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Biden's Checking

Fact checking Biden’s claims on the trade deficit, auto bailout and his yearly income – CNN

Washington, DC (CNN)In a rare campaign trip during the pandemic, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made several stops in Michigan Wednesday, giving a speech, holding a roundtable with several steelworkers, and giving an interview to CNN’s Jake Tapper.

We took a look at several claims Biden made during these stops and the facts behind them.

Trade deficit

During a campaign speech in Michigan, focused on manufacturing and his support for unions, Biden claimed that the US trade deficit has hit a record high under the current administration.
“Under President Trump, US trade deficit has grown,” Biden said. “It’s hit an all-time high. Let me say that again. US trade deficit is at an all-time high, under Trump in the last three years.”
Facts First: Biden is wrong. While the trade deficit has grown under Trump, measuring for both goods and services, the overall trade deficit has not hit an all-time high under Trump. Measured by just goods however, Biden is correct. However, he did not specify that he was talking only about goods.
The trade deficit refers to the balance left over after subtracting the amount of goods and services imported to a country from the number exported. While some see trade deficits as a negative thing, many economists dispute that characterization.
The total trade deficit hit a record $763.5 billion in 2006 under George W. Bush. By the end of Barack Obama’s term it had fluctuated and fallen to $481.2 billion in 2016, according to the Census Bureau.
The deficit rose under Trump, hitting $576.9 billion in 2019, despite Trump’s promises during the 2016 campaign that he’d reduce it.
If you looked only at the trade deficit of goods and ignore the surplus of services — which includes things like communication, technical and financial services — the US had a record breaking trade deficit of $880.3 billion in 2018. That year also saw a record trade surplus in services of $300.4 billion.
The US has not seen a trade surplus of goods and services since 1970.

Auto bailout

On Twitter Wednesday, Biden wrote “President Obama and I rescued the auto industry.”
Facts First: Biden is leaving out crucial context in not mentioning the efforts of President George W. Bush.
With just weeks left in his presidency and in the midst of the great recession and an automotive crisis in the US, Bush announced on December 19, 2008 a $17.4 billion auto bailout — $13.4 billion of which would be distributed almost immediately.
After an auto bailout bill was rejected by the Senate, Bush took this money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Obama continued where Bush left off, and by June of 2009, had given — combined with the amount under Bush — $80 billion in bankruptcy loans from TARP, mostly to Chrysler and General Motors.

Biden’s paycheck

In discussing his tax plan — which would raise taxes for those making over $400,000 a year — Biden claimed he has never made that much money.
“We’re not going to punish anybody,” Biden said in a conversation with several Michigan steelworkers Wednesday. “No one making under $400,000, which is more money than I’ve ever made, is going to have to pay more taxes.”
Facts First: The Biden’s have made more than $400,000, though only in the last few years.
In 2017, after leaving office, Biden and his wife Jill reported an income of $11 million and in 2018 they brought in $4.6 million. Much of the new revenue came from book sales and speaking engagements, according to Forbes.
The only other year the Bidens made over $400,000 was in 2013 when they made $407,009.
Otherwise, the Bidens have, year by year, pulled in less than the $400,000 mark that would take on additional taxes under his plan.

Kosovo

Criticizing Trump after multiple reports, including from The Atlantic, that Trump called soldiers who died in battle “losers,” Biden brought up his son Beau’s service. Trump has denied saying it.
“My son volunteered to go — as the assistant US Attorney in Philadelphia — to go into Kosovo. He was there six months,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper Wednesday. “They erected a monument to him thanking him for his service, I think the only American that they did that for. And was he a sucker?”
Facts First: There is a road named after Beau Biden in Kosovo and a monument there in his honor. But it’s not true that Beau Biden is the only American to receive such honors.
The year following his death from brain cancer, Kosovo erected the monument and renamed a highway in honor of Beau, who served as a legal adviser to help rebuild the war-torn area’s justice system in 2001.
Kosovo has done this for other US officials as well. As the Delaware newspaper News Journal reported at the time of Beau’s tribute:
“Kosovo has a long history of naming roads after American officials, a tribute to the U.S. involvement in the nation’s 2008 independence from Serbia. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have roadways named after them.”
There are streets and statues of Clinton and former Sen. Bob Dole in Kosovo.

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Biden's ex-husband

Jill Biden’s ex-husband accuses her and Joe Biden of affair that broke up marriage – Washington Examiner

Jill Biden had an affair with Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, in the 1970s that broke up her previous marriage, according to her ex-husband.

