How bad have things gotten for President Joe Biden when the reliably left-leaning Washington Post refuses to run interference for him on the eve of a national election?
Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer of The Washington Post’s “The Fack Checker” section, opened an analysis this morning by referring to Biden calling himself four years ago a “gaffe machine.”
“I am a gaffe machine,” he said late in 2018, talking about a potential 2020 candidacy that hadn’t been announced yet, according to CNN. “But, my God, what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can’t tell the truth.”
Being a “self-described gaffe machine” is “no excuse, of course, for a president making false or misleading statements,” Kessler wrote.
“Readers have asked for fact checks of a variety of recent Biden statements, but none of them seemed big enough for a stand-alone fact check,” Kessler explained. “So 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.”
But then he dropped the other shoe: “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.”
To what “reasons” did Kessler refer? I’m so glad you asked. There are more issues with Biden’s statements than I can list here, so I’ll stick with the four Kessler highlighted.
First: “Folks, I spent a lot of time — more time with Xi Jinping than any other head of state. Over 68 hours with him, either in person or on the telephone — excuse me, 78 hours; 68 of them in person — over the last 10 years. I’ve traveled 17,000 miles with him,” Biden said at a Thursday political event in San Diego on behalf of Rep. Mike Levin.
There’s no evidence to support any of that, Kessler said, adding that he’d already fact checked that particular claim early last year, after Biden repeated the falsehood multiple times. In fact, he’s made it 21 times now since his inauguration.
“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,” he wrote.
It’s this first lie that earned Biden his first-ever Bottomless Pinocchio, the only one — so far — that has been awarded to a sitting Democratic president.
“Readers may recall that during Donald Trump’s presidency, we established a new category, the Bottomless Pinocchio, to account for false or misleading statements repeated so often that they became a form of propaganda,” Kessler explained. “A statement would get added to the list if it had earned a Three or Four Pinocchios rating and been repeated at least 20 times.”
But wait; there’s more.
Second: “Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39 — down from over $5 when I took office,” Biden said during a speech at a microchip plant in Syracuse, New York, on Oct. 27.
The “most common” gas price is different — and usually lower — than the average price of gas in the country, because it ignores California’s self-imposed ridiculously high fuel prices. Politicians tend to use it when they want to emphasize a lower number than the average price will support.
And while that’s a little sneaky, maybe, it’s not untrue. What is untrue is his claim about the price of gas when he took office — that $5 number showed up later in the summer, after he’d been in office for months already.
“Generally, his speeches have referenced prices over the summer, not when he took office, as that tells a better story,” Kessler said.
Third: “And on my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks,” the president said during a Tuesday event at the Johnson Community Center in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
The White House also tweeted a similar thought the same day, and then deleted it when Elon Musk’s disinformation team flagged it. Because Social Security benefits are going up, in accordance with 50-year-old law, because of inflation — the same inflation Biden keeps saying he’s trying to fight.
So check amounts are going up some 8.7 percent next year because Biden and the Federal Reserve have so far failed miserably to combat inflation — hardly the kind of thing that inspires chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” under most circumstances.
Fourth: “You are probably aware that I just signed a law that is being challenged by my Republican colleagues. … What we’ve provided for is, if you went to school, if you qualified for a Pell Grant … you qualify for $20,000 in debt forgiveness,” Biden said on Oct. 23 during was Now This described as a “Presidential Forum,” but what amounted to little more than a leftist propaganda video. “Secondly, if you don’t have one of those loans, you just get $10,000 written off. It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two.”
Biden did no such thing. He signed an executive order on shaky legal grounds that are currently being challenged in court; he never signed such a bill into law, he never got anything passed by a vote or two — he never even presented such a bill to Congress for its consideration.
The White House claimed that Biden had misspoken and meant to refer to the Inflation Reduction Act (see “third,” above), but that act had nothing to do with student loans at all, Kessler noted.
All of this strikes me as more than “gaffe machine” material. It’s one thing to misspeak; we all do it, some of us quite frequently. It’s another thing to say something that you know — or at least should know — to be untrue. It’s yet another thing to repeat that untruth 20 or more times.
That’s not a gaffe; it’s a lie. And even The Washington Post knows it.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.