Editor: Biden’s Performance the Most Dishonest I Have Ever Witnessed – UPDATED!

Political Arena Editor’s Note – To test how well we did fact checking we compared some of the the elite media’s fact check with our own. What is in italics is how we did.

UPDATE II – It seems we missed that Biden lied about how he voted on the wars. He said he voted against them and trashed Ryan for voting for them, but it turns out that Biden voted for all of the wars. Usually politicians get their own voting records right so we took that one for granted. We will NEVER make that mistake again – Editor.

biden debate strange

I have been writing about politics since the early 1990’s and I have to say that while we expect politics to dissemble and spin and occasionally lie to get themselves out of trouble I have never seen a politicians just flat-out lie about facts and subjects that most anyone can check in minutes and out as just plain false. Parts of the debate that are directionally accurate but not precise comes with the territory of a debate with a two minute format so we  will be focusing on the whoppers and rank dishonesty.

Ryan lost his assertive footing a few times, but Biden’s smirking and laughing was over played. In general Biden was almost on an emotional roller coaster which comes across as too slick by half and insincere. I would make a commercial with just the faces and the changes in emotions edited together. The way that the debate worked out was that if you listened to it on the radio Biden sounded better, but if you watched it on TV Biden came across as rude and too slick.

In this video you will see Brit Hume’s take which was similar to ours –

UPDATE II  – And here is the ad we predicted would be made  –

Biden did not want to talk about how the Obama Administration lied about the embassy attacks for two weeks. Every time it came up he changed the subject to Afghanistan or the Iraq surge and such and the moderator let him get away with it.

Washington Post Fact Checker:

“We weren’t told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security.” —Biden, speaking of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya

Biden’s bold statement was directly contradicted by State Department officials just this week, in testimony before a congressional panel and in unclassified cables released by a congressional committee.

“All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources,” said Eric Nordstrom, the top regional security officer in Libya earlier this year. A Utah national guardsman who led a security team, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, said: “We felt great frustration that those requests were ignored or just never met.”

Maybe Biden was too busy in debate prep to watch?

The embassy attacks issue came back up later. Biden tried to blame the lack of security at our embassies on Paul Ryan who voted to cut a part of the embassy budget some time ago. The Obama Admin was using the Embassy Budget to buy Chevy Volts for diplomatic staff… and its Ryan’s fault that the Obama Admin cut security in Benghazi? That was so dishonest that it even set an old pro like me aback. Ryan hit home with (paraphrase) “Look this was the anniversary of 9/11 and they had security taken away”.

Washington Post Fact Checker:

“The congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for.” –Biden

Ryan, as head of the House Budget Committee, set broad targets for spending in his budget blueprint that would have cut nondefense discretionary spending by 19 percent in 2014.

There were no specific cuts in embassy security, but Democrats have extrapolated the number, across the board, to come up with this statistic. But it is not a real number with true budget impact.

By the way, our definitive timeline on shifting administration statements on the Libya terrorist attack can be found here.

Again about Libya Biden pivots to Osama bin Laden:

Washington Post Fact Checker:

“Prior to the election, prior to him being sworn in, Governor Romney was asked the question about how he would proceed. He said, ‘I wouldn’t move heaven and earth to get bin Laden.’” –Biden

Romney made this statement in a 2007 interview with the Associated Press: “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”

But Biden has ignored the rest of the interview, in which the AP quoted Romney as saying “he supports a broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement.” Just a few days later, Romney expanded on his remarks during a debate:

“We’ll move everything to get him. But I don’t want to buy into the Democratic pitch that this is all about one person — Osama bin Laden — because after we get him, there’s going to be another and another. This is about Shia and Sunni. This is about Hezbollah and Hamas and al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate.”

The subject turns to Iran. Ryan charged that the Obama Administration counted on watered down sanctions. That is true and is compounded by the fact that oil rich countries are VERY good at getting around such sanctions…. Saddam Hussein was getting around the sanctions and the UN was helping Iraq get around them with bribes all the way up to Kofi Annon’s son. Sanctions just let the Obama Administration talk tough, while really doing very little and giving Iran time to enrich uranium.

