Gaffe-prone man motivated by media-driven lie

Friday, April 26, 2019
Chad Groening (

Joe Biden announcesJoe Biden has earned the reputation of a gaffe machine but his presidential announcement this week is drawing attention for blatant lying.

After months of speculation, the former vice-president officially launched his 2020 campaign this week with an online ad that claims America’s “soul” needs to be rescued from the grip of Donald Trump, and he is the man to do it.

To press his case, Biden cited President Trump’s response to the 2017 riots in Virginia, when white supremacists and far-left groups such as Antifa faced off, and where a white man rammed his automobile into a crowd of left-wing protesters, killing a young woman, Heather Heyer. 

In the video, Biden quotes Trump as suggesting there were “very fine people on both sides,” meaning the white supremacists, too, even though one of their members took the life of Heyer. 

“Very fine people on both sides?” Biden responds. “With those words the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalency between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it."

But there is just one problem: Trump never said that, and the counter-demonstrators who showed up with "courage" also showed up with baseball bats and even firearms.

“Joe Biden is running on the media's Charlottesville lie about Trump,” reads the headline of a Washington Examiner commentary that reminds readers of the press conference where the “both sides” claim originated.  

The story points out that Trump, answering pointed questions at a press conference, reminded the media that some people were peacefully protesting removing a statue of Robert E. Lee but the protest was also attended by actual Neo-Nazis and by violent Antifa protesters.  

“You had people --- and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally --- but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” Trump told the gathering of reporters.

In a commentary at RealClearPolitics, writer and CNN commentator Steve Cortes recalls how he debated a CNN panel in recent days over the media’s claims that Trump had used the words “fine people” to describe the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.

After pushing back on the claim on-air, Cortes recalls that a CNN anchor claimed Trump never mentioned the monument debate, even though the transcript shows that he did.

Responding to Biden’s claims on Fox News, radio show host David Webb told the news network that CNN correctly reported in 2017 that Trump was not referring to everyone at the protest as good people.

“CNN reported that. They now ignore it,” Webb complained.

In the Examiner commentary, writer Eddie Scarry speculates that Biden jumped into the Democratic primary over the Charlottesville incident and has chosen a “well-known lie” to start his campaign.

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