Say what? WaPo awards ‘Bottomless Pincocchio’ to Biden for ’roundup’ of lies told on campaign trail

President Joe Biden is known for his meme-able gaffes and Alzheimer-like misstatements but The Washington Post is calling out Uncle Joe’s lies in a roundup of his most problematic statements while stumping for Democratic candidates ahead of Tuesday’s midterms.

Glenn Kessler said Washington Post readers have requested an analysis of Biden’s recent false statements, but the president made so many that Kessler was forced to package them together.

“Here’s a roundup of some of the president’s recent errors of fact, made as he has barnstormed the country boosting Democrats and raising contributions in advance of the midterm elections,” wrote the editor and chief writer of The Fact Checker. “We generally do not award Pinocchios for roundups like this — but for reasons that will become clear, we need to make an exception for the first one.”

Kessler attacked Biden’s continued claim that he has spent more time with Xi Jinping than any other head of state, giving him Three Pinocchios for the oft-repeated falsehood that he has flown 17,000 miles with the Chinese president.

“There is no evidence Biden traveled that much with Xi, the president of China — and even if we added up the miles Biden flew to see Xi, it still did not total 17,000 miles,” Kessler said. “The White House could not offer an explanation for that number either.”

Despite fact-checking the claim early in Biden’s presidency, the president has pitched the claim more than 20 times.

“Biden is so fond of this bogus statistic that he even mentioned it during high-profile speeches such as a joint session of Congress and a commencement address,” Kessler said.

The Fact Checker created the “Bottomless Pinocchio” category during former President Donald Trump’s presidency “to account for false or misleading statements repeated so often that they became a form of propaganda.” Statements that earn a Three or Four Pinocchios rating and are repeated at least 20 times qualify.

“Now Biden has earned his own Bottomless Pinocchio,” Kessler said.

During remarks at a community college on Oct 27, the president claimed gas prices are falling from the $5 per gallon price they were when he was elected.

“Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39 — down from over $5 when I took office,” Biden said in Syracuse, NY despite prices hovering near $2.48 the week he was elected.

“Soaring gas prices over the course of Biden’s presidency have been a drag on his approval ratings,” Kessler said. “Generally, his speeches have referenced prices over the summer, not when he took office, as that tells a better story.”

On November 1, Biden took credit for inflation’s Social Security bump, claiming “on my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks.”

“The problem? The reason Social Security payments are going up is because Social Security benefits, under a law passed in 1972, are adjusted every year to keep pace with inflation,” Kessler said, pointing out that a similar claim was touted on Twitter by the White House before being deleted. “Next year, benefits will increase 8.7 percent — but that’s because inflation has soared at that level. Biden and the Federal Reserve have been trying to fight inflation, but without much success so far.”

Biden’s false claim that he got Congress’ sign-off on his student loan forgiveness program “by a vote or two” was next under Kessler’s microscope.

“In describing his plan for student loan forgiveness, Biden oddly said he had ‘just signed a law’ that was approved in Congress by ‘a vote or two,'” Kessler said. “But he never presented such a proposal for Congress to consider. Instead, Biden relied on new authority granted by the Justice Department — a fresh interpretation of a law passed almost two decades ago, the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, often dubbed the Heroes Act.”

An appeals court has frozen the plan in response to lawsuits filed by Republican attorneys general and the White House admitted Biden “misspoke.”

While Kessler’s roundup accounted for Biden’s most recent lies, the president has received Three and Four Pinocchio ratings in the past, as well.

“The Second Amendment was never absolute,” Biden said in June, earning him Four Pinocchios. “You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weapons.”

Kessler was blasted on social media for his timing, with some users questioning the merit of the reporting within days of the midterms and others saying it was “too little, too late” for The Washington Post to start addressing Uncle Joe’s lies.


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