USA Today Fact Checker:

The facts: This is mostly true. Iraq’s exports fell from 2 million barrels of oil a day in early 2012 to 1 million barrels a day by July, though they recovered to 1.2 million barrels by September, according to the Financial Times of London. [Political Arena Editor’s Note – Iran has already recovered 20% of the lost oil exports that we tried to block through the sanctions….and that is just what we are able to measure.]

Joe Biden says “we will not let Iran get a nuclear weapon and they don’t have a weapon to put uranium into”, this was my “throw the brick at the TV” moment. The simple truth is that once Iran has the uranium, making the weapons is easy. Every test detonation of a nuclear warhead with the proper amount of fissionable material in history has resulted in a nuclear detonation (there have been fizzles from failures to achieve critical mass but state sponsored bomb programs have always been able to get by that problem eventually and there is a great deal more nuclear know how readily available today); I know as I have expertise on WMD’s. There is no way that Biden doesn’t know this. This level of dishonesty is just not acceptable.

Washington Post Fact Checker:

“When Barack Obama was elected, they [Iran] had enough fissile material — nuclear material to make one bomb. Now they have enough for five. They’re racing toward a nuclear weapon. They’re four years closer toward a nuclear weapons capability…In Congress, I’ve been fighting for these sanctions since 2009. The administration was blocking us every step of the way.” –Ryan

Ryan greatly simplifies things here. Iran has built up its supply of nuclear material, but none of it is useable in a weapon yet [Political Arena Editor’s Note – as far as the Washington Post knows. Remember that Ryan and Biden get intelligence that the public will never see. What does matter is that Iran is producing uranium that is enriched over 20% and when that is achieved the ability to make a bomb becomes simply a matter of time.] Most experts say the United States and its allies would have ample warning if Iran tried to enrich its nuclear material to weapons grade. (Biden confused matters by asserting that both the Israelis and the United States would know when Iran starts “building a weapon”–that is much more difficult to track.)

Meanwhile, the debate on Iran sanctions is rather familiar. If you go back four years, you will see that it was the Obama campaign that made claims of weakness and fecklessness on Iran. President George W. Bush had considered the building of a multinational coalition seeking to negotiate with Iran as one of his foreign-policy legacies, but Obama officials were critical, saying it offered “weak carrots and weak sticks.”

Joe Biden blasted Romney for saying that we need “let foreclosures hit the bottom”. Folks this is a fact of basic market economics. The market needs to bottom out before it can recover.  People jump back in when people thinks it hits bottom and the result is a quicker recovery. The housing problems lingers and drops over 40 months because government is trying to prop up housing prices… and they are failing miserably in the process.

Joe Biden pulled the old nonsense class envy card, so Ryan pulls out “This is not what a real recovery looks like” card and goes right into the “Five Point Plan” which are solid and simple talking points. That got repetitive during the debate and was a wash.

Paul Ryan went into a “Mitt Romney is a good man” speech which was devastatingly effective. A YouTube moment that we are going to see for a long time and we will post the video as soon as it is available.

Biden said that the economic collapse was because of the Iraq war and the highly successful (came in 40% under budget folks) prescription drug benefit passed by Republicans. Wow, even for a politician that is a whopper. Biden then went after Paul Ryan for helping some constituents apply for stimulus dollars. Wait a minute – so when Ryan’s office helps a constituent apply for stimulus dollars that is a policy position?? Joe knows better than that. It is the duty of every Member of Congress to help with such requests once the law is enacted. There is no excuse for this.

When the debate turned to Medicare Paul Ryan started quoting the published numbers from Obama’s own Medicare Actuary which showed that ObamaCare will drive up deficits and health care costs and Biden denied his own administrations published numbers and conclusions (that they have not publicize but has been reported). This very writer wrote about the Medicare Actuary  and these numbers HEREHEREHERE and HERE.

Washington Post Fact Checker:

“Their own actuary from the administration came to Congress and said one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this.” –Ryan

“That’s not what they said.” –Biden

Ryan is right, and Biden is wrong.