In a Monday interview with the Daily Mail, Bill Stevenson, Jill Biden’s previous husband, asserted that she and the former vice president’s story about how their relationship came to be is not accurate. The Bidens claimed that they became a couple in 1975 after a blind date, but Stevenson said the two met in 1972 and that he suspected the affair in 1974.

“I genuinely don’t want to harm Jill’s chances of becoming first lady. She would make an excellent first lady, but this is my story,” Stevenson said, teasing his forthcoming book. “It’s not a bitter book — I’m not bitter because if it wasn’t for my divorce, I would never have met my wife Linda, and she’s the greatest thing in my life — but it does have facts in it that aren’t pleasant to Jill and Joe.”

“People ask me how I can go back 40 years, but I am not. I’m going back 72 years to tell my life story,” he continued.

In 1972, Stevenson and his then-wife worked on Biden’s first U.S. Senate campaign representing Delaware. At the time, Biden was married to his first wife, Neilia. She and their 1-year-old daughter Naomi later died that year in a car crash.

In her book Where the Light Enters, Jill Biden said her ex-husband was more personally invested in her eventual husband’s Senate campaign and supported his bid. She recalled meeting Biden’s first wife at Biden’s campaign victory party in 1972. The party was at Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware.

“The crowd vibrated with energy, but it was all a bit too much for me — the noise, the emotion, the rising temperature. I was ready to leave for the promised dinner when I noticed a blond woman walking through the crowd, shaking hands and greeting people,” she wrote. “On the spur of the moment, I decided to say hello.”

“I walked up to her, held out my hand, and said, ‘Congratulations on your win.’ She took my hand, smiled graciously, and said, ‘Thank you so much.’ We didn’t stay much longer at the party, as I was more interested in having dinner than hearing the speeches that were to come. I didn’t meet Joe Biden that night, but meeting Neilia stuck with me,” she continued.

Stevenson said he believed the two were having an affair in August 1974 and claims he later confirmed his suspicions in October that year after a customer walked into his workplace to inform him that the senator was in his wife’s brown Corvette with her.

“I was at work, and a guy came in and asked: ‘Do you own a brown Corvette?’ I said, ‘Yes, it’s my wife’s car.’ He said back in May it had crunched his bumper and they told him to get an estimate, and he never heard back from them. I said: ‘Wait a minute. Who is they?’ And he said: ‘Funnily enough, Sen. Biden was driving,” Stevenson said.

The report comes days before Joe Biden is set to accept the Democratic nomination for president. The Washington Examiner reached out to the Biden campaign for comment.

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Biden's What's

What’s In Joe Biden’s Plan On Systemic Racism, Racial Equity? – NPR

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, speaks during a campaign event at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images


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Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, speaks during a campaign event at the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Tuesday detailed a proposal to advance racial equity in the United States.

The plan is the fourth and final pillar of his “Build Back Better” agenda for economic recovery, crafted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“[Biden] believes in an economy where every American enjoys a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead. An economy more vibrant and more powerful precisely because everybody will be included in the deal. An economy where Black, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Native American workers and families are finally welcomed as full participants,” the campaign proposal says.

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Biden outlined the plan Tuesday afternoon during remarks in his hometown of Wilmington, Del. Biden has significantly curtailed his campaign travel amid the pandemic, mostly staying in Delaware and next-door Pennsylvania.

The former vice president took questions from reporters following his remarks. He said he plans to name his vice presidential pick next week, and he expressed confidence in Democrats retaking the Senate.

Biden’s new proposal seeks to address the country’s racial wealth, opportunity and jobs gaps through what the campaign says would be a “historic effort to empower small business creation and expansion in economically disadvantaged areas — and particularly for Black, Latino, [Asian American and Pacific Islander] and Native American-owned businesses.”

The 26-page plan centers around the bolstering of small business opportunities for minority communities, reforming “opportunity zones,” investing in affordable housing and homeownership, and expanding access to resources for entrepreneurs of color.

Many of the policy proposals detailed Tuesday have been released earlier by the campaign and reflect the priorities of the other three pillars of his plan to revitalize the economy, including a major expansion of access to child care, a $2 trillion climate agenda and a boost to manufacturing through a “Buy American” proposal.

The racial equity plan would devote $30 billion — 10% of the $300 billion Biden aims to invest in research and development to stimulate the economy — to a new small business opportunity fund. The campaign suggests the investment would yield $150 billion in venture capital and low-interest business loans.

The housing plan includes an up-to-$15,000 refundable tax credit for first-time homebuyers to combat racial inequality in housing markets, along with an investment to construct 1.5 million homes and public housing units, and the elimination of housing regulations thought to perpetuate discrimination.

