ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Democratic Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday went on the attack in central Ohio, shooting down claims that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan that the United States is in decline.
“They are dead wrong,” Biden said told a crowd in this battleground state. “Folks, I don’t recognize the country they’re talking about. They are dead wrong. America is not in decline!”
He also mocked a statement by Romney pollster Neil Newhouse that, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” Biden issued a challenge to reporters to “fact-check me!”
“It’s amazing how they don’t like to be fact-checked, right?” Biden said. “What they’re proposing will actually cause the Medicare trust fund that pays for the benefits when you go to the hospital, the doctor, to run out of money, a sufficient amount of money, by 2016. That’s when it would hit the wall, and the most important thing they did not tell you.”
However, media fact-checkers have in fact investigated similar remarks by Biden about Medicare going bankrupt in 2016 and found them to be inaccurate. Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post reported on Thursday, “Part A, which pays hospitals, has a 'trust fund,' made up of special-issue Treasury bonds, that always seems to be on the edge of running dry. But even so, the payroll tax could pay most estimated expenditures for decades. And does anyone doubt Congress would not step in and fill any gaps?”
Romney campaign spokesperson Amanda Henneberg said in a statement, “This is further proof that the Obama campaign is unable and unwilling to talk honestly or substantively about the most important issues driving the country. ... Vice President Biden is once again advancing fabricated and disproven attacks on Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.”