Joe Biden accused the Bernie Sanders campaign of distributing a "doctored video" of him to attack his record on Social Security, but there's no evidence the video was doctored, according to Politico.
Rather, independent fact-checking website PolitiFact ruled that the Sanders campaign took the clip out of context and distorted Biden's speech by omitting what he said next – which reversed the meaning of his quote.
The Sanders campaign told Business Insider that the video "is not doctored and it is entirely consistent with Joe Biden's record that he would praise someone for putting cuts to Social Security on the negotiating table."
On Saturday, Biden called the video a "doctored tape" and said he wants the Sanders campaign to "disown it," but he misstated the findings of the PolitiFact report in the process.
At an Iowa campaign stop on Saturday, Joe Biden lashed out at the Bernie Sanders campaign for what he called a "little, doctored video going around" that appears to show Biden agreeing with former Speaker Paul Ryan on proposing cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
Biden described the Sanders campaign newsletter that featured the video as a "flat lie" and a "doctored tape," using the independent fact-checking website PolitiFact's analysis of the newsletter as evidence that the Sanders campaign changed the video.
But Politico reports that there's no evidence the video itself was doctored, and Biden mischaracterized the PolitiFact findings. The fact-checking website ruled that the Sanders campaign distorted Biden's quote by omitting the part of the speech that came after the 20-second clip, in which Biden was mocking Ryan, not agreeing with him.
The Sanders campaign told Business Insider that "the video is not doctored and it is entirely consistent with Joe Biden's record that he would praise someone for putting cuts to Social Security on the negotiating table."
How a video of Joe Biden seemingly agreeing with Paul Ryan on Social Security cuts was taken out of context
On January 1, the senior adviser to Sanders shared the 20-second clip of Biden on Twitter, writing "to hear Biden say 'Ryan was correct' to go after Social Security & Medicare is soul-wrenching."
The same clip was featured in a January 7 newsletter issued by the Sanders campaign that said "In 2018, Biden lauded Paul Ryan for proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare."
But PolitiFact wrote that the speech, which Biden gave at the Brookings Institution in April 2018, was the opposite of what the Sanders campaign claimed in its newsletter.
After Biden sarcastically agrees with Ryan in the 20-second clip, saying "now, we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare. That's the only way you can find room to pay for it," he switches his faux menacing tone.
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"So we need a pro-growth, progressive tax code that treats workers as job creators, as well, not just investors, that gets rid of unprotective loopholes like stepped-up basis, and it raises enough revenue to make sure that the Social Security and Medicare can stay," Biden said next. "It still needs adjustments, but can stay, and pay for the things we all acknowledge will grow the country."
The full speech was uploaded to YouTube by the Brookings Institute, and the segment that the Sanders campaign used begins a few seconds after the 26-minute mark.
The Sanders campaign has since distributed additional videos of Biden's comments on Social Security, including a 1995 C-Span clip that shows Biden saying "When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well."
For the video distributed by the Sanders campaign in its January 7 newsletter to be "doctored," the campaign would have had to edit or alter the video, which it does not appear to have done. But at his Saturday Iowa campaign stop, Biden said his plan aims to boost Social Security and asked the Sanders campaign to apologize and "disown it."
Joe Biden's campaign didn't immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.