Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Goodbye, Joe

SUMMARY: With his penchant for the pithy exaggeration and a formidable grasp of foreign policy, Joe Biden made fact-checking a little more fun. Here's a look at some of his more interesting contentions.

Abandoning his bid for president in a nostalgic farewell speech after a disappointing Iowa finish, Joe Biden told supporters his campaign philosophy: "I committed that I would say exactly what I believe; I committed that I would not in any way truncate what I thought needed to be said."

And Biden kept that promise, whether he was claiming George W. Bush is "brain-dead" or digging into the intricacies of Iraq policy.

• Biden is the only two-time winner (so far) of our popular Pants on Fire rating. It appears the Republicans brought out the fabulist in Biden: We gave him his first Pants on Fire for saying that the president is brain-dead and another for saying that Rudy Giuliani is "probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency."

• Biden had substantive positions on foreign policy in Iraq. We dug into his detailed plan for ending the war there peacefully. Biden was also willing to tussle with fellow candidate Bill Richardson when Richardson attacked the plan.

• If he tooted his own horn with a little too much enthusiasm, he still brought up substantive issues while he was at it. We checked his claims that he brought down crime in New York City and ended genocide in Bosnia. (We found both items Barely True).

So good luck, Joe Biden. We'll see you at your post on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — and maybe those murmurs that you'd be a great secretary of state in a Democratic administration will come true.

Biden's friend and Senate colleague Chris Dodd withdrew as well. While Dodd wasn't as quotable as his friend Biden, he did better overall on our Truth-O-Meter. Check out Dodd's statements here .