During his recent trip to China, Vice President Joe Biden commented on the economic challenges presented by a rapidly aging population -- a problem shared, in various degrees, by both China and the United States. Of course, Fox & Friends this morning focused on the one line not specifically having to do with economic policy:
BIDEN: What we ended up doing is setting up a system whereby we did cut by $1.2 trillion upfront, the deficit over the next 10 years. And we set up a group of senators that have to come up with another $1.2 to $1.7 trillion in savings or automatically there will be cuts that go into effect in January to get those savings. So the savings will be accomplished. But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I'm not second-guessing -- of one child per family. The result being that you're in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that's much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that.
But in the meantime, the concern that we will not make good on the investments that people have made -- in your case up to $1.7 trillion total out of a very large economy is not to worry about. We could not afford -- we could not afford not to make good on that requirement.
The line Fox & Friends freaked out about was, of course, Biden saying that he "fully understand[s]" China's "one-child" policy. While perhaps not the most delicate way of putting it, Biden was using the policy to explain why both China and the United States have issues with large, rapidly aging populations. Both before and after the line, Biden is addressing economic policy. But to hear Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham describe it, the purpose of Biden's whole speech was to introduce a regime of harsh reproductive laws in the U.S.
Ingraham used Biden's comment to fearmonger that "because we have difficult economic conditions here in our country, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for someone to propose this [one-child policy] in the United States":
INGRAHAM: Not sustainable. So I guess we should then conclude that because we have difficult economic conditions here in our country, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for someone to propose this in the United States. I mean, here is where we have a chance to make a real statement, all right? A real moral and common sense statement about freedom, individual freedom, and liberty.
And he goes over to China and a couple of days ago he talked about how offended he was, he was offended by something, he was offended by people who make fun of other people who stutter. OK? Well, I understand that. That's a mean thing for anyone to do and it's horrible. But probably not as horrible as actually exterminating hundreds of thousands of little girls in the womb because you have a one-child policy or little boys in the womb because you have a one-child policy. So again, America looks foolish on the international stage, and the Chinese are undoubtedly laughing at us, because they have a lapdog in Vice President Biden, and it's embarrassing to the American public.
Not content to merely blow Biden's comments out of proportion and suggest that Biden wants to commit human rights violations in America, Ingraham desperately tried to use his comments to attack Planned Parenthood and pull Hispanic voters away from Obama in 2012. She then claimed that Biden "basically sa[id] it's OK to have, you know, government control of childbirth":
INGRAHAM: He understands it, and also, look, you know, he's a Catholic and he's a Roman Catholic, and all of us who, you know, try to live up to the standards we set for ourselves I think are watching this play out and thinking, you know, on the one hand it's funny; on the other hand, there are human lives on the line, and this is where a lot of the pro-life folks around the country and around the world think this is all going any way, to control the population. There are a lot of undesirables who are breeding out there, and that's what Margaret Sanger was all about when she founded Planned Parenthood. That was part of the Planned Parenthood mantra from the beginning. Control the undesirables.
I must say that the president is making this big push for the Latino vote out, right, out there -- backdoor amnesty and so forth. I wonder what the very religious Latino population in the United States is going to think about the vice president basically saying it's OK to have, you know, government control of childbirth. I wonder what they're going to think about this, because they're very religious people.
During the segment, Fox & Friends aired onscreen text declaring that Biden's comment "lends credence to forced abortion law":
Of course, none of Ingraham's comments were supported by Biden's answer. Biden never said that "it's OK to have ... government control of childbirth," and he certainly never endorsed preventing "undesirables" from "breeding." While claiming to "understand" China's one-child policy may not be the most delicate example of the vice president's diplomacy, using his one line to suggest that he wants to enforce similar laws in the U.S. is an outrageous leap.