The plan also focuses on providing relief from student debt and would make public colleges and universities — and private historically Black schools — tuition-free for families with incomes under $125,000, something the campaign estimates would apply to about 90% of Black, Latino and Native American households.

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Additionally, the plan reads: “As President, Biden will enact legislation to ensure that every person can go to community college for up to two years without having to pay tuition.”

Biden also called on the Federal Reserve to add targeting persistent racial gaps in jobs, wages and wealth to its core mandate.

In response to the plan, President Trump’s reelection campaign said in a statement that “no one should listen to a lecture on racial justice from Joe Biden,” citing his past relationships with segregationist senators and various comments he’s made.

Last week, during a virtual town hall organized by the Service Employees International Union, Biden controversially described Trump as the country’s “first” racist president, which was first reported by the The Washington Post.

“No sitting president has ever done this,” he said, mentioning that Trump often refers to the coronavirus as the “China virus.” Biden said: “We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed. They’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”

Various American Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, enslaved Black people. Still more presidents held racist beliefs, including President Woodrow Wilson, who segregated the federal government. The Biden campaign later clarified to the Post that while there have been other racist presidents, Trump “stands out — especially in modern history — because he made running on racism and division his calling card and won.”

Trump dismissed Biden’s comments during a White House press briefing, citing his administration’s efforts at passing criminal justice reform and the low unemployment rate for Black people before the pandemic.

“I’ve done more for Black Americans than anybody with the possible of exception of Abraham Lincoln,” he said.

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Biden's response

Biden’s response to protests reportedly costs him support of police groups – New York Post

June 4, 2020 | 1:32pm | Updated June 4, 2020 | 2:25pm

Support from law enforcement groups for Joe Biden is beginning to wither as the former vice president’s remarks about the protests that have erupted nationwide over the killing of George Floyd have convinced a number of police officers that he’s moving too far left, according to a report on Thursday.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has focused on police reform and oversight issues, creating the perception that he isn’t in solidarity with the police, who have been targeted in the violence that has erupted during some of the protests, Politico reported.

“Clearly, he’s made a lot of changes the way candidates do during the primary process, but he kept moving left and fell off the deep end,” Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, the umbrella organization for Police Benevolent Association chapters, told Politico.

“For Joe Biden, police are shaking their heads because he used to be a stand-up guy who backed law enforcement,” he said. “But it seems in his old age, for whatever reason, he’s writing a sad final chapter when it comes to supporting law enforcement.”

Biden in a speech Tuesday in Philadelphia called for nationwide police reform, a bill to outlaw chokeholds and urged police departments across the country to begin immediate reviews to weed out bad cops.

In contrast, President Trump has touted a “law and order” approach to deal with the protests and has proposed invoking an 1807 law that would allow him to deploy the US military to quell the violence.

Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, who has worked with Biden on the 1994 crime bill and other legislation, said police have moved more to the right as they become the focus of the left’s ire.

“There are two evolutions in two directions. On law-and-order issues, Biden was right of center: the ‘94 crime bill, the Brady law and enhanced penalties. But as time has gone by, his positions have moderated, moderated, moderated to where we are today, where he would not be considered a law-and-order guy in the sense that law enforcement sees it,” he told Politico.

“Also, as time has gone by, the law enforcement community — especially the rank and file — has become far more conservative. Today, the FOP and other labor groups are far less open to addressing gun control issues, things that traditionally they supported and that Biden worked very closely and successfully with them on.”

Florida Rep. Val Demings, a former Orlando police chief, spoke on behalf of the Biden campaign to defend the candidate.

“Law enforcement, firefighters know who Joe Biden is. They know who he is because he has stood with our public servants in the toughest time in their lives,” said Demings, who is being considered as a running mate for Biden.

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Biden's virtual

Joe Biden’s virtual campaign speech repeatedly interrupted by geese – New York Post

May 18, 2020 | 11:12pm

That’s just fowl behavior.

Honking geese and chirping birds repeatedly interrupted presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden as he attempted to deliver a virtual campaign speech on Monday.

The former vice president was addressing the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Victory Fund during a live-streamed speech outside his Delaware home, according to The Hill.

At one point, the gaffe-prone candidate addressed the obnoxious background squawking.

“You’re going to hear, there’s a pond on the other side of my property here. A lot of Canadian geese. If you hear them honking away, they’re cheering, that’s what they’re about,” Biden quipped.

Other distractions included a person walking in the background of his shot, presumed to be a Secret Service agent, and a ringing iPhone.

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