Biden’s closing argument: Higher energy prices

President Joe Biden at a rally Sunday night for Gov. Kathy Hochul (D., NY) at Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester County.


Photo:

Ron Adar/Zuma Press

It’s midterm campaign season, and American voters are clearly upset about energy costs. So it is particularly odd that President Joe Biden, just before Election Day, is stressing his opposition to cheap fuel. Perhaps voters can find reason for modest hope in a CNN finding that many of Mr. Biden’s recent public statements are false.

As for the president’s promotion of energy scarcity, Haley Brown and Ben Kesslen report for the New York Post:

President Biden repeatedly said “no more drilling” and stumbled onstage as he joined Gov. Kathy Hochul in Yonkers on Sunday in a last-ditch effort to help her try to fend off GOP challenger Lee Zeldin…

“No more drilling,” Biden told a climate protester who cursed him.

“There is no more drilling. I have not formed any new bore,” Biden said.

A confused-sounding Biden tried to calm the protester and return to his speech.

Whether he was confused or not, that wasn’t Mr. Biden’s only recent message about energy shortages. A Journal’s editorial notes:

Occasionally, President Biden blurts out what he really means, even if it’s politically or diplomatically embarrassing. He did it again Friday when he said his administration will close coal plants across America…

Mr. Biden’s campaign remarks in Carlsbad, Calif., were to be about the semiconductor bill and his “unity agenda.” But during a riff on the Democrats’ tax and climate spending bill, he let slip that “we’re going to shut down [coal] plants all over America and has wind and sun.”

Those worried about the possibility of limited energy supplies and therefore an expensive winter can cling to the hope that the president was lying, a not infrequent occurrence. Recently, this column noted the New York Times’ valiant efforts to produce numerous presidential falsehoods as an element of Mr. Biden’s grandfatherly charm.

Now from CNN of all places comes an acknowledgment that the president’s false claims are hardly limited to self-congratulatory rants about his biography. It seems that fibs are embedded throughout his political message as he seeks to help Democrats hold on to their congressional majorities. A CNN headline announces, “Fact check: Biden’s midterm announcement includes false and misleading claims.” The network’s Daniel Dale writes:

President Joe Biden has been back on the campaign trail, traveling in October and early November to deliver his bid to elect Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Biden’s pitch has included claims that are false, misleading or lack important context.

This column is not a fan of the “fact-checking” genre of opinion journalism, and is especially skeptical when “fact-checkers” claim that a statement “lacks important context.” Such a claim is all too often used when conservatives make true statements that the media wants to describe as false.

But even leaving meaningful arguments about context aside, Mr. Dale catalogs a number of recent Biden claims that are flat-out untrue — on taxes, the federal debt, Social Security and other topics. And yes, gas prices are among the other topics. Mr. Dale writes:

…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 most common price for a gallon of regular gas on the day he was inaugurated, Jan. 20, 2021, was $2.39, according to data provided to CNN by Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy. In other words, Biden made it sound like gas prices had fallen significantly during his presidency, when in fact they had risen significantly.

Perhaps voters disturbed by Mr. Biden’s Sunday energy comments will cheer up when they realize that his statements on this issue cannot be trusted.

Speaking of “fact checkers,” the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, in a surprising twist, has also chosen this moment to submit a similar laundry list of Biden falsehoods in the digital file. Arriving after millions of Americans have already voted in the midterm elections — and just before many Democrats are likely to begin a vigorous, if quiet, effort to guide Mr. Biden off the stage – is Mr. Kessler out today with a “Bottomless Pinocchio for Biden.”

Is there perhaps some important context that should be added to the work of the “fact checkers”?

***

James Freeman is co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”

***

Follow James Freeman on Twitter.

Subscribe to Best of the Web email.

To suggest items, please email best@wsj.com.

(Teresa Vozzo helps compile Best of the Web. Thanks to Monty Krieger.)

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Leave a Comment