Not because President Joe Biden is correct all the time. He certainly is not.
But through his first 100 days in the oval office, Biden has given us periodic false claims rather than the dizzying avalanche of daily injustice we faced from his predecessor.
Trump was a markedly productive liar, so it is neither a surprise nor a compliment to note that his successor has been far more accurate than he was. And Biden also just talks a lot less publicly than Trump did. According to data provided to CNN by Factba.se, a website that tracks the president’s statements, Biden said about 28% fewer public words than Trump through April 29 in their respective terms.
When Biden publishes remarks, he is much more likely to read from a prepared text than the famous freewheel Trump was. The prepared texts of the bid have been quite actual.
Then, of course, there’s the Twitter hole. Trump used the social media service to deliver off-the-cuff and often inaccurate boasting and attacks. Biden prefers to traditionally send presidential messages, a large number of which do not contain verifiable requirements of any kind.
False ad-libbed numbers
Once Biden has made false claims, he tends to be ad-libbing rather than reading a text. And he has often been ad-libbing about some sort of statistic.
At a CNN town hall in February, for example, Biden claimed that the majority of undocumented immigrants in the United States are not Hispanic (experts put the actual figure at two-thirds or more Hispanic), that China has more retirees than working people (it has hundreds of millions more workers than retirees) that community health centers would be sent one million Covid-19 vaccine doses per week (the plan was to send one million in the “initial phase” of the program, not every week), and that the federal minimum wage of $ 7 , 25 per hour would be $ 20 per hour today if it had been linked to inflation at creation (Biden was not even close – the White House said Biden interfered with another statistic).
At a press conference in March, Biden claimed that the United States was sending “the vast majority of the families” who arrived at the southern border back. While the United States actually expelled the majority of all migrants encountered at the border, in particular, it sent less than half of the families back.
In a March interview with ABC News, where Biden got three statistics wrong, he claimed that “all” tax breaks from his law on pandemic relief would go to the bottom 60%. The think tank estimate, to which he referred, actually said that about 67% of the tax benefits, not “all” the benefits, would go to the bottom 60%.
Wrong on two hot-button issues
The city’s false claims are not limited to numbers.
In late March and early April, Biden weighed the hot-button issue of Georgia’s new electoral law. And he either misled or did not have his facts straight – which erroneously suggested that the law requires polling stations to be closed at. 17 (You can read a detailed fact check here.) While the new law reduces voter turnout in other ways, Biden gave the law’s supporters ammunition to argue that opponents of the law were dishonest.
In an April speech on another delicate subject, Biden’s pressure for further gun control measures, he exaggerated the gun manufacturers’ immunity from litigation, arguing that the gun industry is the only major industry that “cannot be sued.” While gun manufacturers are protected from liability for illegal use of weapons, they can and have been sued for other reasons, such as negligence and their marketing practices. And vaccine manufacturers also have significant liability protection.
Inaccuracies in jabbing Trump
Biden has sometimes been inaccurate in his attempt to compare himself positively with Trump.
Speaking of Covid-19, Biden said in March: “A year ago, we were hit by a virus that was met with silence and spread uncontrollably.” Trump’s early rhetoric about the virus was misleading, but “silence” is not true. (Biden did not specify that it was the Trump team that allegedly met the virus in silence, but it was his clear suggestion.)
Biden twice claimed that Trump “eliminated” the Obama administration’s funding for Central America. While annual aid funding to Central America fell under Trump, and while Trump temporarily suspended aid in 2019, “eliminated” is an exaggeration.
As the Washington Post and the New York Times noted, Biden also exaggerated the extent to which the Trump-era federal government awarded contracts to foreign companies.
And Biden has repeatedly claimed that Trump signed a tax law that gave 83% of the benefits to the top 1%. In fact, the figure of 83% is a think tank’s estimate of what would happen in 2027 if the law’s corporate tax cuts remained in place, but its individual tax cuts expired as planned after 2025. Between 2018 and 2025, conversely, the think tank estimated that the top 1% would get between 20.5% and 25.3% of the benefits.
We will not call the “83%” claim flat false – depending on how Biden has said it, it has been misleading or lacking context – but it is worth noting that there is more to the story than Biden goes on to suggest.
Some of Biden’s false claims have been unnecessary exaggerations.
He boasted of how well he knows Chinese President Xi Jinping, claiming three times in office that he has traveled 17,000 miles or more than 17,000 miles “with” Xi. As the Washington Post first noted, this figure is not nearly accurate. Biden could have done the exact same thing by saying that he has spent a lot of time with Xi.
Before visiting wounded military personnel at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in January, Biden claimed to reporters that he, as vice president, had visited the facility “every single Christmas.” In fact, there is evidence that he went on five of the eight Christmases; he might as well have demonstrated his commitment to the troops by saying so.
In a passionate boom at CNN City Hall in February, Biden claimed that the United States spends nearly $ 9 billion on a tax cut “for people who own racehorses.” Experts have no idea where Biden got this number for this tax cut, and the White House declined to explain.
Unlike Trump’s White House, Biden’s team has often been receptive to fact – and sometimes they have been responsive to it.
In my first fact check of Biden’s presidency in January, I noticed that Biden was wrong when he told reporters that when he originally announced his goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days, “you all said that is not possible. ” Biden switched to a softer, more accurate language in subsequent comments on the subject – for example, in March, saying that his goal was initially “considered ambitious” and that “some even suggested it was something daring.”
In April, I pointed out that Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg and another Biden administration official had erred in claiming that Moody’s Analytics expected Biden’s infrastructure plan to create 19 million jobs; in fact, Moody’s credited the infrastructure plan with about 2.7 million of the 19 million additional jobs it discussed in its forecast. I noticed that Biden’s own description of the figure “19 million” had been technically accurate, but still quite misleading.
And then something interesting happened. When Buttigieg was challenged on television about his inaccurate figure, he acknowledged his mistake and correctly explained the nuances of Moody’s analysis. And Biden and the White House proactively stopped inserting the figure “19 million” – even in the narrowly correct form, Biden had originally used it.
We’re not having a party for the Biden team here; it would have been better if the administration had not done it wrong in the first place. But after four years with a Trump White House that was apparently not interested in fact-checking at all, Biden White House’s response was a welcome development.