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NY Times' Krugman: The Sanders campaign has flat-out lied about Biden

By Curt Anderson
January 21, 2020 1:12 pm
Category: Journalism

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The following are excerpts from Paul Krugman's New York Times opinion piece entitled, "Biden, Sanders, Social Security and Smears" with the subtitle "Lying about a rival is bad, even if you don't like his past positions."

The Sanders campaign has flat-out lied about things Biden said in 2018 about Social Security, and it has refused to admit the falsehood.

This is bad; it is, indeed, almost Trumpian. The last thing we need is another president who demonizes and lies about anyone who disagrees with him, and can't admit ever being wrong. Biden deserves an apology, now, and Sanders probably needs to find better aides.

[A] Sanders adviser recently circulated a snippet from the video of the event that made it appear that Biden was actually supporting Ryan's position and calling for Social Security cuts. A few days later a newsletter from the Sanders campaign quoted Biden out of context and made the same claim.

If you want a parallel, it's as if I were to say, "Some white nationalists claim that Jews are responsible for all our problems," and a political campaign put out a release saying, "Krugman says 'Jews are responsible for all our problems.'"

The dishonest smears and the doubling down on those smears are coming from the top of the Sanders campaign; even if they aren't coming directly out of Sanders's mouth, he could and should have stopped them. The fact that Sanders isn't apologizing to Biden and replacing the people responsible says uncomfortable things about his character.
Link to nytimes.com below, subscription required.

Subsequent to his opinion piece, Paul Krugman tweeted:

Paul Krugman @paulkrugman
Sanders apologizes, sort of, for misrepresenting Biden on Social Security, saying that his campaign didn't give the "full context." The full context was that Biden was saying the opposite of what the Sanders people claimed 1/

Also, I really don't understand that apparent media consensus that Biden was wrong to call the video "doctored." If you snip out part of a speech to make it seem that someone was saying something he wasn't, how is that different, morally or substantively, from "doctoring"? 2/


Politifact's ruling
A Sanders campaign newsletter said, "In 2018, Biden lauded Paul Ryan for proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare."

That stems from a speech Biden gave in 2018 in which he spoke about Ryan. Biden appeared to be mocking Ryan, not praising him.

The Sanders campaign omitted what Biden said next: the importance of protecting Social Security and Medicare and to change the tax code, which he said benefited the mega rich. Overall, the point of Bidenís speech was to criticize tax cuts for the rich and call for more help to the middle class.

The Sanders campaign plucked out part of what Biden said but omitted the full context of his comments.

We rate this statement False.




Cited and related links:

  1. nytimes.com
  2. twitter.com
  3. dailykos.com
  4. politifact.com

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