Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Say 'Capitalism Is Exploitation' -- It's Edited Quote From 2022 State Of The Union Address

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Say 'Capitalism Is Exploitation' -- It's Edited Quote From 2022 State Of The Union Address Edited Quote

During his 2023 State of the Union address, did President Joe Biden say, "Capitalism is exploitation"? No, that's not true: The quote and the video it comes from have been edited. Biden said, "Capitalism without competition is exploitation," not "Capitalism is exploitation." Also, the president's altered words came from his State of the Union address about a year earlier in 2022, not 2023.

The claim appeared in a post and video on Instagram on February 8, 2023. The description of the post says:

Wow, I can't believe Biden started the State of the Union like this. Powerful stuff #JoeBiden #capitalism #StateOfTheUnion #TedCruz #ChuckSchumer

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Biden edited quote.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue Feb 14 15:36:38 2023 UTC)

Altered clip

Although the 22-second edited and cropped clip was published the day after Biden's 2023 State of the Union address from February 7, it was instead from about 11 months earlier on March 1, 2022. The unedited quote appears about 57 minutes into the official White House video stream posted to YouTube. It appears below:

The White House also provided the complete transcript of the speech.

Biden's comments struck a similar theme during his 2023 speech, but still he didn't say, "Capitalism is exploitation." Instead, he said, "Look, capitalism without competition is not capitalism. It's extortion. It's exploitation." The president's remarks come around 42 minutes into the address:

2022 versus 2023

The altered clip has additional clues to its 2022 origin. It shows Vice President Kamala Harris and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi behind Biden (left). For the 2023 version of the speech, Harris and current Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy are visible (right):

side by side Biden 2022 2023.png

(Source: C-Span screenshots taken on Tue Feb 14 18:21 2023 UTC)

The House of Representatives website lists all the members who have served as speakers of the house and when they were elected.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to President Joe Biden can be found here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion