Joe Biden said he would actually check on Donald Trump during debates

Devon Link



The claim: Biden said a direct fact checker would be present at the debates

As the Biden and Trump campaigns enter the final leg of the presidential race in 2020, America remembers the highs and lows of the 2016 election cycle. And with that, “fact checking” and “fake news” are more valuable topics than ever before.

Some online, however, misinterpret Joe Biden’s recent comments on the topics, meaning an official fact checker will discuss the presidential debates.

“Trump is shocked Biden has just announced on MSNBC that there will be a live fact checker at the debates,” Jim Bozarth posted on Facebook on August 28.

Bozarth did not return USA TODAY’s request for comment.

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An out-of-context bid quote

On August 27, Biden said in a video interview with MSNBC that he intends to serve as a fact-checker while debating President Donald Trump.

“As long as the commission continues straight and narrow, I will debate him,” he said. “I’ll be a fact checker on the floor while I debate him.”

The statement comes after anchor Andrea Mitchell asked Biden for his response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying he should not debate Trump.

“I will not legalize a conversation with him, nor a debate on the presidency of the United States,” she said.

Biden pointed to the false information that Trump leaked during the Republican National Convention, and journalists’ attempts to unravel it to emphasize the need for fact-checking.

“The debates are going to take place. “I have been advised by a number of very capable people who know their way, including prominent Republicans, that I should not debate Trump unless there is a fact-checker,” Biden told MSNBC. “But look, I think everyone know that this man has a somewhat pathological tendency not to tell the truth. ‘

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Fact checkers do cover debates

Since Trump first introduced the presidential term in 2016, media experts have been thinking about the role that fact-checkers should play in debates. In that year, some independent organizations reviewed the debates directly, while others published fact-checks the next day.

During the first debate, Hillary Clinton’s campaign turned her own website into a live fact-checking platform called ‘Literally Trump’. Within an hour of the announcement, the website broke its traffic record and received thousands of shares on social media.

The debate schedule is drawn up without an official fact checker

On September 2, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced moderators for this year’s three presidential debates and vice-presidential debate. The first presidential debate is hosted by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on September 29. Susan Page of the USA TODAY will moderate the Vice Presidential debate on October 7 and two more presidential debates will follow in October.

In early August, Trump called on the commission to add a fourth debate focusing on early voting for early September. His request was denied.

The commission did not announce that there would be a live fact checker at the events.

The Presidential Debates Commission has not yet returned USA TODAY’s request for comment.

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Our verdict: Missing context

We applaud the allegation that former Vice President Joe Biden said a direct fact checker would be present at the debates as MISSING CONTEXT. In the interview with MSNBC, Biden discussed his plans to control Trump himself on the debate floor and the expectations that the press will do the same. The Commission for Presidential Debates has not announced any plans to present a live fact checker at the debates.

Our sources for fact checking:

  • Jim Bozarth’s 28 August Facebook Post
  • YouTube, MSNBC, August 27, “Joe Biden responds to Pelosi’s comments on Trump | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC”
  • USA TODAY, August 27, “Pelosi: ‘I do not think there should be any debate’ between Biden and Trump”
  • CNN, August 25, “Fact check: the first night of the Republican National Convention contains more dishonesty than four nights of the DNC”
  • Poynter, September 2, “Here’s how America’s fact checkers would moderate presidential debates”
  • PolitiFact, 26 Sept. 2016, “Fact check of the first Trump, Clinton presidential debate”
  • Wired, 26 September 2016, “We live facts-look at the first presidential debate”
  •, 27 September 2016, “Fact-checking of the first debate”
  • NPR, 27 September 2016, “Fact Check: First Presidential Debate”
  • Wired, September 27, 2016, “Millions of people checked Clinton’s fact-checking website from Clinton”
  • Commission on Presidential Debates, 2 September, “CPD announces debate moderators in 2020”
  • USA TODAY August 6, “Panel Rejects Donald Trump’s Request to Add a Fourth Debate with Joe Biden”
  • USA TODAY, September 2, “Election 2020: Chris Wallace, Susan Page among Moderators for Presidential and Vice-Presidential Debates”

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