FACT CHECK: Did AARP Endorse Joe Biden For President?
An image shared on Facebook claims AARP endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election.
There is no record of the AARP endorsing Biden. The organization has explicitly stated that it does not endorse political candidates or donate to political campaigns.
The post alleges that AARP made a political endorsement and allocates membership dollars to “support a political candidate.” However, AARP chief executive Jo Ann Jenkins said in a statement on Nov. 25, 2019 that the organization does not engage in such activities. “We have a proud decades-long history of nonpartisan voter engagement. We don’t endorse candidates or contribute to their campaigns,” she wrote.
A more recent statement released Thursday reads, “AARP is strictly non-partisan and always has been. We never endorse or donate to candidates, political parties or political action committees.”
“AARP has not endorsed candidates Biden or Trump or anyone else. AARP is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and we never endorse or donate to candidates,” Jason Young, a spokesperson for AARP, confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact. “AARP has Board-approved policy against endorsing – or giving the appearance of endorsing – political parties, government officials or candidates for office.”
AARP is also designated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. The IRS states that “promoting social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”
Check Your Fact did not find any campaign contributions from AARP noted in Federal Election Commission filings. A search of Open Secrets campaign finance data did not find any organization-wide contributions to political campaigns. Open Secrets notes that AARP “itself did not donate, rather the money came from the organization’s individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate family members.”
AARP interviewed both Biden and President Donald Trump and released a list of the candidates’ positions on a number of issues on Sept. 28. The article later specified that “the candidates’ responses should not be interpreted as an AARP endorsement of any given policy position.”
Check Your Fact did not find any AARP statement endorsing Biden on the organization’s website. There also don’t appear to be any credible media outlets reporting on the supposed endorsement. (RELATED: Did Joe Biden Send A Tweet Thanking Nick Saban For Endorsing Him?)
Although AARP — formerly known as the American Association for Retired Persons — does not endorse candidates, the organization does information related to politics on its website. AARP’s website includes a “Politics & Society” section that includes polling data, policy analysis and voter registration guides.