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Fact Checking Biden's CNN Town Hall

Fact Checking Biden's CNN Town Hall

Claim

Biden: In our administration, there were 38,000 fewer federal prisoners than there were when we started.

 

False

 

Although the Obama-Biden administration made strides in shrinking the prison population, Biden's estimate is exaggerated. From when Obama-Biden took office in 2008 to when they exited in 2016, there were about 9,500 fewer inmates, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons data. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s spokesperson told Factcheck.org last year that the presidential candidate got the 38,000 figure from a 2018 ACLU letter which measured the data from a high-point figure in 2013, when there were over 219,000 federal prisoners. But that failed to account for the fact that the number of federal prisoners rose in Obama’s first five years in office.

 


 

Claim

Biden: The president has yet to condemn, as you’ve probably noticed, the far-right and the white supremacists.

 

False

 

At the CNN town hall, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden implied that U.S President Donald Trump has never condemned white supremacists, which is incorrect. While Trump has not condemned white supremacists recently, he has done so in the past on multiple occasions. Two days after violent clashes broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Trump said, “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups.” A month later, the president signed a congressional resolution condemning white supremacy. In 2019, following shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Trump said, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. ”

 


 

Claim

If Biden wins, he will be the first person without an Ivy League degree to be elected president.

 

False

 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would be the first president since Ronald Reagan to be elected president without an Ivy League education. Even before Reagan, many former presidents of the United States did not have an Ivy League education or did not graduate at all. Out of the first 24 men who became president, 11 had not graduated from college at all (though three of them had attended college without earning a degree). The last president to win the White House without having a college degree was Harry Truman, according to Pew Research Center.

 


 

Claim

Biden: After Trump removed BLM protestors to walk across to a church, he held a Bible upside down, and then went back to a bunker in the White House.

 

False

 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's claims are false since both the incidents happened on two separate days amid protests in the wake of George Floyd's death, and the claim about the bible is inaccurate. In fact, U.S President Donald Trump was taken to his bunker and visited a Protestant church next to the White House on two separate days. He never held the Bible upside down.

 


 

Claim

Biden: Attorney General William Barr had said pandemic lockdowns are "equivalent to slavery."

 

Misleading 

 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden misconstrued Barr's statement that virus lockdowns are the ‘greatest intrusion on civil liberties’ since slavery. Biden referred to Barr's recent comments on the coronavirus lockdown at a Constitution Day celebration hosted by Michigan's Hillsdale College. At the event, Barr said that "other than slavery," coronavirus lockdowns were "the greatest intrusion of civil liberties in American history." Biden referenced Barr's remarks after Anderson Cooper asked him about them, but incorrectly said that Barr said lockdowns were equivalent to slavery. In saying that the lockdowns are “the greatest intrusion of civil liberties in American history” since slavery, Barr implied a comparison between the two, but did not equate them.

 


 

Claim

Biden: CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield contradicted Trump's stance on mask usage by suggesting widespread mask wearing could save 100,000 lives between now and January.

 

Misleading 

 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sept. 17 claimed that Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contradicted President Trump’s stance on mask usage by suggesting widespread mask-wearing could save 100,000 lives between now and January. The claim is misleading because even though Dr. Redfield did advocate wearing masks to curtail the spread of coronavirus, he did not quote any numbers. Redfield did not claim that 100,000 lives could be saved if Americans wore masks universally.

 

Therefore, Biden's statement is misleading because Redfield did not provide these specific numbers concerning the number of lives that could be saved by mask-wearing and neither did Redfield contradict Trump.

 


 

Claim

Joe Biden wants to grow the fracking industry.

 

Misleading 

 

At the CNN Town Hall on Sept. 18, Anderson Cooper asked Biden if he'd "support the continuation of fracking safely" and "growing the industry." To this, Biden said, "Yes, I do," and later added, "We can put to work right away 250,000 people from the ironworkers and other disciplines making union wages, capping those wells that are leaking methane and are a danger to the community."

 

Biden’s past stances regarding fracking have been contradictory. According to his environmental plan, Biden doesn't want to add new fracking on public lands. Biden has not committed to eliminating fracking within the term of his administration, but neither has he announced policy plans that would significantly “grow the industry”, especially given the ‘no new fracking’ commitment. Therefore, Biden's “yes” to the question “would you grow the fracking industry” is contradicting his policy of not allowing new fracking on federal lands. Hence, we mark this claim as misleading.



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