Readers Respond

Fact-checking Biden's debate performance

Your editorial on Vice President Joseph Biden's debate performance against Rep. Paul Ryan seems to have somehow ignored several factual errors by the incumbent ("Biden connects," Oct. 13).

For starters, Mr. Biden claimed "we weren't told they wanted more security" in answer to a question about the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11.


In doing so, Mr. Biden was contradicting the sworn congressional testimony of State Department officials last week, prompting GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to say the next day that the vice president was "doubling down on denial."

Among Mr. Biden's other untruths: That President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a dozen times," when actually the number of meetings was less than half-a-dozen.


That Mr. Ryan voted to "cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for" — a wild extrapolation of Mr. Ryan's proposed 19 percent cut in non-defense discretionary spending.

Mr. Biden double-counted Obamacare's $716 billion cut in Medicare to make it seem to be Medicare savings.

And he claimed the Bush tax cuts should "expire like they're supposed to on those millionaires" when those affected, far from being tycoons, are mostly middle class families making over $250,000 with two earners.

Mr. Biden claimed that no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, has to refer for contraception, pay for contraception or be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. But as the Catholic bishops have noted, the Heath and Human Services mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain religious employers, but it does not include Catholic hospitals like the ones Mr. Biden mentioned or other religious charities.

Catholic and non-Catholic institutions will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage that includes sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients that they will have to pay for.

It is frightening to think Mr. Biden might be only a heart beat away from the presidency for another four years.

Benedict Frederick Jr., Pasadena