Analysis: Fact-Checking the Biden vs. Trump Debate

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Analysis: Fact-Checking the Biden vs. Trump Debate

Last night, President Joe Biden went up against former President Donald Trump in a live debate hosted by CNN in Atlanta, Georgia. No audience was permitted in the hall, and the candidates were subjected to strict rules regarding speaking times. But this did not stop the free flow of misinformation. Even CNN was appalled at the amount of times Biden lied.

Here are some of the stand-out fibs, exaggerations, and downright lies of the night, garnered from several different fact-checking websites and databases.

Shane Devine and Connor Walcott contributed to this report.

  • Biden claimed he added 15 million jobs to the economy.

From before the pandemic hit until now, the US has seen a net gain of 2.4 million jobs: from 158.7 million in February 2020 to 161 million in January 2024.

  • Biden claimed Trump told Americans infected with COVID-19 to drink bleach.

He did not, in fact, do this.

  • Biden claimed families making under $400,000 will not pay more taxes

“For nearly three years Biden has repeatedly promised the middle-class that “no one making less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes.” In 2022, Biden broke that promise.”

  • Trump claimed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was the biggest tax cut in US history

“President Trump has often stated that his proposed tax cut will be the largest in history. We previously found his $5.5 trillion framework in April would have been among the largest but not the largest. Now that the plan costs less than half as much, it would definitely not be the largest in history.”

  • Biden claimed Trump racked up more debt than any other president

Former President Barack Obama accumulated more debt on his watch than Trump.

“On a per-year basis, Trump oversaw a debt rate increase that was higher than Obama’s.”

“Assigning debt to a particular president can be misleading because so much of it traces back to decades-old, bipartisan legislation that set the parameters for Social Security and Medicare.”

  • Trump claimed Biden supported vaccine mandates

“Biden on Thursday issued two executive orders mandating vaccines for federal workers and contractors and announced new requirements for large employers and health care providers that he said would affect around 100 million workers, more than two-thirds of the U.S. workforce.” (9/9/21)

  • Jake Tapper said Trump added $8 trillion to the debt

“Of the $8.4 trillion President Trump added to the debt, $3.6 trillion came from COVID relief laws and executive orders, $2.5 trillion from tax cut laws, and $2.3 trillion from spending increases, with the remaining executive orders having costs and savings that largely offset each other,” budget experts with the CRFB wrote in a summary of the report.

  • Biden claimed women can be punished for traveling out of state to get an abortion now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned

Can states punish women for traveling out of state to get an abortion? No state has yet enacted a law to ban this travel. But it has been attempted.

“In Missouri, a bill is pending that would enforce abortion restrictions through civil lawsuits if the abortion is administered outside the state.”

“Six states and Washington, D.C., do not impose any term restrictions. That has not changed since the overturning of Roe. Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, DC, New Jersey, Vermont.”

  • Biden claimed that Roe v. Wade did not mandate late term abortions

Stenberg v. Carhart 530 U.S. 914 (2000) The Court ruled unconstitutional Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion. The Court cited two grounds for striking down Nebraska’s statute (and, by implication more than two dozen other similar state statutes): the absence of an exception to the ban for the “health of the mother” and because the Court found the description of the partial-birth abortion procedure to be “vague” and potentially including other mid- and late-term abortion procedures.”

  • Trump claims 18 million illegal immigrants have entered the US under Biden

“Under President Biden’s watch, there have been over 8 million migrant encounters nationwide, 6.7 million of which have been at the Southwest border. Worse yet, over 1.7 million known gotaways—illegal immigrants who have evaded Border Patrol— are now living in the interior of the United States without documentation and without having undergone any vetting by immigration officials.” (1/16/2024)

  • Trump created cages to house migrant families

These cages were originally created by President Obama.

  • Biden claims he reduced illegal immigration by 40% compared to Trump

“Border arrests fall more than 40% after Biden’s halt to asylum processing, Homeland Security says. The Homeland Security Department says arrests for illegal border crossings have dropped more than 40% during the three weeks asylum processing has been suspended.”

Border ARRESTS fall more than 40% after Biden’s halt to asylum processing, NOT illegal immigration rate. They simply stopped policing it as much.