President Joe Biden has been in public office for nearly 50 years. He’s served as a US senator from Delaware, vice president to President Barack Obama, and now as president of the United States (POTUS). Over his career, Biden has repeatedly made claims that weren’t true. In 1988, his plagiarism was so bad it forced him to withdraw from the primary election for president.
The Washington Post is typically a reliable liberal news outlet that has been supportive of the administration. Yet, Biden’s recent miscues have pushed the paper to report on the president’s misstatements. Editor and chief writer of The Washington Post’s “The Fact Checker,” Glenn Kessler, opined he wasn’t just a self-proclaimed gaffe machine, but also a rare “bottomless Pinocchio.”
Washington Post Gives Biden Rare “Bottomless Pinocchio”
While Kessler noted the president is a “gaffe machine,” he said it wasn’t an excuse for him to make “false or misleading statements.” He stated readers had asked for fact checks on his recent statements but suggested they were so small it didn’t warrant one. So instead, he offered a roundup of Biden’s misleading statements and awarded Pinocchios for his factual errors.
The editor noted that former President Donald Trump earned 56 “Bottomless Pinocchios,” alleging his misleading statements were often deceptive and were a form of propaganda. If a comment earned three or four Pinocchios and was repeated at least 20 times, the paper rated it as a bottomless Pinocchio. He stated Biden had now achieved his own keepsake.
So, what are a few of the Bottomless Pinocchios the Washington Post dinged him on?
On October 27, Biden claimed gas prices were $5 per gallon when he took office in January 2021 and declined recently to $3.39. Kessler wrote he was correct about the cost of gas in late October, but misspoke about it when he took office. When Biden assumed the presidency on January 20, 2021, the national average for gas was $2.48.
Social Security Rising Under His Leadership for First Time in a Decade
On November 1, the president spoke at a retirement community in Hallandale Beach, Florida. He told the audience that Social Security was rising under his watch for the first time in 10 years. The Post noted it was a misleading statement.
Social Security wasn’t rising because of anything positive Biden did. Instead, a 1972 law requires it to go up with inflation. In 2023, Social Security is set to rise 8.7% to keep up with inflation. Certainly not a claim to fame.
School Loan Debt Passed in Congress
On October 23, Biden shared he forgave $10,000 in school loan debt and $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants. He stated he got it “passed by a vote or two” in Congress. The problem is, as Kessler noted, Congress never authorized his school loan forgiveness program in law. To enact the policy, the president used the 2001 HEROES Act that the Justice Department (DOJ) said the administration could use in a legal opinion.
The White House said Biden meant to say the Inflation Reduction Act. Yet, that legislation didn’t include student loans.