Fact-checkers suddenly rip into President Biden heading into midterms

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Routinely criticized on the right for giving President Biden a pass, the Washington Post, CNN and the New York Times fact-checked multiple claims he made about his economic record and more in the days leading up to the midterm elections. 

CNN’s Daniel Dale, who has gone weeks and even months without posting fact-checks of Biden since he took office, fact-checked nine claims on Saturday that the president made during a DNC speech in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 2. 

Two of Biden’s claims were about Social Security payments going up. The same claims were fact-checked by the Washington Post and deemed misleading by the New York Times. 

A New York Times report from Nov. 4 said Biden was attempting to “spin” his economic record after he claimed, “on my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks.” 

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a rally hosted by the Democratic National Committee
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


“That increase was the result of an automatic cost-of-living increase prompted by the most rapid inflation in 40 years. Mr. Biden had not done anything to make retirees’ checks bigger — it was just a byproduct of the soaring inflation that the president has vowed to combat” New York Times reporters Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley wrote. 

The White House also posted the claim on Twitter before deleting the tweet after readers added context to the claim with the platforms Birdwatch feature. 

CNN also issued a fact-check of Biden’s claim about reducing the cutting the federal debt in half. Biden seemed to conflate the debt with the deficit, which was cut in half between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2022. 

“It’s highly questionable how much credit Biden deserves for even the reduction in the deficit. Biden doesn’t mention that the primary reason the deficit plummeted in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 was that it had skyrocketed to a record high in 2020 because of emergency pandemic relief spending. It then fell as expected as the spending expired as planned,” Dale wrote. 

U.S. President Joe Biden, on March 31, 2022. 

U.S. President Joe Biden, on March 31, 2022. 
(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo)

The New York Times also deemed this claim misleading and said Biden left a lot unsaid. 

“The deficit was so high in the first place because of pandemic relief spending, including a $1.9 trillion economic aid package the president pushed through Congress in 2021 and which was not renewed. Mr. Biden was in effect claiming credit for not passing another round of emergency assistance,” The Times report said. 

CNN’s analysis also notes the president’s claim that September’s unemployment rate was the lowest it has been in 50 years at 3.5%. 

Dale wrote that Biden failed to acknowledge that it was a tie with three different months during Trump’s administration in 2019 and 2020. 

The Washington Post building in Washington D.C. 

The Washington Post building in Washington D.C. 
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)


“Since Biden uses these campaign speeches to favorably compare his own record to Trump’s record, that omission is significant,” he wrote. 

The Washington Post gave the president his first “bottomless Pinocchio,” on Monday, which the outlet added to their rating system during Donald Trump’s presidency, for a claim several outlets have fact-checked before. 

“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,” the president said on Nov. 3 in San Diego.

The Washington Post’s fact-check writer Glen Kessler wrote that the president has made the claim at least 20 times despite it being debunked several times before. 

A Pennsylvania voter votes early in Lebanon County.

A Pennsylvania voter votes early in Lebanon County.
(Fox News)


Biden’s final midterm pitch in recent days has largely avoided the economy. His speech at Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday focused on threats to democracy. 

“Recent polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe our democracy is at risk, that our democracy is under threat. They, too, see that democracy is on the ballot this year, and they’re deeply concerned about it.”

The New York Times also published a report noting Biden’s verbal “fumbles” during a speech in Florida on Nov. 1. 

Conservatives noted the articles’ similarities and timing.

President Joe Biden speaks on COVID-19 during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden speaks on COVID-19 during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


“Mr. Biden, who at 79 is the oldest president in American history, has a long record of gaffes dating back to when he was a young man. But his misstatements have become more pronounced, and more noticed, now that he has the spotlight of the presidency constantly on him,” the article read. 

The Times article prompted some backlash from liberals.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN did not return Fox News Digital’s requests for comment. 

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