That Joe Biden and the truth have been distant acquaintances from time to time was recently seen in March (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) when the Vice President claimed that Louisiana was losing 400 jobs a day. Louisiana at the time was actually gaining jobs.
The math-challenged Biden, who infamously said during the presidential campaign that the word “jobs” has three letters, is now making claims that he had face-to-face meetings with President Bush which aides and others don’t recall or have a record of. Not surprisingly, Biden’s narrative concerning these alleged meetings is meant to demonstrate what an influential truth-to-power guy he is.
Bill Sammon of Fox News has the story, which is a virtual lock not to make it into the established alphabet TV networks or into what’s left of the establishment’s newspapers:
Bush Aides Challenge Biden’s Boasts of Oval Office Slapdowns
Aides to former President George W. Bush are challenging the veracity of Vice President Joe Biden’s claim this week of having privately castigated Bush.
Aides to former President George W. Bush are challenging the veracity of Vice President Joe Biden’s claim this week of having privately castigated Bush, who does not remember the incident or an earlier episode in which Biden claims to have similarly rebuked Bush.
Biden spokesman Jay Carney declined to specify the dates of his boss’s purported Oval Office scoldings of Bush. Nor would he provide witnesses or notes to corroborate the episodes.
“The vice president stands by his remarks,” Carney told FOX News without elaboration.
Those remarks include a shot that Biden took at Bush on Tuesday.
“I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office,” Biden told CNN, “‘Well, Joe,’ he said, ‘I’m a leader.’ And I said: ‘Mr. President, turn and around look behind you. No one is following.’”
That exchange never took place, according to numerous Bush aides who also dispute a similar assertion by Biden in 2004, when the former senator from Delaware told scores of Democratic colleagues that he had challenged Bush’s moral certitude about the Iraq war during a private meeting in the Oval Office. Two years later, Biden repeated his story about dressing down the president.
“When I speak to the president – and I have had plenty of opportunity to be with the president, at least prior to the last election, a lot of hours alone with him. I mean, meaning me and his staff,” Biden said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” in April 2006. “And the president will say things to me, and I’ll literally turn to the president, say: ‘Mr. President, how can you say that, knowing you don’t know the facts?’ And he’ll look at me and he’ll say – my word – he’ll look at me and he’ll say: ‘My instincts.’ He said: ‘I have good instincts.’ I said: ‘Mr. President, your instincts aren’t good enough.’”
Bush aides now dispute the veracity of both assertions by Biden.
“I never recall Biden saying any of that,” former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said after reviewing detailed notes of Bush’s White House meetings with Biden, which include numerous direct quotes from Biden. “I find it odd that he said he met with him alone all the time. I don’t think that’s true.”
I think the giveaway that Biden is making it up is the claim that he met with Bush alone “all the time.”
If these or other Bush-Biden meetings occurred, the press seems to never have noticed. The following isn’t conclusive, but it surely doesn’t help Biden. Google News Archive all-dates searches (all in quotes) on “Biden meets with Bush,” “Biden met with Bush,” “Biden speaks with Bush,” “Biden spoke with Bush” and “Biden addresses Bush” all come up empty. Similarly, nothing comes back for “Bush meets with Biden,” “Bush met with Biden,” “Bush spoke with Biden,” “Bush speaks with Biden,” “Bush addresses Biden,” “Bush and Biden met,” or “Biden and Bush met.”
I for one won’t be surprised if I someday find Biden’s picture next to the description of this term.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.