Former Vice President Joe Biden struck a unique tone in considerable contrast with President Trump’s attitude towards the media, stating that the press has “a right to correct what I say” amid criticism that he has dodged press scrutiny.
Citing mental health statistics during a veterans roundtable in Tampa, FL, Biden said of his data, “I think this is true, I’m not sure of my source.”
“I want to be clear because the press is here and they have a right to correct what I say if I’m wrong,” he added.
Biden’s comment comes as the Trump campaign has repeatedly hammered Biden on his approach to the media, accusing him of dodging press scrutiny by avoiding questions at events and going long stretches without news conferences.
“While I travel the Country, Joe sleeps in his basement, telling the Fake News Media to ‘get lost,’” Trump tweeted on Saturday, adding that reporters in Biden’s press pool have “basically gone into retirement!”
But Trump and his team have also shown substantial hostility to the press, with Trump accusing the media of “doing everything possible to get him through the Election,” and his staffers, like campaign senior adviser Jenna Ellis, hitting out at media outlets for fact-checking his false statements.
Forbes has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.
Biden, by comparison, does not elicit substantial fact-checking, but he has been fact-checked for several incorrect statements. Politifact rates 38% of Biden’s statements as some degree of false (compared to 71% for Trump). Some recent fact-checks of Biden have included his claim that $400,000 is more than he’s ever made in a year, despite him making millions in 2017 and 2018, and his claim that there have been 6,114 military deaths from coronavirus, which his campaign said he confused with Michigan deaths.
Several Democrats have raised concerns about the upcoming presidential debates, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggesting he pull out because Trump lacks “association with truth, evidence, data, and facts.” Biden, who has committed to the debates, proposed an alternative remedy for mistruths: Aa “crawler” on TV screens so that his and Trump’s statements can be “instantly fact-checked by an agreed-to group of people.”