He inaccurately went after Biden on topics ranging from gun control, the border, his tax plan and pandemic response. CNN counted at least 10 false or misleading claims Trump made against his opponent.
Here’s a look at the President’s claims and the facts behind them.
Trump argued that Biden wants to “eliminate America’s borders.”
Trump suggested Biden and Democrats want to destroy suburbs.
“They want to destroy your suburbs. You know that,” Trump said.
Oil and gas
Trump argued that Biden has pledged to end the production of oil and coal.
“Biden has pledged to end production of American oil, shale, clean coal, no fracking,” Trump said.
Biden’s written plan proposes “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters” and he’s pledged to “establish an enforcement mechanism to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050,” which would almost certainly require a significant reduction in oil and gas production.
However, there is at least some basis for Trump’s claim: During the Democratic primaries, Biden sometimes suggested he was proposing to get rid of all fracking.
Trump claimed Biden “supports cutting police funding.”
Facts First: Biden has expressly not supported calls to “defund the police.” He has suggested some funding could be redirected to social services, mental health counseling and affordable housing, but in July comments he made to an activist, Biden then immediately transitioned to his previous proposal to deny federal funding to specific police departments that do not meet certain standards.
Looting and rioting
According to the President, Biden has cheered on rioters, referring to them as “peaceful protesters.”
Trump said, “Biden voted for the Iraq War.”
Facts First: This requires context.
“Joe Biden’s plan to impose a blanket shutdown would collapse our economy,” Trump said.
Facts First: This is wrong and needs context. Trump is referring to an interview where Biden was answering a hypothetical scenario, not proposing a national shutdown.
During an ABC interview on August 21, Biden was asked what he would do if experts told him to shut down the country if he were president. Biden said, “I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists.”
Biden was not suggesting the US should be shut down right now. Additionally, presidents can’t unilaterally shut down the country. They can offer guidance and take other measures, but their power to control what restrictions states put in place is limited.
According to Trump, Biden said that “if he is elected charter schools are gone.”
Facts First: This claim about charter schools is an exaggeration.
“Joe Biden opposes the Trump/DeVos conception of ‘school choice,’ which is private school vouchers that would destroy our public schools. He’s also against for-profit and low-performing charter schools and believes in holding all charter schools accountable. He does not oppose districts letting parents choose to send their children to public magnet schools, high-performing public charters, or traditional public schools,” a Biden spokesperson said in an email last month.
“When I banned travel from China, Biden called it hysterical and xenophobic,” Trump claimed.
Facts First: Trump never suspended all travel from China and it’s unclear what Biden was referring to when he attacked “Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia.”
Biden tax plan
After claiming that 2021 would be one of the best years economically, Trump added “unless the wrong person gets in and quadruples everybody’s taxes.”
Facts First: Trump is falsely describing Biden’s plan to raise taxes. Biden’s plan would increase taxes for people making more than $400,000 per year. He has promised not to raise taxes for those making less, though they might see an impact through his plan to raise the top corporate tax rate.