Politics Fact check: Joe Biden called 'forces of intolerance,' not Trump supporters, the 'dregs of society'
The week in polls: Trump trails in 10 of 11 swing states, plurality says Biden won 1st debate
After polls released last week, Biden overtook Trump in Georgia. And his national lead grew to an average of 8.1 percentage points.With all that going on, it's understandable if you missed the flood of polls that are still rolling in on the state of the race between Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.
The claim: Joe Biden called Trump supporters 'dregs of society.'
Less than a month before Election Day, supporters of President Donald Trump revived an old clip of his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, referring to an unnamed subset of individuals as the "dregs of society."
Second presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump canceled
Both campaigns have agreed to appear at the third and final presidential debate, a podium format set for Nashville on Oct. 22, the source said.The bipartisan commission, under intense criticism from the Trump campaign, announced the decision in a statement late Friday, saying the campaigns of both Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden "each now has announced alternate plans" for Oct. 15, the date of the debate.
A campaign account, Trump War Room, claimed onthat the remark was in reference to "Trump supporters."
And Donald Trump Jr. took toto share the same claim — emblazoned on the back of a truck — alongside references to remarks by former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
"Joe Biden calls us dredges of society.. Obama called us clingers.. Hillary called us deplorables. Terrorist call us infidels," the image reads. "TRUMP CALLS US ALL AMERICANS."
Trump War Room and Trump Jr. did not respond to requests from USA TODAY for comment.
Biden leads Trump by 12 points nationally, president trails on pandemic trust, in new poll
Biden's 12-point lead in Sunday's ABC News/Washington Post poll was the latest in a series of surveys to find the president down by double digits.The poll, conducted Oct. 6-9, has Biden up 53%-41% against Trump among registered voters and 54%-42% among likely voters.
Biden called 'forces of intolerance,' not Trump supporters, the 'dregs of society'
Contrary to those claims, Biden was not referring to Trump supporters when he referenced individuals in the "dregs of society."
The remark came in a speech that Biden gave on Sept. 15, 2018, at an annual dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ rights nonprofit.
In the, he discussed the stakes of advocacy work in the Trump era.
"We’re faced with an administration, and some of its most ardent right-wing supporters from the Ku Klux Klan — the head of the Ku Klux Klan has endorsed (Trump) — and the alt-right, who are trying to undo all the progress you have made, and the little that Barack and I have made with you," he said.
He also spoke out against cultures and communities that terrorize and torture LGBTQ individuals.
Fact check: Biden voted to tax Social Security, wants to reform retirement benefits
As a senator, Joe Biden voted to tax Social Security benefits. As a presidential hopeful, he does not propose taxing property or retirement accounts.The former senator from Delaware was also the deciding vote in raising the Social Security tax rate to up to 85% in 1993, according to the meme.
"But despite losing in the courts and in the court of public opinion, these forces of intolerance remain determined to undermine and roll back the progress you all have made," Biden said. "This time they, not you, have an ally in the White House. This time they have an ally. They’re a small percentage of the American people. Virulent people. Some of them the dregs of society."
In context, his remark about the "dregs of society" was referring not to all Trump supporters, but to "forces of intolerance," including those he referenced previously in his speech, like the alt-right and KKK.
An analysis byreached a similar conclusion, and rated the tweet from Trump War Room as false.
Obama claimed small towns 'cling' to guns and God, Clinton called half of Trump supporters 'deplorables'
The post by Trump Jr. also references remarks from other Democrats who made recent runs for the White House — Obama and Clinton.
Though it's unclear who exactly the post is referring to by its use of the word "us," only one of the former nominees' comments was directed at Trump supporters, specifically.
Fact check: Viral video of Joe Biden on running for Senate is missing context
A viral Facebook video claiming Joe Biden said he was running for Senate has been altered and leaves out key words. We rate it missing context.A viral 12-second clip on Facebook is now being used to claim that the former vice president got confused about which office he was seeking in the 2020 election.
Thefrom Obama actually came from a speech he made as a senator in 2008. Speaking about "small towns in Pennsylvania" that were left behind by previous administrations, Obama said that it's "not surprising then they get bitter."
"They cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations," he added.
The infamousfrom Clinton, though, is real and in reference to Americans who back Trump.
At a fundraiser in 2016, she claimed "half of Trump's supporters" could be put into "the basket of deplorables," which she referred to as "the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, (and) Islamaphobic."
Our rating: Partly false
The claims made about statements that Biden, Obama and Clinton have made about Trump supporters are PARTLY FALSE, based on our research. Biden was referring to "forces of intolerance," like the KKK and the alt-right, when he made reference to the "dregs of society." Likewise, Obama was not referring to Trump supporters when he said that some small towns "cling" to guns and God. However, Clinton did say that half of Trump's supporters belong to a "basket of deplorables."
USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll: Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by 7 points in pivotal Pennsylvania
A majority of likely Pennsylvania voters also said they do not support adding justices to the Supreme Court. "You start creating more justices to get the opinions you want," he said. "It's almost like 'well I gotta win and I'm just gonna create new facts.' " But Laws said that she supports adding justices to the Supreme Court, adding that it shouldn't be called court packing. "I believe it should be called court evening," Laws said. She said that she believes that the "minority shouldn't be ruling the majority," adding that the "the majority of the country is pro choice.
Our fact-check sources:
- Human Rights Campaign, Sept. 15, 2018,
- Snopes, Oct. 7,
- Politico, April 11, 2008,
- Time, Sept. 10, 2016,
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.
Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. , for more.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker .
Here is the full transcript of the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, moderated by Kristen Welker in Nashville on Oct. 22, 2020. Headers have been added for ease of reading. © Mario Tama, Getty Images People are pictured watching the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at The Abbey in West Hollywood, California. [0:00] Welker: A very good evening to both of you. This debate will cover six major topics.