What Trump and Biden Have in Common

One of the reasons Joe Biden won the presidency is because he convinced voters he was nothing like Donald Trump.

Trump was brash.  Biden was reserved.  Trump was impulsive. Biden was cautious. Trump could be mean.  Biden came across as a nice guy.  But despite their many differences Donald Trump and Joe Biden have at least one thing in common:  They both have a long distance relationship with the truth.

In President Trump’s case, journalists were quick to point out his false statements.  The New York Times, which sets the agenda for many other news organizations, even ran a piece under the headline, “Trump’s Lies.”

The story began, “Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.”

Fair enough.  Trump gave journalists plenty of ammunition – and the media should hold powerful people accountable for what they say. So how are those same journalists treating President Biden’s false statements, of which there are many?  Are they calling them “lies”?

On March 25, 2021, Biden said, “We’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming [to the U.S. from Central America]” That rated a “False” on the Polifact “Truth-0-Meter.”

On February 16 he told a CNN Town Hall that, “If we kept (the minimum wage) indexed to inflation, people would be making $20 an hour right now.”  False again, says Politifact.

About a week before the election, Biden went on “60 Minutes” and said, “I can send every qualified person to a four-year college in their state for $150 billion.”  His own campaign admitted he got that wrong, acknowledging that Biden’s free public college plan would actually cost – wait for it – double that amount.

When CNN decided to fact-check the new president, they felt compelled to point out that while Biden got things wrong he wasn’t as bad as Donald Trump, who the network bashed virtually non-stop for four years.

“Biden was not remotely comparable to former President Donald Trump in either the quantity of his false claims or in the magnitude. He did, however, make some inaccurate comments, mostly when ad-libbing,” is how CNN delicately put it.

But the truth is that Biden has made so many inaccurate statements that even the BBC got in on the fact-checking act.  “When I took office just three weeks ago this country did not have a plan or enough vaccines,” Biden said.  “But it’s not correct to say the US ‘did not have a plan’ under Mr. Trump,” says the BBC.

President Biden also said that, “I do think that we should have a minimum wage… at $15 an hour…and all the economics show if you do that, the whole economy rises.” To which the BBC responded: “But there are other studies which say the increased wage costs could result in businesses hiring fewer people.”

And according to FactCheck.org, at his first formal news conference on March 23, “President Joe Biden got some facts wrong.” Here’s a short list of only a few of those facts he got wrong.

“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,” says FactCheck.

According to FactCheck, “The president used the wrong statistics when saying that ‘nothing has changed’ regarding ‘children’ trying to enter the U.S. at the southern border. There was a significant 63% uptick in unaccompanied children being apprehended from January to February.”

“He repeated two familiar talking points on taxes,” says FactCheck, “including the misleading claim that ‘83%’ of the benefits in the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are ‘going to the top 1%.’ That only becomes the case in 2027 when most of the individual income tax cuts are set to expire but corporate tax cuts remain.”

And when former New Jersey GOP Governor Chris Christie went on ABC’s “This Week” and actually uttered the L word, accusing President Biden of “lying” about his nearly $2 trillion dollar infrastructure package, saying it goes way beyond building roads and bridges, he got blowback from the show’s anchor, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos who argued that Biden’s proposal has widespread support, including from Republicans and independents.

“So here’s what’s not popular. Lying is not popular. It’s not infrastructure, George,” Christie said.

“Do you really want to use the word ‘lie’ there?” Stephanopoulos responded.

“Let’s just be fair here,” Christie said. “If Donald Trump had come out and called a dog a cat, which is what Joe Biden’s doing, we would be outraged by the fact that he’s lying,” the former governor continued. “But with Joe Biden, somehow it’s like, ‘oh well, come on, it’s Joe.’ No, no, no, no. It’s not true.”

At one point Stephanopoulos meekly added, “He [Biden] did make some misstatements about the bill.”

So here are a few questions:  When do numerous “misstatements” become lies?  When will the New York Times publish a story under the headline “Biden’s Lies”? And the most important questions:  When will so-called mainstream journalists stop taking sides? When will they stop supporting the Democratic Party and start doing their job?

Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath.