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Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Biden Error/Lie/Hallucination List (UPDATED to 22)



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Below, you’ll find a list of 14 “lies” Biden told last night, distributed by the McCain campaign. I’d just note two observations: first, when you tell stories of things that didn’t happen with the frequency of Joe Biden, coupled with his fervent belief of these untrue and inaccurate statements, I don’t think “lie” is the appropriate term. “Hallucinations” seems more accurate, I think. Second, they missed a bunch, so Biden’s list of li- er, hallucinations is well beyond 14.

THE CONSTITUTION: Biden: “Vice President Cheney’s been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history. He has — he has — the idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the executive — he works in the executive branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.”

 As noted by the McCain Camp, Article I of the Constitution does not, in fact, define the role of the Vice President of the United States. It defines the role of the legislative branch, otherwise known as the branch in which Joe Biden has served for the last 36 years.

[A reader writes in noting that Article I does mention the veep at one point -- "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided." However, by describing the veep's role in the legislature, it doesn't really help Biden's claim that it "defines the role, that's the executive, he works in the executive branch."]

IRAQ-AFGHANISTAN SPENDING: Biden said that the U.S. spends more in Iraq in one month than it has in Afghanistan in six or seven years.

That figure is off by 2000 percent.

‘KICKED HEZBOLLAH OUT OF LEBANON’: Biden: When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said, and Barack said, ‘Move NATO forces in there.  Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.”

Reuters thinks he meant to refer to Syria, but I still don’t think it would be accurate to say the U.S. kicked Syria out of Lebanon. The Lebanese kicked Syria out of Lebanon.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT: Biden’s statement that McCain voted against the Violence Against Women Act is accurate. But as Robert Byers notes, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Morrison, the Court ruled that much of Biden’s law was an unconstitutional power grab by Congress of rights reserved to the states. Nobody voted against the WAWA because they support violence against women; they objected over constiutional concerns that a Supreme Court majority validated.

The McCain camp’s list fourteen lies/hallucinations can be found here.

UPDATE: As I suspected, there are others.

RESTAURANT: “Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie’s Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time and you ask anybody in there whether or not the economic and foreign policy of this administration has made them better off in the last eight years.”

According to this Delaware site, Katie’s Restaurant is no longer in business; locals remember it on Union Street 25 to 30 years ago.

ARMS CONTROL TREATY: Biden: “Number two, with regard to arms control and weapons, nuclear weapons require a nuclear arms control regime. John McCain voted against a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that every Republican has supported.”

I have no idea where Biden gets this “every Republican has supported” claim, as 49 other Republican senators voted ‘no’ with McCain.

When the roll was finally called on October 13, the resolution to ratify the CTBT (including the six safeguards that Daschle had submitted as an amendment) was defeated by a 51-48 vote with one abstention. (See the voting record.) Forty-four Democrats voted for ratification as did four Republicans: John Chafee (R-RI), James Jeffords (R-VT), Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Arlen Specter (R-PA). Fifty Republican senators and one independent (Robert Smith of New Hampshire) voted against ratification, and Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) voted “present.” The treaty fell 19 votes short of achieving the necessary two-thirds majority necessary for ratification.

WEST BANK ELECTIONS: Biden: President Bush insisted on elections in the West Bank, when I said, and others said, and Barack Obama said, ‘Big mistake. Hamas will win. You’ll legitimize them.’”

The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler notes that “Obama had been a senator for only a few days when the election took place, but if he made such statements, they did not appear in news reports or transcripts that are contained in the Nexis or Factiva databases.”

PAKISTANI WEAPONS: “Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Pakistan already has deployed nuclear weapons. Pakistan’s weapons can already hit Israel and the Mediterranean.”

I won’t quite chalk this up as a lie/hallucination, but Biden is on shaky ground here. (See below.) The distance between Israel and Pakistan is 2,085 miles, or 3355 kilometers. The longest-range existing strategic missile in the Pakistani arsenal has a range of 3000 kilometers, but it might have longer range with a lighter payload. (But how much can you lighten a nuclear payload?) They are working on developing longer-range missiles; maybe Biden knows of some development that public sources do not yet know about. Theoretically, the Pakistanis could put the weapon on a boat and then sail it to the target, but by that standard, any site on a coast in the world is within their range.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This site indicates that the top range of Pakistani missile that can carry a nuclear warhead is 1000 miles. By being off by 1,000 or so, I’m now upgrading this to full lie/error/hallucination status.


Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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