Even while clutching a deck of cheat sheets, President Joe Biden made multiple factual errors in his Thursday media conference, according to several establishment media fact-checkers.
The Washington Post chided that “Biden made a number of incorrect statements or made claims that lacked important context.”
One of those that caught the attention of The Post referred to the filibuster, a Senate parliamentary practice that forces bipartisanship on major votes, but also one that Democrats want to do away with now that they have the majority.
“Between 1917 and 1971 the filibuster existed, there were a total of 58 motions to break a filibuster that whole time. Last year alone, there were five times that many,” Biden said during the conference.
The Post explained that the full picture was not presented in this claim.
“When Biden refers to a motion to ‘break a filibuster,’ he is talking about something a vote to invoke cloture — ending Senate debate on a bill or a nomination. There were 298 votes on cloture in the 2019-2020 session (which is two years), but in all but 18 cases, the debate was ended and a final vote could take place. Biden does not mention that Democrats, then in the minority, were responsible for most, if not all, of these filibusters,” The Post wrote.
Biden also said, in speaking about former President Donald Trump’s tax cut, that it had “83 percent going to the top 1 percent.”
Biden used a misleading Democratic talking point that has often earned Two Pinocchios,” The Post said, referring to its standards for measuring political lies.
“The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that initially more than 80 percent of taxpayers would get a tax cut, with less than 5 percent getting a tax increase. The top 1 percent received 20.5 percent of the tax cut in 2018,” The Post wrote.
As proof that he was reopening schools, Biden noted that “a recent Department of Education survey shows that nearly half of the K-through-8 schools are open now, full time, five days a week for in-person learning.”
The Post pointed out that the survey was from January when Biden had barely taken office.
“So the numbers do not reflect anything that has happened on Biden’s watch,” the outlet wrote.
The Post also noted that “Biden claimed, without apparent evidence, that children ‘starved to death’ in Mexico under President Donald Trump’s 2019 policy allowing border officers to return non-Mexican asylum seekers to locations in Mexico as their claims are adjudicated in immigration courts.”
The outlet reported the White House relied upon “widely reported treacherous conditions at camps along the border on the Mexican side that formed as a result of the Trump Administration’s use of the Migrant Protection Protocol, more commonly known as ‘Remain in Mexico.’”
But, The Post noted, there is not a single documented case of death by starvation.
When CNN fact-checked Biden, it noted that the president said “we’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming.”
“This was not true in February, the last month for which we have full data,” the network wrote.
CNN also took issue with Biden’s border math.
Biden claimed there had been a “28 percent increase in children on the border under my administration,” compared to what he said was a 31 percent increase in the same period of 2019 under the Trump administration.
“Biden was wrong about the increase in children at the border during his own administration. He appeared to be mixing up two different statistics, one about children and one about migrants generally,” CNN wrote.
The outlet noted that data from Customs and Border Protection showed the number of unaccompanied children at the border rose by 61 percent between January and February this year.
The website Factcheck.org additionally took issue with some of those points, saying, “In his first press conference since being inaugurated 64 days ago, President Joe Biden got some facts wrong.”
The site noted that Biden got it wrong when he claimed Trump wiped out aid the Obama administration put in place for Central American nations.
“Biden claimed that former President Donald Trump ‘eliminated’ over $700 million in aid that Biden helped get for Central American countries. That didn’t happen, but the Trump administration did reallocate some money and temporarily suspended other funding,” the site wrote.
It noted, however, that a Congressional Research Service report said “all of the previously suspended assistance for the region” had been “programmed” by June 2020.
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