ABC’s Jake Tapper has taken a closer look at Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that he was "in the room" for the historic Social Security and Medicare reform negotiations during the Reagan administration and has found that Biden is guilty of yet another exaggeration of his historical importance.
"During the vice presidential debate last week, Vice President Joe Biden seemed to significantly overstate his role in the 1983 negotiations over Social Security.
Asked about Medicare reform, the vice president said, ‘Look, I was there when we did that with Social Security in 1983. I was one of eight people sitting in the room that included Tip O’Neill negotiating with President Reagan. We all got together and everybody said, as long as everybody’s in the deal, everybody’s in the deal, and everybody is making some sacrifice, we can find a way.’
The comment would seem to suggest that Biden was one of the few, key players ‘in the room’ working in a bipartisan way to reform Social Security.
On ‘Meet the Press’ on April 29, 2007, then-Sen. Biden made a similar claim, saying he was ‘one of five people — I was the junior guy — in the meeting with Bob Dole and George Mitchell when we put Social Security on the right path for 60 years.’
But according to the historical record, Biden was not one of the small group of people in ‘the room,’ or in ‘the meeting’ — nor was he even a key player in reforms."
Video of the 2007 interview is here.