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    Fact-Checking Trump’s Debate Claims Amid Biden’s Faltering Performance

    The debate stage is often a battleground for half-truths and grandiose declarations, and last Thursday was no exception. Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, let loose a series of false or misleading statements. Remarkably, many of these went unchecked, overshadowed by President Biden’s shaky performance, which left Democrats in a state of panic. The question now looms large: Should Biden remain the face of the Democratic ticket?

    Trump’s Tactics: Bold Claims, Shaky Foundations

    Trump’s debate strategy was a mix of discipline and dramatics. He appeared more composed than Biden, whose delivery was halting and at times, dazed. Yet, Trump’s penchant for hyperbole and apocalyptic rhetoric about the state of the country persisted. On policy fronts ranging from border security to inflation, neither candidate seemed to make headway in winning over the undecided voters.

    Let’s dissect Trump’s most egregious claims and the reality behind them.

    Fact vs. Fiction: Navigating the Political Labyrinth

    Abortion: Roe v. Wade Whoppers

    Trump’s assertion that “every legal scholar” wanted Roe v. Wade overturned is a significant overstatement. The legal community, much like the American public, is deeply divided on this issue. The 1973 Supreme Court decision that recognized women’s constitutional right to terminate unwanted pregnancies has been a contentious topic for decades. When Roe was overturned in 2022, it did not usher in the harmonious era of state-level equilibrium Trump described. Instead, it created a chaotic patchwork of laws, leaving many women uncertain about their reproductive rights.

    Furthermore, Trump accused Democrats of supporting abortions “even after birth,” a claim that falls squarely in the realm of the absurd. Infanticide is illegal in every state. Major medical associations are clear: abortions can only occur during a pregnancy. This distortion seems to stem from comments made by former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in 2019, which have been widely misrepresented by Republicans to stoke fear and misinformation.

    Immigration: The Social Security Scare

    In the debate, Trump argued that Biden’s immigration policies are destroying Social Security, alleging that migrants are heavily dependent on public benefits. However, this claim doesn’t hold water. Migrants, especially those awaiting asylum decisions, do not qualify for Social Security or Medicare. Extensive studies have shown that in the long term, immigrants contribute more in taxes than they consume in public services. This includes undocumented immigrants, who often pay taxes without reaping the associated benefits.

    Trump also boasted about having the “safest border in the history of our country” during his tenure. While the metrics he used are unclear, the reality is more nuanced. His administration witnessed a significant number of illegal crossings at the Southern border and faced the second-largest surge of migrants seeking asylum, only surpassed by numbers under Biden. Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy briefly reduced illegal crossings by requiring asylum seekers to stay south of the border while their cases were processed. However, this policy was short-lived, leaving its long-term efficacy unproven.

    January 6: The Downplayed Insurrection

    Referring to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Trump minimized the event, suggesting it involved only a “relatively small number of people” and claiming many were “ushered in by the police.” The facts tell a different story. Nearly 1,500 individuals have faced charges for their roles in the insurrection, with many entering the Capitol. The police did not invite these individuals inside; they were overwhelmed and, in numerous instances, injured by the mob.

    This downplaying of the insurrection undermines the gravity of the event and the threats faced by law enforcement and lawmakers. It also disregards the extensive damage done to democratic processes and institutions.

    Economy: The Deficit Deception

    Trump accused Biden of creating “the largest deficit in the history of our country.” Conveniently, he neglected to mention that the 2020 deficit—his last full fiscal year—was a staggering 14.7% of GDP, the largest since World War II, driven primarily by emergency pandemic relief. While Biden’s tenure has seen large deficits, they pale in comparison to the fiscal gap under Trump. Despite some narrowing, the national debt continues to balloon, a problem that spans multiple administrations.

    On inflation, Trump painted a rosy picture of his term, claiming he left Biden with “essentially no inflation.” This is misleading. Inflation was already on the rise as Trump left office, fueled by pandemic-related disruptions and massive government spending. Biden’s administration has certainly faced challenges in curbing inflation, but it did not start from a point of zero inflation.

    Foreign Policy: Ukraine Untruths

    Trump’s take on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was filled with unsubstantiated claims. He asserted that Putin would never have invaded Ukraine if Trump were president, implying that his presence would have deterred such aggression. However, many experts believe Putin’s plans to attack Ukraine were long in the making. Trump himself had acknowledged that absorbing Ukraine was a “dream” of Putin’s, indicating that the seeds of conflict were sown well before Biden took office.

    Trump also inaccurately claimed that European nations were contributing far less to Ukraine than the U.S. In reality, the European Union and its member states, along with non-EU countries like Norway, have collectively provided over $190 billion in financial, military, humanitarian, and refugee assistance. This far exceeds the U.S.’s total aid of around $175 billion, with a significant portion of U.S. funds directed towards supporting American operations related to the conflict.

    Unmasking the Debate: Where Truth Meets Illusion

    Biden’s Blunders

    Biden wasn’t immune to factual missteps during the debate. One notable falsehood was his claim, “I’m the only president this century that doesn’t have any, this decade, that doesn’t have any troops dying anywhere in the world.” This statement overlooked the tragic deaths of 13 service members during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 and the recent deaths of three soldiers in a drone strike in Jordan this January.

    Biden’s assertion aimed to paint a picture of a presidency unmarred by military casualties, but reality paints a different, more somber picture. It’s crucial for leaders to acknowledge and honor these sacrifices rather than gloss over them for political gain.

    What’s Next?

    As the curtain closes on this latest political spectacle, we’re left pondering who truly wore the mask of truth. In this grand theater of debate, where facts and fiction often blend seamlessly, we must question not just the performers but our role as the audience. Are we passive spectators, or do we hold the power to demand clarity and honesty?

    The lines between reality and rhetoric blur, leaving us to navigate the labyrinth of political discourse with a discerning eye. In the end, the greatest trick may not be the deception itself but our willingness to be deceived.

    Ready to cut through the smoke and mirrors? Dive deeper into the facts and keep yourself informed. Explore more fact-check articles in our Politics category to stay ahead of the spin. Join the conversation, challenge the narratives, and be a beacon of truth in a world of illusions. Because in the theater of politics, your informed voice is the real magic.


    The images accompanying this article were created using Leonardo, unless stated otherwise.

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