The United States has been waiting patiently to hear if current Vice President Joe Biden will announce his candidacy for the presidency in 2016. But this week has brought an unsettling snag in Biden’s reputation, assuming he does plan to make a bid for the White House.
His most recent account of the raid on the Osama bin Laden complex differs entirely from the story he told years ago. In fact, his current claim is virtually the exact opposite of what he originally said. Not only has the Vice President contradicted himself, but his claims about the bin Laden raid also differ from those of Hillary Clinton.
According to CNN, Joe Biden spoke about the Osama bin Laden raid on Tuesday, October 20, seemingly retelling the story to make himself look better. Since bin Laden was successfully taken out in the raid, the American people have largely celebrated President Obama’s decision to go through with the mission. But Joe Biden reportedly told the president not to authorize the bin Laden raid back when it all went down. Now Joe Biden claims he was all for it–leaving voters to wonder if he wants to get the credit for a successful mission, even though he didn’t agree with it at the time.
“We walked out of the room and walked upstairs,” Joe Biden said at the Tuesday event, held in honor of former Vice President Walter Mondale. “I told him my opinion: I thought he should go, but to follow his own instincts.”
But according to an ABC News report in 2012, the year of the raid, Joe Biden told Barack Obama not to do it because he wasn’t positive that Osama bin Laden was actually hiding in the complex.
“Mr. President, my suggestion is, ‘Don’t go.'” Joe Biden said. “We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.”
Obama’s personal account of the advice he received before the bin Laden raid supports the 2012 report on what Joe Biden said.
“Those decisions are not always popular,” Obama said during a 2012 debate. “Those decisions generally are not poll-tested. And even some in my own party, including my current vice president [Joe Biden], had the same critique.”
But it gets even worse for Joe Biden. According to the Hill, Hillary Clinton backed up Obama’s decision to go through with the bin Laden raid, but she says Joe Biden did not. Clinton claims to be one of the few advisers who actually told the president to go after bin Laden full force. And since that decision turned out to be a good one, Hillary Clinton is claiming the credit.
“He [President Obama] valued my judgment, and I spent a lot of time with him in the Situation Room, going over some very difficult issues.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was confronted about how Joe Biden’s account of the bin Laden raid contradicted Hillary Clinton’s on Tuesday, but he refused to answer any questions–insisting that there’s no reason to discuss the private conversations between Joe Biden and Barack Obama because there’s no way to confirm what was actually said.
“I am going to leave the dissection and the oral history of those days to those who were actually there,” said Earnest. “I don’t have any new insight to share with you about the president’s recollection of those events.”
What do you think? Did Joe Biden simply forget what he once told President Obama about the Osama bin Laden raid, or is he changing the story to make himself appear on the right side of the Situation Room?
Do you think Joe Biden should run for president either way?
[Joe Biden photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]