President Biden has been awarded a “bottomless Pinocchio” rating by the Washington Post after a round-up and fact-check of all his false and misleading statements in the run-up to the midterm elections.
Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler provided a round-up of Biden’s recent frequently repeated errors, such as the claim that he has traveled 17,000 miles with Chinese President Xi Jinping, how much the price of gas has come down since he took office, and the claim that he is responsible for increasing Social Security checks, reports the Daily Mail.
“Folks, I spent a lot of time, more time with Xi Jinping than any other head of state…I’ve traveled 17,000 miles with him,” said Biden at a San Diego rally on Nov. 3.
According to The Washington Post, there is no evidence that Biden traveled that much with the Chinese leader, noting that even if all the miles Biden traveled in order to reach President Xi were included in the equation, it still would not add up to 17,000 miles. This hasn’t stopped Biden from using what appears to be one of his favorite brags. The Washington Post noted that he has made the same claim 21 times to date.
The Washington Post created the category of “the ‘bottomless Pinocchio’ to account for false or misleading statements repeated so often that they become a form of propaganda.”
The next claim to be fact-checked was that the price of gas was $5 a gallon when Biden took office and that his administration has brought that cost down to the “most common price” of $3.39.
“Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39, down from $5 when I took office,” said Biden at a rally in Syracuse, New York on Oct 27.
The Washington Post found that the cost of gas the week Biden took office was $2.48 and the price didn’t average $5 until June of this year. The White House prefers to use the “most common price” because it is generally lower than the average price. This is due to high prices in California raising the national average.
Given the fact that Biden’s recent speeches have referenced the price of gas over the summer, it is most likely that the President misspoke. According to The Washington Post, just a few days after the Syracuse rally, Biden said: “In June, the average price, not the most common price but the average price, nationwide was over $5 a gallon. Today, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.76.”
The next inaccurate claim to contribute to Biden’s “bottomless Pinocchio” award is one made at a rally in Florida on Nov. 1.
“On my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks,” said the President.
Then, to add to the embarrassment, the same claim was made on the White House Twitter account, in a since-deleted tweet that according to The Washington Post read: “Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership.”
The trouble is, the upcoming 8.7 percent increase to Social Security benefits has nothing to do with Biden but is instead due to a law passed by President Nixon in 1972 which requires that benefits are adjusted in line with inflation. So the only contribution Biden technically made to the increase is through his lack of success at fighting inflation.
The Washington Post also noted Biden falsely claiming to have passed legislation to forgive student loans, despite not getting the congressional approval to do so.
“You are probably aware that I just signed a law that is being challenged by my Republican colleagues… What we’ve provided for is, if you went to school, if you qualified for a Pell Grant…you qualify for $20,000 in debt forgiveness. Secondly, if you don’t have one of those loans, you just get $10,000 written off. It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two,” said Biden at a NowThis event on Oct. 23.
However, The Washington Post reports that he didn’t present the proposal to Congress but instead invoked the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act as a way to bypass Congress and forgive the student debt. Republicans have appealed this use of the 2003 act and the issue will be settled by the courts.
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