During the Vice Presidential debate on Thursday night, Joe Biden claimed, incorrectly, that Syria is five times larger than Libya.
Biden made the claim during one of the many exchanges on foreign policy, in which Biden was trying to paint the Romney/Ryan ticket as lacking in foreign policy gravitas.
In his haste, Biden said Syria was “geographically” five times larger than Libya, explaining the reason the Obama administration had not intervened directly there. His full statement was that Syria “is a different country, it is five times as large geographically, it has one fifth the population.”
During his delivery he caught himself and tried to salvage the situation by adding, “that is Libya.” But the statement was disconnected and didn’t do anything to clear up his claims about Syria. (It was reminiscent of another Biden outburst, when he blurted out “that’s in the east” while Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was talking about fighting seasons in Afghanistan.)
Moreover, Syria is approximately 71,500 sq. miles and Libya is is almost 680,000. That’s not simply a “five times as large” difference. That’s almost ten times, as the map above show.
Image credit: MapFight