack Trucks facility in July, when he claimed, “I used to drive an 18-wheeler, man,” adding, “I got to.” There is no evidence Biden ever drove a big truck; the White House previously noted to CNN that he once had a job driving a school bus (which is not an 18-wheeler or a tractor-trailer) and that, as a senator in 1973, he spent a night riding in a cargo truck (not driving it).Biden repeatedly told a story about a supposed conversation during his vice presidency with an old friend, an Amtrak train conductor, that could not possibly have happened because the man was dead at the time. He repeatedly boasted that he had traveled “17,000 miles” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, though that number is not even close to correct.Biden distracted from his voting rights message with the baseless claim last week, which he had made before, about having been arrested during a civil rights protest; in some of the previous versions of the story, he had merely claimed a police officer had taken him home from a protest. (There is evidence Biden participated in some civil rights activities in his youth but no record of any arrest.)And Biden told two different inaccurate stories while trying to emphasize his connection to the Jewish community.
The 7 most important lines from Joe Biden’s news conferenceAt a September event in honor of the High Holy Days, Biden told Jewish leaders that he remembered “spending time at” and “going to” Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the site of an antisemitic massacre in 2018; he had spoken by phone to the synagogue’s rabbi in 2019 but never went. At a Hanukkah event in December, Biden claimed that late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had invited him to meet with her during the Six-Day War of 1967 (he actually met with her weeks before the Yom Kippur War six years later) and, more significantly, that she had wanted him to be “the liaison between she and the Egyptians about the Suez, and so on and so forth.”There is zero evidence Meir ever wanted to use a 30-year-old rookie US senator as a “liaison” with a major adversary.
Comment: Etc., And this is CNN. Being who they are, CNN had to put something in this screed to placate what is left of their hard-left daily audience, but it is still remarkable that they went so far toward denouncing the “moldy cantaloupe.” pl
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