In the second debate of the 2012 general election campaign—the only debate between the Vice Presidential candidates—the facts themselves became one of the issues.
"Casual fibs, flat-out falsehoods: What other misleading gambits will Paul Ryan pull out at tonight's debate, " the @BarackObama Twitter account asked a short time before the debate began.
But our Investigations Inc. fact-checking team found neither Vice President Joe Biden nor Rep. Paul Ryan had a monopoly on the facts—or the casual fibs—on Thursday night.
In the opening exchange of the debate, Ryan assailed the Obama administration for its handling of the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.
"This Benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself, but unfortunately it's indicative of a broader problem, " Ryan said. "And that is what we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy, which is making the world more chaotic and us less safe."
Biden called the charge "malarkey, " adding "not a single thing he said is accurate."
Asked for specifics, Biden blamed Ryan directly for any shortage of security at the compound.
"This lecture on embassy security — the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for, number one. So much for the embassy security piece, " Biden said.
(Read More: Biden-Ryan Debate: Clash on Economy, Mideast )
The charge is mostly true, but largely irrelevant.
Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that proposed cuts by House Republicans in the 2012 State Department Budget—including a $331 million cut in worldwide embassy security—would be devastating.
"Cuts of this magnitude will be devastating to our national security, " she wrote in a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers on February 14, 2011.
Some of the cuts were later restored in negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate.
This year, the Administration returned to Congress with a scaled-down request.
"The work supported by this request is vital, " the State Department said in justifying its request for, among other things, $688.8 million in security upgrades for State Department facilities worldwide in fiscal 2013. The same document includes no increase in security personnel.