Fact Check Friday: Rep. Paul Ryan Vs. Vice President Joe Biden
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s Fact Check Friday, when we put the Presidential campaigns under the scrutiny of factcheck.org, a nonpartisan non-profit part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
There’s a lot of ground to cover from Thursday night’s debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky between Mitt Romney’s running mate – Rep. Paul Ryan – and Vice President Joe Biden.
WCBS 880 PM driver co-anchor Wayne Cabot spoke with factcheck.org’s Eugene Kiley.
LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot Checks The Facts
They started with the consulate attack in Libya, which left Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.
“The Congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for,” Biden said.
Is that on the mark?
“That’s a bit of an exaggeration. Republicans did cut $264 million, but it wasn’t all for security. There was construction and maintenance involved in there, too. So, to say that it cut embassy security by $300 million goes a little too far,” Kiley said.
“Also, there was a big dispute and this is something that’s carried on into today,” added Kiley.
“Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security,” Biden said. “We did not know they wanted more security again.”
“There’s no evidence that that request reached [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton or [President] Barack Obama or Joe Biden or other top administration officials. But the request was made and it was denied and at a Congressional hearing it was determined that a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs was the person who is to blame for this,” Kiley said. “So, the buck stopped there. Now, the question is, when Biden says ‘We didn’t know’ he’s really just speaking to himself and the President and Hillary Clinton.”
That is what the White House is saying this afternoon, that neither the President nor Vice President knew anything about this request.
Next, there is what the Vice President said about getting Osama Bin Laden.
“Gov. Romney was asked the question about how he would proceed. He said ‘I wouldn’t move heaven and Earth to get Bin Laden,'” Biden said.
“Well, this is out of context. He did use those words ‘I wouldn’t move heaven and Earth to get Bin Laden,'” Kiley said. “What he was talking about was that he wasn’t going to spend billions of dollars just to catch one person, that he would use that money to execute a larger strategy to defeat global violent jihad.”
On domestic issues, there was Ryan on taxes.
“You can cut tax rates by 20 percent and still preserve these important preferences for middle class taxpayers,” Ryan said.
He was then interrupted by Biden who said, “Not mathematically possible.”
Ryan then said, “It is mathematically possible. It’s been done before. It’s precisely what we’re proposing.”
“It’s never been done before,” Biden then said.
IS it mathematically possible?
“We have said it’s not. Romney says he’s going to offset the reduction in tax revenues by eliminating or reducing some tax preferences, tax deductions, tax credits, tax exclusions, and the Tax Policy Center looked at those tax deductions and determined there just isn’t enough money there in order to offset that entire $4.8 billion and the only way you can get to that number is if you increase taxes on the middle class,” Kiley said.
The Romney/Ryan plan would actually preserve the tax cut on upper earners as well, which they say has to happen to help small businesses. Is that correct?
“That was mistake by Paul Ryan in that case,” Kiley said. “He was saying that what Obama wants to do by allowing the tax rates to rise for individual high income earners – those who are making more than $250,000 a year. He’s saying that that would result in a tax of about 53 percent on small business income because some businesses, many businesses, are taxed at the individual rate and not at the corporate rate. But that 53 percent number is just wrong. It comes from the Joint Committee on Taxation, which is a bipartisan Congressional committee. It was referring not to small businesses, but to all businesses that pay taxes at the individual rate and that includes a lot of very large and very wealthy hedge funds and other multi-million dollar enterprises.”
Biden tried to get that across, but it was lost in the cross-talk.
“Biden was right on that one,” Kiley said.
On the auto bailout, Biden said, “Romney said, ‘No, let the detroit go bankrupt.”
“Well, he wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times and the headline of it was ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,’ but it accurately reflected what he was saying in that article,” Kelly said.
We’ll be back next week to tell who is leading you astray. Stay tuned.