October 8th, 2007
11:30 AM ET
13 years ago

A bipartisan presidential plan for Iraq

Sen. Brownback, above, along with Sen. Biden, both endorse the same Iraq plan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Sam Brownback, R- Kansas, and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, will hold a news conference in Iowa on Friday to discuss their plan for Iraq, in what campaign officials say is the first ever bipartisan presidential campaign event in U.S. history.

Brownback and Biden are both running for president.

"Joe and I might be running for the nomination of two different parties, but we agree on one thing: the American people want progress in Iraq and this represents a viable way forward to stability and success," Brownback said in a statement released by the campaigns.

Biden added that he looked forward to the joint-campaign event "to explain how the Biden-Brownback-Boxer amendment makes Iraq the world's problem while establishing a political solution that gives Iraq's warring factions breathing room to resolve their differences."

The amendment aims to establish a federal system of government in Iraq and passed in the Senate with a vote of 75 to 23 last month.

"Decentralizing power in Iraq offers the best chance for Iraqis to live in a peaceful, united country where they can resolve their differences,” Brownback said. “It is time to begin the political surge we desperately need to help stabilize Iraq so we can get our troops out of harm's way.”

According to the latest Des Moines Register Poll, Sen. Brownback is registering at 2% among Republicans in the state, while Biden has support from 5% of the Democrats.

- CNN Assignment Editor Katy Byron

Filed under: Joe Biden • Sam Brownback
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. laurinda,ny

    Well, they can both run all they want, but neither one of them are going to win!

    October 8, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Jackson

    The answer those schmoes have? Religious segregation! Brilliant!

    October 8, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. David, Dallas Tx

    Let's look at the last few decades of history in Iraq, a country with deep religious and ethnic divides:

    Under Saddam's strongly centralized government, we find... no sectarian violence.

    Under al-Maliki's weakly centralized government, we find... lots and lots of sectarian violence.

    Clearly I am not a Saddam fan. But he was strong enough to hold Iraq together despite the sectarian tensions. That's just a fact.

    Until another equally strong leader comes along, whether by virtue of democratic vote or military coup, Iraq's sectarian violence will continue. Federalization only works when the different groups want to work together. Therefore, federalizing Iraq won't bring peace, it will only perpetuate civil war.

    October 8, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. MajorTom

    Ah, hello... Do you really think the Iraqi's are going to back a non-Iraqi solution?
    Hello?? Earth to Biden-Brownback..

    October 8, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Wow...and I thought the senate was there to pass laws...not create foreign policy...??

    October 8, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Terri Clilfton, Milford, DE

    How easy it is to sit on your couch and criticize, but where are your brilliant ideas. I find most people have an opinion about this war but very few have a clue. As a mother who has lost a son to the violence in Iraq's Anbar Province I appluade anyone who can move beyond "Stay the course" or "Bring the troops home."

    October 8, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. David, Wheaton, IL

    It is simply not true that there isn't any Iraqi support for the Biden-Brownback amendment. On CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer yesterday, Iraq's president, Jalal Talabani voiced his support the Biden-Brownback amendment.

    He said, "I agree. I agree with Senator Biden. And I have full respect of him...And I think the resolution passed by the Senate is a very good one. And I protected it in my interview with Al Hurra.

    "I say that those who are criticizing it, they didn't read it carefully, because if they read it, you see in every article that it is insisting on the unity of Iraq, of the security of Iraq, of prosperity of Iraq, of national reconciliation and asking our neighbors not to interfere in internal affairs of Iraq.

    "And even when talking about other regions, it says it must be according to the population and the elected leaders of the country."

    You can read thetranscript here.

    October 8, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    MajorTom, you can say that about anything we say and do over there.

    Or we can just pull out and let them sort it out after they slaughter each other.

    I'm thinking a lot of Iraqis would like this. They can be petty kings in their own areas. It's not ideal but nothing is ideal in this terrible quagmire the neo-con republicans and Bush created.

    It might be a way out and certainly ought to get a fair hearing and discussion rather than the instant negative crap that we get on this discussion board.

