Biden launches re-election campaign, 'fact-checkers' curiously silent

Biden launches re-election campaign, 'fact-checkers' curiously silent

Biden launches re-election campaign, 'fact-checkers' curiously silent

President Joe Biden kicked off his reelection campaign with two speeches filled with his usual fact-challenged bombast.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham

Tim Graham is executive editor of NewsBusters and director of media analysis for the Media Research Center. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, National Review and other publications.

President Joe Biden kicked off his reelection campaign with two speeches filled with his usual fact-challenged bombast. But since checking that might sound like "normalizing" bombastic Donald Trump, the "independent fact-checkers" have filed nothing after his speech near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 5 and his speech in Charleston, South Carolina, on Jan. 8.

But USA Today leaped to Biden's defense on Jan. 7, censoring Facebook posts that claimed Biden didn't condemn political violence after the race riots in the summer of 2020. In Charleston, Biden glorified "the historic movement for justice" at that time, which is whitewashing some history.

Let's review a few "checkable" misstatements by Biden, starting with the Valley Forge speech:

  1. Trump is "willing to sacrifice our democracy, put himself in power." If we can be literal -- as fact-checkers often are with Republicans -- Trump is running for president, not sending tanks into the streets.   
  2. "Jill and I attended the funeral of police officers who died as a result of the events of that day [Jan. 6] ... because of Donald Trump's lies, they died because these lies brought a mob to Washington." Joe and Jill attended two memorial services for Capitol police officers. Brian Sicknick died of a stroke a day after the riots. Billy Evans was crushed by a car on April 2, 2021, by a follower of Louis Farrakhan.
  3. "More than 1,200 people have been charged for their assault on the Capitol." Obviously, not everyone charged for Jan. 6 was charged with violence. Many were charged with "parading" or "trespassing." But Biden blurred them all together, adding, "Trump's mob wasn't a peaceful protest. It was a violent assault."
  4. He attacked "those who seek to bury history and ban books. Did you ever think you'd be at a political event talking about book banning -- in a presidential election?" Liberals often describe the removal of any book from a school library as a "book ban," but that term sounds much broader, like conservatives have banned a book from being circulated or sold.

        There were more in the Charleston speech.

  1. He repeated, "They're trying to erase history and your future: banning books; denying your right to vote and have it counted; destroying diversity, equality, inclusion all across America." This is an even broader accusation, blurring book controversies with "erasing futures" and depriving people of a right to vote. This line is coming from Democrats who want to strip Trump's name off the ballot.
  2. "I've spent more time in the Bethel AME church in Wilmington, Delaware -- than most people I know, black or white ... That's where I started. ... It started with the civil rights movement." Obviously, Biden isn't in that Delaware church more than its weekly parishioners. The New York Post reported Biden previously claimed he attended civil rights organizing sessions at Wilmington's Union Baptist Church, yet congregants and a longtime assistant to the pastor at the time have said they don't recall that.

        And he previously admitted he wasn't involved in the civil rights movement. "I was not an activist," he confessed in 1987. "I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma. I was not anywhere else."

  1. "We had buried my son Beau, a veteran who was exposed and died because of those burn pits in Iraq for a year." In this case, FactCheck.org previously pinged Biden on this claim, saying there was no evidence that burn pits led to cancer in veterans. As he often does, Biden implies his son was a soldier, not a military lawyer (while he was still serving as Delaware's attorney general).

        Democrats get "fact-checkers" as a fringe benefit.


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