Fact Check: Biden Used the Phrase 'Any Country in America' During Campaign Speech. We Checked the Transcript

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U.S. President Joe Biden said the words "any country in America."


Rating: Correct Attribution
Rating: Correct Attribution


Biden truly did mistakenly say the words "any country in America." In the official transcript of the speech on the White House website, the crossed-out word "America" was replaced by the words "the world."


On March 13, 2024, numerous users on X posted that U.S. President Joe Biden made a mistake while delivering a speech earlier that day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. According to the users, Biden said the words, "Wages are rising faster than prices. And now we have among the lowest inflation rates of any country in America."

Some users on X attempted to explain Biden had not made a mistake by saying the words "any country in America." For example, under one post, a person drafted a Community Note that had not yet become visible to the public, falsely claiming (or sarcastically joking), "America is a continent that contains the country the United States of America."

Another user posted that Biden's remark was "perfectly correct." The user added a comma to Biden's words to attempt to show what he purportedly meant to say, writing, "We have among the lowest inflation rates of any country, in America."

However these users were incorrect. Biden truly did mistakenly say there were countries within the U.S., which is itself a country.

The official White House transcript released after Biden finished delivering the speech showed the word "America" as having been crossed out. It was replaced with "the world" in brackets.

Snopes contacted the White House to ask about the source of Biden's claims regarding wages and inflation. A White House spokesperson responded with information including links to various data, much of which is spelled out below.

Are Wages Rising Faster Than Prices?

In January 2024, The Associated Press reported "paychecks [had] outpaced inflation over the past year, thereby easing Americans' adjustment to a higher cost of living." The White House also sent to Snopes three links leading to similar data, hosted by Statista, Axios and the Center for American Progress. In other words, Biden was correct in saying "wages are rising faster than prices."

'Among the Lowest Inflation Rates of Any Country'?

Regarding Biden's claim the U.S. had "among the lowest inflation rates of any country," the word "among" stood out.

FactCheck.org looked at a similar claim in Biden's 2024 State of the Union speech, in which he had incorrectly said the U.S. inflation rate was "the lowest in the world." That claim was false.

According to the Trading Economics website, which cites inflation rates for 187 countries, the U.S. is among the countries boasting lower inflation rates, though it is nowhere close to being the country with the lowest overall rate.

Wages Down 4.2% Under Biden?

The @RNCResearch account on X — an official GOP rapid response account — posted of the video clip that Biden was "confused." The account claimed, "Real average weekly earnings are DOWN by 4.2% under Biden."

Snopes contacted the GOP's rapid response director, Jake Schneider, to ask about the source for the data in the @RNCResearch post. Schneider provided a link to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website showing real average weekly earnings of U.S. employees truly had fallen 4.2 percent between January 2021 ($397.90) and February 2024 ($381.20). These figures specifically reference the data set for 1982-1984 dollars, which is used as the base for the consumer price index.

A spokesperson for the White House told Snopes, "We believe a timeframe of pre-pandemic to present is the better timeframe because the composition of the workforce was different in the midst of the pandemic when President Biden took office than it was in January 2020 and now."

Comparing pre-pandemic numbers at the beginning of Trump's final year in office to February 2024, wages rose very slightly. In other words, wage numbers have increased between the beginning of 2020 and February 2024. The nonpartisan Brookings Institution and U.S. Treasury Department previously made note of this and other facts in articles containing a wealth of data regarding this subject.

The White House continued in its email to Snopes, "Lower-wage workers disproportionately lost their jobs during the pandemic and higher-wage workers remained employed — leading the average wage per worker during the heights of the pandemic to be artificially high. As more lower-wage workers were hired back into the workforce, one would expect the average wage per worker to decline somewhat."

Reporting published by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center echoed these same claims about lower-wage workers and the COVID-19 pandemic, with the authors writing in a 2021 article, "As the pandemic struck, lower-wage workers proved most likely to experience a job loss. The shift toward higher-wage workers among the employed helped to raise the median hourly wage to $23 in the second quarter of 2020."

In other words, comparisons regarding wages and inflation can be made using a variety of different time frames. A study of the raw data shows that while the pandemic certainly complicated these two criteria, as of early 2024 the U.S. was trending in a similar positive direction to that seen just prior to the pandemic, when the Trump administration was in charge.


"Difference between the Inflation Rate and Growth of Wages in the United States from January 2020 to January 2024." Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1351276/wage-growth-vs-inflation-us/. Accessed 14 Mar. 2024.

Duke, Brendan. "Workers' Paychecks Are Growing More Quickly Than Prices." The Center for American Progress, 3 Jan. 2024, www.americanprogress.org/article/workers-paychecks-are-growing-more-quickly-than-prices/.

East, Chloe, et al. "Have Workers Gotten a Raise?" Brookings Institution, 24 Oct. 2023, https://www.brookings.edu/articles/have-workers-gotten-a-raise/.

"Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics Survey (National)." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0500000012.

Farley, Robert, et al. "FactChecking Biden's State of the Union." FactCheck.org, 8 Mar. 2024, https://www.factcheck.org/2024/03/factchecking-bidens-state-of-the-union/.

"Inflation Rate - Countries - List | World." Trading Economics, https://tradingeconomics.com/country-list/inflation-rate?continent=world.

Kochhar, Rakesh, and Jesse Bennett. "Despite the Pandemic, Wage Growth Held Firm for Most U.S. Workers, with Little Effect on Inequality." Pew Research Center, 7 Sept. 2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2021/09/07/despite-the-pandemic-wage-growth-held-firm-for-most-u-s-workers-with-little-effect-on-inequality/.

Peck, Emily. "Charted: Workers Win as Wage Growth Outpaces Inflation." Axios.com, 5 Feb. 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/02/05/wages-outpacing-inflation.

"Remarks by President Biden on How His Investments Are Rebuilding Our Communities and Creating Good-Paying Jobs | Milwaukee, WI." The White House, 14 Mar. 2024, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2024/03/14/remarks-by-president-biden-on-how-his-investments-are-rebuilding-our-communities-and-creating-good-paying-jobs-milwaukee-wi/.

Rugaber, Christopher. "Americans' Economic Outlook Brightens as Inflation Slows and Wages Outpace Prices." The Associated Press, 24 Jan. 2024, https://apnews.com/article/economy-inflation-prices-consumers-income-election-outlook-c00653a661ca4b1420cc30a3e6f7b253.

"The Purchasing Power of American Households." U.S. Department of the Treasury, 13 Mar. 2024, https://home.treasury.gov/news/featured-stories/the-purchasing-power-of-american-households.

Weissert, Will. "Biden Looks to Shore up Democratic 'blue Wall' as He Announces Millions for Projects." The Associated Press, 13 Mar. 2024, https://apnews.com/article/biden-wisconsin-michigan-campaign-2024-blue-wall-94c66429d8e934158724e7014bbd2ff2.