OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
It may not be something that CNN watchers are used to seeing, but President Joe Biden got hammered by a fact check from the network.
“Gas prices weren’t over $5 when Biden took office. The Social Security hike isn’t a Biden achievement. The Trump tax cut didn’t ‘only’ go to the top 1%. Biden didn’t cut the debt in half. Biden didn’t get Congress to pass a law to forgive student debt,” CNN fact checker Daniel Dale said.
“The unemployment rate. Biden said at the Florida rally on Tuesday: ‘Unemployment is down from 6.5 to 3.5%, the lowest in 50 years.’ He said at the New Mexico rally on Thursday: ‘Unemployment rate is 3.5% – the lowest it’s been in 50 years.
“But Biden didn’t acknowledge that September’s 3.5% unemployment rate was actually a tie for the lowest in 50 years – a tie, specifically, with three months of Trump’s administration, in late 2019 and early 2020,” the fact checker said.
“Since Biden uses these campaign speeches to favorably compare his own record to Trump’s record, that omission is significant.
“The unemployment rate rose to 3.7% in October; that number was revealed on Friday, after these Biden comments. The rate was 6.4% in January 2021, the month Biden took office,” he said.
“Biden’s student debt policy
“During an on-camera discussion conducted by progressive organization NowThis News and published online in late October, Biden told young activists that they ‘probably are aware, I just signed a law’ on student debt forgiveness that is being challenged by Republicans.
“He added: ‘It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two, and it’s in effect.’
“Biden’s claims are false,” he said.
“He created his student debt forgiveness initiative through executive action, not through legislation, so he didn’t sign a law and didn’t get it passed by any margin.
“Since Republicans opposed to the initiative, including those challenging the initiative in court, have called it unlawful precisely because it wasn’t passed by Congress, the distinction between a law and an executive action is a highly pertinent fact here,” the fact checker said.
“A White House official told CNN that Biden was referring to the Inflation Reduction Act, the law narrowly passed by the Senate in August; the official said the Inflation Reduction Act created “room for other crucial programs” by bringing down the deficit. But Biden certainly did not make it clear that he was talking about anything other than the student debt initiative” he said.
“Biden correctly noted on various occasions in October that gas prices have declined substantially since their June 2022 peak – though, as always, it’s important to note that presidents have a limited impact on gas prices.
“But in an economic speech in New York last week, Biden said, ‘Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39 – down from over $5 when I took office.’
“Biden’s claim that the most common gas price when he took office was more than $5 is not even close to accurate,” the fact checker said.
“The most common price for a gallon of regular gas on the day he was inaugurated, January 20, 2021, was $2.39, according to data provided to CNN by Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“In other words, Biden made it sound like gas prices had fallen significantly during his presidency when they had actually increased significantly,” he said.
“In other recent remarks, Biden has discussed the state of gas prices in relation to the summer peak of more than $5 per gallon, not in relation to when he took office.
“Regardless, the comment last week was the second this fall in which Biden inaccurately described the price of gas – both times in a way that made it sound more impressive,” he said.
But the president may be getting desperate as on Saturday, polling analysis publication FiveThirtyEight changed its Senate forecast from a “toss-up” to leaning Republican, Newsmax reported.
At president, the analyst firm lists Republican chances of winning the Senate at 55 in 100 versus Democrats retaining control at 45 in 100.
The new predictions come after the outlet reported on Monday: “Herschel Walker’s scandals may hurt his chances against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. Meanwhile, Democrats are hoping to pick up a seat in Pennsylvania, but that race has gotten a lot tighter recently.”
“Other Senate races are competitive but have identifiable favorites. For instance, strong Democratic incumbents currently have an edge in Arizona and New Hampshire. And the Senate races in North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin are also close but will likely result in Republican winners,” the outlet also added.