“It is doubtful that many [hospitals and other health care providers] will be able to improve their own productivity to the degree” necessary to accommodate the cuts, Medicare actuary Richard S. Foster has written. “Thus, providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantial portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable, and, absent legislative intervention, might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing care for beneficiaries. [Our] simulations…suggest that roughly 15 percent of [hospitalization] providers would become unprofitable within the 10-year projection as a result of the [spending cuts].”

Last time we checked, 15 percent is just shy of “one out six” (16.67 percent) .

When Ryan talks numbers he does well. He drew a solid contrast when he talked about how the Obama Administration wants to tax small businesses at 44% and Romney wants to tax them at 28%. Ryan also points out that Canada has lowered their business taxes to even quite a bit lower. NOTE – Ryan’s 44.x figure includes payroll taxes, but if memory serves the 28% figures does not, so it would have been more accurate for Ryan to say 39.9% vs 28%. So in this case Ryan is getting cute with that comparison and should not have. There is no excuse for that kind of mistake, unless of course, the Romney 28% proposal includes payroll taxes.

When Paul Ryan hit Biden on the illegal abortion mandate against Catholic institutions it hit home so Biden of curse, lied about it. Biden – “No Catholic Institution has to pay for abortions or abortion drugs or birth control and that is a fact”. Yes, it is today, BUT next year when the MANDATE KICKS IN then the mandate is the fact Joe. Then Catholic institutions will be forced to pay for abortions services and drugs etc through any insurance they buy. I am still in shock over the level of dishonesty.

Washington Post Fact Checker:

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear: No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise — including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy, any hospital — none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.” –Biden

Biden went a bit far saying it is “a fact” that religious groups will not pay for contraceptives under the health care law.

Biden was referring to the so-called contraceptive mandate, which requires insurers to provide coverage for birth control without charging additional co-payments. (We has touched on this issue in two separate columns).

Biden was instrumental in brokering that accommodation in an effort to quell an outcry from Catholic leaders otherwise sympathetic to the Obama administration.

The Obama administration made a decision to fully exempt religious institutions such as churches from this rule. It also said it will exempt religiously affiliated organizations such as Catholic schools and hospitals, but their insurance providers must still cover birth control with no out-of-pocket costs for the insured. [Political Arena Editor’s Note – So all that has happened is that the person who writes the final check has been one step removed. The premiums will rise and if a religious institution wants to buy health insurance for its employees it MUST provide the birth control/abortion mandate. Biden’s accommodation amounts to a distinction without a difference].

Rep. Paul Ryan pointed out that the accommodations failed to satisfy many religious groups. “If they agree with you … why would they keep suing you?” he asked.

As far as Syria, if we help the forces who are fighting Assad we will be effectively handing the country over to the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no good way the Syrian problem ends so our take is that Biden and Ryan are both wrongheaded on this issue.

It is likely that Ryan had other factual deficits, but Biden’s were so whopping and fast coming that I was working to keep them straight. I will look over the YouTube later and focus on Ryan more. This piece also focused less on Ryan because the things he said in the debate are things the Romney/Ryan team has been saying for some time now so there was very little that was new.

Washington Post Fact Checker:

“He’ll keep saying this $5 trillion plan, I suppose. It’s been discredited by six other studies…Six studies have guaranteed — six studies have verified that this math adds up.” –Ryan

Romney would cut tax rates by 20 percent and eliminate the estate tax, the alternative minimum tax and reduce the corporate tax, which analysts say will reduce revenue by $5 trillion over ten years. But Romney also has said he will make his plan “revenue neutral” by eliminating tax loopholes and deductions, much as Ronald Reagan did when he passed a tax reform in 1986. [Political Arena Editor’s Note – Like we said previously HERE ].

The fact checkers, if they do their job, are going to hit Biden good tomorrow. The best line in the debate was probably from Paul Ryan when he said, “If you can’t run on your record paint your opponent as someone to run from.” That is what Biden tried to do tonight.