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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke January 31, 2023

Biden’s debt comments taken out of context

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  • President Joe Biden was criticizing the amount of debt that accumulated under former President Donald Trump. Biden didn’t claim that his administration added more to the debt than any other. 

Is adding to the U.S. debt something to gloat about? A recent Rumble post suggests President Joe Biden thinks so. 

"No president added more to the debt in four years than my president," Biden says in a clip in the post. "I misspoke — 25% of our country’s entire debt." 

The post’s caption: "Biden smirks while saying he has added more to the debt than any president before him." 

But Biden was talking about former President Donald Trump. 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)


The clip comes from a Jan. 26 speech Biden gave at a steamfitters union hall in Virginia touting his economic record and criticizing Republicans for refusing to raise the U.S. debt ceiling without spending cuts. 

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In context, it’s clear his remarks in the Rumble post are about Trump. U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., also attended the event, and Biden references him in the speech.

"The United States of America, we pay our debts," Biden said. "It took 200 years to accumulate that debt. Let me explain this. Look, under my predecessor, the last guy that was president, the deficit in four — it went up four years in a row, accounting for 40% of the entire 200 years of debt. You hear me? No president added more to the debt in four years than my president. I misspoke. Twenty-five percent of our country’s entire debt, 25% accumulated over 200 years added by the last administration in just four years. On my watch, we’ve taken a different path with Don’s help. As a result, the last two years of my administration, we cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion, the largest reduction in debt in American history." 

We previously fact-checked Biden’s claim that a quarter of the country’s debt accumulated under Trump and rated it Half True

But Biden wasn’t claiming his administration was responsible for that debt. According to a White House transcript of the speech seen in this post, Biden meant to say "my predecessor" when he said "no president added more to the debt in four years than my president." 

His remarks before and after this statement leave no confusion about whom he’s talking. 

Biden didn’t say he added that debt. 

We rate this claim False.


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Biden’s debt comments taken out of context

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