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Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has misspoken on a variety of subjects on the campaign trail, blamed President Trump in an interview for pushing a policy that would fingerprint food stamp recipients in order to prevent fraud — except Trump has never pursued that policy, which is a favorite of billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
Biden’s statement came on Feb. 20 in an interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, an organization for black community newspapers. The former vice president’s verbal misstep was first reported on by the Washington Post.
The article goes on to state the following:
“First of all, what we’re doing is immoral,” Biden said when asked how he would work to eliminate poverty in the U.S. “I know that’s not a phrase they often use in politics, but it’s immoral. Look what he’s doing right — look what this president’s doing right now. Look what people have done before. They’re going to fingerprint food stamp recipients, they’re cutting a billion dollars out of the — all the social safety net, this outfit, whether it’s Medicare, Medicaid, whether — across the board.”
The Washington Post noted that the Trump administration has sought to tighten eligibility rules for food stamps, but his food-stamp proposals do not include fingerprinting.
However, the Washington Post fact-checking report noted that “former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, not Trump, was a staunch advocate of fingerprinting food stamp recipients.” The program was first implemented in NYC by then-mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1996, and Bloomberg fought hard to keep it in place, as it helped to identify nearly 2,000 cases of duplicate applicants.
The program was ended by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2012, the Washington Post stated.
A Bloomberg campaign spokesperson said he still supports the fingerprinting program for food stamp recipients.
Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates admitted Biden incorrectly blamed President Trump when he meant Bloomberg, but then defiantly added, “Vice President Biden believes that the ultimate test of who we are is how we treat the least fortunate among us, and he thinks it’s outrageous that the Trump administration has been attempting to make it harder for Americans who have fallen on hard times to ensure they can eat. Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to require families who needed that kind of assistance to submit to fingerprinting fell very much in the same vein as these Trump policies. Sometimes Republican billionaires make it easy to mix up their records.”
— Grabien (@GrabienMedia) February 25, 2020
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) February 27, 2020
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