Sep 3, 2019

"The details are irrelevant": Biden responds to war story misrepresentation

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden said that his verbal slip-ups and gaffes over the course of the 2020 campaign — specifically his misrepresentation of a 2008 war story — do not impact his ability to be president during an interview with NPR.

"I was making a point about a generation. That has nothing to do with judgment of whether or not you send troops to war, the judgment of whether you bring someone home, the judgment of whether you decide on a health care policy. ... The details are irrelevant in terms of decision-making."

The backdrop: Biden got almost every detail incorrect about the 2008 war story, first reported by the Washington Post, which centered on him pinning a medal on a U.S. service member in Afghanistan. His account seems rooted in an actual medal ceremony that took place in 2011, and Biden has defended his misrepresentations, saying he got the "essence" of the story correct.

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Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Biden bombarded with bad headlines

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Of the 100 stories about Joe Biden that have received the most social media attention over the last three weeks, 77 were negative, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios.

  • Of the 25 biggest, 24 were negative.

The big picture: While stories about Biden may be generating more interactions on social media than his 2020 rivals, it's largely because he's getting ripped apart in those pieces.

Go deeperArrowSep 8, 2019

Debate night: Biden, Warren, Sanders and the fight for frontrunner

Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The top 10 Democratic presidential candidates sparred on health care, criminal justice, gun control, immigration, trade, the military and climate change in the third debate. But 3 contestants have clearly become the top contenders: Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.

The big picture: The 3 are firmly divided, with Warren and Sanders residing far left of Biden on issues including Medicare for All, college tuition and views of the overall "system." Warren and Biden faced off for the first time in Houston.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 13, 2019

Biden's 2020 family problem

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was Joe Biden’s family that almost kept him from running. Now, it could help drag him down. 

Why it matters: The former vice president is answering questions about family controversies just as Elizabeth Warren is catching him in the polls.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 27, 2019