Bernie Sanders Campaign Hits Joe Biden Over Claims About Opposing Iraq War

Biden 'enthusiastically supported a disastrous war, refuses to admit mistakes, and then tries to rewrite history,' says Sanders' campaign.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks as former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University.
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Biden 'enthusiastically supported a disastrous war, refuses to admit mistakes, and then tries to rewrite history,' says Sanders' campaign.

The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is taking aim at former Vice President Joe Biden. In a Saturday press release, Sanders’ campaign blasted Biden for trying to “rewrite history” by claiming that he opposed the war in Iraq, CBS News correspondent Cara Korte reports via Twitter.

“It is appalling that after 18 years Joe Biden still refuses to admit he was dead wrong on the Iraq War,” the Sanders campaign said, adding that Biden “enthusiastically supported a disastrous war, refuses to admit mistakes, and then tries to rewrite history.”

“Unlike 23 of his Senate colleagues who got it right, Biden made explicitly clear that he was voting for war, and even after the war started, he boasted that he didn’t regret it.”

Drawing a contrast between Sanders and Biden’s record — Sanders opposed the Iraq war and voted against it — the Vermont senator’s campaign concluded that the next commander-in-chief needs to be someone who had the “judgment” to oppose what is widely considered to be one of the most consequential foreign policy mistakes in United States history.

The Biden campaign has indeed made a conscious effort to distance the candidate from former President George W. Bush’s disastrous Middle East war, according to a CNN fact-check, which established that Biden keeps “dishonestly” suggesting that he opposed the Iraq war.

The former vice president, who voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq, was a vocal supporter of the war, according to CNN, which complied a list of Biden’s statements over the years, demonstrating that he unequivocally supported the effort, praising the Bush administration for trying to take down Saddam Hussein.

On the campaign trail, however, Biden has claimed that he had opposed the war in Iraq “from the very moment” it began in 2003. According to the fact check, however, this is completely false, and Biden “repeatedly spoke in favor of the war both before and after it began.”

Biden’s apparent misstatements about his support for the Iraq war appear to have created an opening for Sanders, who has been surging in the polls, and now seeks to further differentiate himself from the rest of the Democratic primary field. In media interviews and on the campaign trail, Sanders has taken shots at Biden’s record, suggesting that the former vice president would be a weak general election candidate.

In a recent interview, the Vermont senator blasted Biden for supporting the NAFTA trade agreement, criticized the former vice president for supporting a 2005 bankruptcy bill, and blasted him for proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Sanders has also suggested that a Biden nomination would not be able to generate the “energy” necessary to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.