FACT CHECK: TOP TEN WORST LIES BY JOE BIDEN IN VP DEBATE
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Once again, Joe Biden lied his way through a Vice Presidential debate--just as he did in his contest with Sarah Palin in 2008. This time, the media caught a few of Biden's worst "malarkey" moments--as did his opponent, Paul Ryan, when he could get a word in edgewise.
Here are the top ten worst lies told by Biden during the debate:
10. "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey....not a single thing he said is accurate." At the outset of the debate, Biden tried to paint Ryan as a liar--when Biden, in fact, was the one lying. Ryan had pointed out: 1) that the White House had distanced itself from the Cairo embassy's apologies on 9/11; 2) that Obama had failed to speak up for Iranian protestors in 2009; 3) that the Obama administration called Syria's dictator a "reformer"; 4) and that the Obama administration is imposing defense cuts and projecting weakness. All of that is true.
9. "The president has met with Bibi [Netanyahu] a dozen times....This is a bunch of stuff." While they have met several times--not a dozen--that includes a meeting at which Obama made the Israeli prime minister enter the White House through a back entrance, refused to take a picture with him, and left him on his own for dinner. Specifically, Ryan had criticized Obama's refusal to meet Netanyahu in New York last month, and to tape talk show interviews instead--a clear snub that sent the wrong signal, again, to Israel's enemies.
8. "Just let the taxes expire like they're supposed to on those millionaires." Biden's "millionaires" are actually households earning more than $250,000 a year, which includes many middle-class families with two earners, and small business owners in particular who report business earnings as personal income. Biden and Obama have repeatedly labeled those earning over $250,000 as "millionaires and billionaires," distorting the actual impact of their tax plan on the non-millionaires it would hit hardest, who create a vast proportion of small business jobs.
7. "You know, I heard that death panel argument from Sarah Palin. It seems that every vice presidential debate, I hear this kind of stuff about panels."Biden's cheap shot against Palin was an attempt to diminish both her and the man sitting across from him. But Palin never talked about "death panels" in her debate with Biden, for the simple reason that Obamacare had not yet been proposed. Nor did Ryan mention "death panels"--he had addressed the undeniable fact that Obamacare proposes a board to impose cost controls.
6. "The congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for." Biden's lie about Ryan's budget was an attempt to dodge responsibility for lax embassy security--and to cover up that the Obama called for new cuts to embassy security just days after the 9/11 attacks. Ryan's proposal, which called for a 19% overall decrease in non-defense discretionary spending, does not even mention embassy security--the Obama campaign merely made up that number by applying 19% across the board.
5. "No, they are not four years closer to a nuclear weapon." Biden's attempt to lie about the glaring reality of the Iranian nuclear program fell flat. Iran is indeed four years closer to a nuclear weapon, and the Obama administration--believing it knew better than its predecessors--tried to reinvent the wheel on talks with Iran, causing frustration to our allies in Europe and the Middle East. Meeting after meeting this year has failed to produce results, and the loophole-filled sanctions, while hurting Iran somewhat, are not stopping its nuclear program.
4. "No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise...has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact." No, it is not a fact--it is the opposite of a fact, and saying "that is a fact" does not make it any less a blatant lie. The Obama administration is forcing religious institutions to provide contraceptive and abortion drugs through their insurance policies. That is the reason several dozen religious institutions are suing the administration to defend their First Amendment freedom of religion.
3. "It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card...I was there. I voted against him." Biden voted for both the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war. He did not vote for George W. Bush's plan to extend coverage of Medicare to prescription drugs (though he voted for an earlier, similar proposal), nor did he vote for the Bush tax cuts. But he voted for both of the wars he derided last night. To quote Bill Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention: "It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did."
2. "What we did is we saved $716 billion and put it back -- applied it to Medicare." Biden repeated the lie the Obama administration has been telling since before Obamacare passed in 2010: that cuts to Medicare today were savings that extend the life of the program. They would be--if the same $716 billion wasn't also being used to pay for Obamacare. As Ryan pointed out in 2010, and again last night, you can't double-count the same cuts. Taking $716 billion out of Medicare means exactly that--and hurts, not helps, the program's solvency.
1. "Well, we weren't told they wanted more security again." Biden lied through his teeth about the fact that the administration--specifically, the State Department--had been told again and again that security on the ground in Libya, and in Benghazi in particular, was inadequate. The day before, in Congressional hearings on the Libya attacks, former regional security director Eric Nordstrom described his frustration with having those requests turned down by the government bureaucracy: "For me the Taliban is on the inside of the building."