He inaccurately went after Biden on topics ranging from gun control, the border, his tax plan and pandemic response. CNN counted at least 10 false or misleading claims Trump made against his opponent.

Here’s a look at the President’s claims and the facts behind them.

Facts First: Biden’s gun control plan does not include confiscating legally owned weapons but would mandate that people who own assault weapons either properly register them with the authorities or sell them to the federal government, along with other measures.

Borders

Trump argued that Biden wants to “eliminate America’s borders.”

Facts First: This is flatly false. Biden does not support an open borders policy.

Suburbs

Trump suggested Biden and Democrats want to destroy suburbs.

“They want to destroy your suburbs. You know that,” Trump said.

Facts First: This fear mongering is entirely false. The Obama-era housing rule Trump is hinting at was meant to address racial segregation and does not abolish suburbs in any way.
This is a repeat of Trump’s racially coded nonsense from July, when he worked to overturn the change the Obama administration made in 2015 to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, a decades-old federal requirement aimed at eliminating discrimination and combating segregation in housing.
You can read more about the regulations and Trump’s false claims here.

Oil and gas

Trump argued that Biden has pledged to end the production of oil and coal.

“Biden has pledged to end production of American oil, shale, clean coal, no fracking,” Trump said.

Facts First: Biden did say, “We’re going to end fossil fuel” in September 2019, during the primary. But his energy plan does not include banning fossil fuel during his presidency.

Biden’s written plan proposes “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters” and he’s pledged to “establish an enforcement mechanism to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050,” which would almost certainly require a significant reduction in oil and gas production.

Biden is not running on a proposal to completely ban fracking (hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method used to extract natural gas or oil). In fact, he explicitly said last week, “I am not banning fracking.”

However, there is at least some basis for Trump’s claim: During the Democratic primaries, Biden sometimes suggested he was proposing to get rid of all fracking.

Police funding

Trump claimed Biden “supports cutting police funding.”

Facts First: Biden has expressly not supported calls to “defund the police.” He has suggested some funding could be redirected to social services, mental health counseling and affordable housing, but in July comments he made to an activist, Biden then immediately transitioned to his previous proposal to deny federal funding to specific police departments that do not meet certain standards.

Looting and rioting

According to the President, Biden has cheered on rioters, referring to them as “peaceful protesters.”

Facts First: This is false. Biden has correctly noted that many protesters have been peaceful; he has not argued that the violent protesters are peaceful. Rather, he has repeatedly denounced violence, rioting and looting.

Iraq War

Trump said, “Biden voted for the Iraq War.”

Facts First: This requires context.

It’s true that Biden voted for the war in 2002, though he did acknowledge a few years later that his vote was a mistake. And while Trump himself has repeatedly claimed to have opposed the war before it began, he became an explicit opponent of the war only more than a year after it began.
You can read more about their stances on the war here.

Shutdown

“Joe Biden’s plan to impose a blanket shutdown would collapse our economy,” Trump said.

Facts First: This is wrong and needs context. Trump is referring to an interview where Biden was answering a hypothetical scenario, not proposing a national shutdown.

During an ABC interview on August 21, Biden was asked what he would do if experts told him to shut down the country if he were president. Biden said, “I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists.”

Biden was not suggesting the US should be shut down right now. Additionally, presidents can’t unilaterally shut down the country. They can offer guidance and take other measures, but their power to control what restrictions states put in place is limited.

You can read the full exchange here.

Charter schools

According to Trump, Biden said that “if he is elected charter schools are gone.”

Facts First: This claim about charter schools is an exaggeration.

The Democratic Party platform recommends banning for-profit charter schools from receiving federal funding, not abolishing all charter schools. It also takes a generally skeptical approach to charter schools, calling for “conditioning federal funding for new, expanded charter schools or for charter school renewals on a district’s review of whether the charter will systematically under-serve the neediest students.” That is not abolition.

“Joe Biden opposes the Trump/DeVos conception of ‘school choice,’ which is private school vouchers that would destroy our public schools. He’s also against for-profit and low-performing charter schools and believes in holding all charter schools accountable. He does not oppose districts letting parents choose to send their children to public magnet schools, high-performing public charters, or traditional public schools,” a Biden spokesperson said in an email last month.

China travel

“When I banned travel from China, Biden called it hysterical and xenophobic,” Trump claimed.

Facts First: Trump never suspended all travel from China and it’s unclear what Biden was referring to when he attacked “Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia.”

Trump’s travel restrictions banned most foreign nationals who had been in China within the past 14 days but exempted US citizens, permanent residents and many of the family members of both groups. Flights from China continued, and tens of thousands of people traveled from China to the US in the months after Trump’s travel restriction went into place.
Biden did accuse Trump of “xenophobia” in an Iowa campaign speech the same day, Jan. 31, that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the Trump administration’s travel restrictions on China — but it was not clear if Biden was even aware of the travel restrictions at the time, and his campaign says he wasn’t. Biden first took a firm position on the travel restrictions in early April, when he expressed support for them.
Biden said on Jan. 31 that “this is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia — hysterical xenophobia — and fear mongering to lead the way instead of science.” But he did not specifically mention the travel restrictions in that address.

Biden tax plan

After claiming that 2021 would be one of the best years economically, Trump added “unless the wrong person gets in and quadruples everybody’s taxes.”

Facts First: Trump is falsely describing Biden’s plan to raise taxes. Biden’s plan would increase taxes for people making more than $400,000 per year. He has promised not to raise taxes for those making less, though they might see an impact through his plan to raise the top corporate tax rate.



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