    It's also refreshing to see both a republican and a democrat working together and at least trying to come up with a real solution.

    October 8, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Joe Vanderbosch Appleton, WI

    Wow, I guess no one has read the Iraq Constitution, because it clearly states a DE-centralized country.

    Also if you look at the history of Iraq, you'll notice that this country was formed out of different ethnic regions after WW1 by Winston Churchill, who later said it was his worst foreign policy mistake.

    This plan is the only plan left that will allow us to pull out most of our troops and not leave utter chaos behind.

    October 8, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Brian, Syracuse NY

    Bobby Kennedy said it best:

    1/5th of you will oppose everything, no matter what it is.

    October 8, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Wow! I didn't know two United States citizens actually have the power to dictate the type of government in another sovereign country.

    Just imagine if two members of the French Parliment decided what type of government we should have in the United States. I'm sure that would go over well.

    The silver lining of this story is that Brownback has no realistic chance of becoming the next president of the United States. I sleep better knowing this one small fact.

    October 8, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. pl. at the UN for a while.

    Joe Vanderb...

    Please post again and finish your explanation. Ever wondered why state borders in the near-east are straight lines? That's also of Churchill doing.

    October 8, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Joseph Vanderbosch Appleton, WI

    The Bush administration's quixotic alternative has been to promote a strong central government in Baghdad. That central government doesn't function; it is corrupt and widely regarded as irrelevant. It has not produced political reconciliation - and there is no evidence it will.

    Second, we are not trying to impose our plan. If the Iraqis don't want it, they won't and shouldn't take it, as the Senate amendment makes clear. But Iraqis and the White House might consider the facts. Iraq's constitution already provides for a federal system. As for the regions forming along sectarian lines, the constitution leaves the choice to the people of its 18 provinces.

    -Joe Biden and Leslie Gelb

    October 8, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Why do WE have to solve Iraq's problems? Why can't we just leave?

    October 8, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. therealist

    "Under Saddam's strongly centralized government, we find… no sectarian violence."

    Wow! That liberal kool-aid must be real strong if it can so easily wipe clean your memory of 200,000 Iraqi's murdered under Saddam. Not to mention the Iranians..

    October 8, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The crazy Iraqi Muslims are way ahead of these guys by having cleansed many neighborhoods and forced exile of millions. That's why the General-du-jour Betrayus Surge is working.

    Revoke the imprudently (and perhaps unconstitutionally) granted AUMF, defund everything but embassy security, and send it to the Shrub until he either dies or leaves office.

    October 8, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. Patrick, Bartlesville Oklahoma

    I'm not sure I like the plan or not, but I do like politicians from different parties working together. What a change from the status-quo.

    October 8, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Andrew, NJ

    when will people learn...that you can't apply America's values to Muslim countries...they are completly opposite ways of thinking

    October 8, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Kurt Friese

    The ubiquitous "anonymous" just said"

    \\Why do WE have to solve Iraq's problems? Why can't we just leave?//

    Because we broke it, we bought it. The only thing that could possibly be more unconscionable than the invasion itself would be to run roughshod over the country and then abandon it to God-only-knows what sort of even worse chaos than we helped create.

    We never shoulda done it, but we did, so now we are duty-bound to fix it. Which way? The failed policies of the idiots who got us in this mess? Or the well-though-out ideas of reasonable, experienced leaders?

    October 8, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Frank Virginia Beach VA

    Ah... Wait a minute fellows, don't you think Iraq will reject this heavy-handed assumption that they know nothing and can't operate without someone telling them what they want / need for a government? What amazing gall. Power does not belong to people who abuse it, and these two are abusing power.

    October 8, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  21. RA,Cary,NC

    Congratulations, Senators Biden & Brownback!You have just given a Shining Example of "One Nation Under God" God Bless for the success of your plan-The only plan that is practical, under the present conditions in Iraq, to be successful

    October 8, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  22. CG, Pton, NJ

    Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico: "I would also study Senator Biden's federation [proposal]. I think that may be ultimately the right solution." [Christian Science Monitor, (9/27/06)]

    October 9, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |