December 4th, 2007
02:50 PM ET
15 years ago

Biden takes aim at Bush's 'charade' on Iran

Joe Biden had some tough words for President Bush Tuesday.

(CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who has criticized the White House for their “fixation” on Iran, called the president’s tough comments Tuesday on that nation’s nuclear program a “charade” in light of a newly-released assessment of Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

The report said that Iran halted its development of a nuclear weapon four years ago.

President Bush said Tuesday that he only learned of the 2003 intelligence assessment last week. In remarks at a White House press conference, the president also said the report shows that Iran could again try to acquire nuclear weapons and remains dangerous, adding that the international community should keep up its pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program.

“I refuse to believe that,” said Biden, speaking on the campaign trail in Iowa. “If that’s true, he has the most incompetent staff in modern American history and he’s one of the most incompetent presidents in modern American history.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman linked the administration’s conduct to its actions before the Iraq war, saying that “for this president to knowingly disregard or once again misrepresent intelligence about the issue of war and peace, I find outrageous. [T]his is exactly what he did, exactly what he did in the run-up to the war in Iraq, in consistently exaggerating the intelligence.”

“If past is prologue, I do not trust this administration,” said Biden. “I do not trust them to level with us. I do not trust them to tell us the truth.” The senator has said that if the administration goes to war with Iran, President Bush should be impeached.

The White House response was muted. “Sounds like someone’s running for president,” said Press Secretary Dana Perino. “The RNC can therefore provide more comment.”

RNC spokesman Brian Walton added, “Apparently Joe Biden has seen recent polling that shows his statistical insignificance and is looking for relevance in the debate by offering heated rhetoric.”

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: Iowa • Joe Biden
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Sam, IA

    To Charles:
    uncontestible, undeniable facts? Fox and hate jocks don't exactly deal in those. Take your meds.

    December 5, 2007 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  2. mark wilkes barre pa

    Tom,,,,,, If bush doesnt even know when he is lying, how can he be prevaricating ? the sooner we can end the Bush/clinton era of politics the sooner the nation can heal and move foward

    December 5, 2007 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  3. Thomas, St. Petersburg, FL

    Anyone who claims President Bush is more of a threat to world peace than Iran is absolutely foolish.

    It's fine if you oppose Bush's policies and views; but to LIE and claim our president is more of a threat than the world's top sponsor of terrorism is completely out of line and unforgivable.

    December 5, 2007 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  4. Jr., California

    Lt. Jon, Kansas and History Repeats, NY

    With all due respect sir I did not "blaspheme" in my comment.

    I am shocked that you a Lt. can't see the course of action that America has taken as right and just. This may be the final stand if we don't carry on and finish the fight. And "no" I am not joking. You can lol all you want.

    December 5, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. JB, Staten Island, NY

    Ahh the looney left...

    The NIE was totally wrong about Iraq, remember??
    Now you all believe the NIE to be accurate??
    History begins fresh every morning when you are a liberal.

    December 5, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. em

    There are two groups of folks in the US, the one group has been taught to revere their leaders no matter what they do and what happens. The other group was brought up on fairy tales like "The Emperor's new Clothes", my mom played one of the tailors. The point is for democracy to work thoughtful scrutiny and full facts in the hands of the public at large is the most necessary constituent; there is zero place for hero worship that is unable to critically evaluate the leaders. Joe Biden is certainly the only real statesman in the field of presidential hopefuls currently, it is just a matter of if we can pull our heads out of wishful thinking or if reality is finally itching our voting finger. PS. Thanks Joe for calling out the realities that are evident to all reasonable folks.

    December 5, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Brad, from the great state of Texas,
    As my old boss used to say, "You're a gentleman and a scholar." Thanks for having a guy's back.

    For those of you who missed the point, Candidate Joe "Quixote" Biden is jousting with a windmill (a lame duck president), instead of sparring with his fellow candidates. Tell me how that works out for you, Joe...

    December 5, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Kim, Dallas, TX

    I'm not saying that we shouldn't be wary of leaders like Ahmadinijad. We had to be very careful when Kruschev was in power too. Kennedy was a master at figuring out how to maintain safety for the USA during the height of the Cold War-by the way, Kennedy had no experience when he was elected. The leaders in the CIA during Kennedy's presidency tried to stage a false flag war with Cuba without Kennedy knowing about it; look up operation Northwood sometime. Kennedy had them all fired. Kennedy knew that a preemptive attack on Cuba could be the catalyst to greater difficulties with the Soviet Union; quite possibly causing a world war. Terrorism is real, but like the Cold War it needs to be thought through with much common sense. Cowboy mentality could be the death of us all. That's why many believe that the biggest threat to our well being is Bush himself. You cannot be so overtly, verbally aggressive without much fear and concern from the other country. Bush is VERY hostile towards Iran. Iran sees him as no different than we view terrorists. Putin has nuclear capabilities and would not hesitate to use them against us if we interfere with Iran. We need to learn to think, and learn to work through these tense situations, and not be so reactive verbally to what we think is going on. Our difficulties in the middle East come from MANY years of us interfering with their leaders-to the point of funding Bin Ladin ourselves. Take a few steps back and do some research and you will understand why we pose just as great of a risk towards world peace as Iran does. Also, with the accusations made regarding Iraq that were so obviously manipulative, I don't believe anything Bush tells us anymore. Take some time to read his PNAC agenda and you will see that Iraq and Iran were a target far before 911 ever happened. Our country deserves people knowing the truth. Now all you need to do is take the time to know the truth.

    December 5, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. Frank Va. Bch., VA

    Biden, go take your meds. If you can't see the duplicity of this report you are out of touch.

    December 5, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Adam, CA

    Gina from italy,

    don't blame the people. We made the mistake of letting our media centralize and candidates like Biden Richardson and Dodd the three most experienced and knowledgable candidates on the democratic side don't rate media coverage.

    The easy way to demonstrate this is go to CNN's searchable video index and Search "hillary Clinton" see how many pages of responses you get. DO the same for other candidates but use full names to make sure you don't get similar last names. Last I did it oct 31 the percentage distribution of video coverage was in the margin of polling error.

    Only those that dig for information on low ranked candidates can find any real details about them.

    Pray Iowa or New Hamphsire wakes up and pushes Richardson or Biden into a spot where the media can no longer ignore them with a straight face and maintain a mantle of objectivity.

    Biden is earning coverage now criticizing Bush, Hillary won't do it, Obama doesn't have the crtedibility to do it and neither does edwards(they aren't foreign policy wonks) so the cable shows interview biden and richardson. Remember our media didn't fact check us out of war in 2002 when it was open news in the german press that Zarqawi our supposed al quaida link to saddam was actually an anti jordanian terrorist. Rumsy was even on the congressional record admitting he might not be al quaida.

    Blame our media they decided this race was between a woman and a black man on the dem side. Just as fox covers giuliani ad nauseum at other rep candidates expense.

    Exposure = perception of a winner = I want to vote for a winner. Sad but true.

    Iowa or NH come through for us and force real coverage of a legitimately knowledgable thoughtful and experienced candidate come January.

    Every candidate is ready to make decisions on day one the question is who is ready to make the right decisions. Evidence suggests it's not the media darling.

    December 6, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  11. Jan, Vincennes, IN

    Very well stated, Bill, in Kuwait by way of N.C. I couldn't agree with you more. It's very unpopular to support Bush these days, but count myself as one. Has he made mistakes? Yes, who hasn't. Is he articulate in explaining his policies? Absolutely not, he's terrible at it. Does he have conviction? Absolutely. Has he taken verbal abuse with dignity without resorting to childish name-calling in return? Ohhh yes! Let history judge this will likely be more favorable than most expect today. BTW, it's funny how the NIE was wrong on Iraq, but everyone embraces this one, because they see an opportunity to bash Bush. If the NIE is indeed true, Bush's Middle East policy appears to have made Iran drop their nuclear weapons program. No neither Iraq, nor Iran, are in an arms race. Sounds like success to me!!!

    December 6, 2007 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  12. DC Hernando, MS

    Man, for a bunch of fine, upstanding, patriotic, non prejudiced people, you sure use some coloful language to describe us Southern folk. Lets see, I have seen buck toothed, backward, redneck, uneducated, and simple minded just to name a few. Is that not bigotry and prejudice at it's finest? You yankees and bleeding hearts should learn to practice what you preach.
    Deo Vindice

    December 6, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Julie Overvig Medford,Oregon

    Biden is the only candidate on either side who has a clue on how to get out of this war and the experience to get it done. I hope to see a great debate thou, with Biden and Mccain, to polor opposites on which direction to take this country on this War, but at least they both have the experience and the knowledge of foreign affairs that no other candidates can say with a straight face.

    December 7, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  14. Stu

    I think what you need to take a look at here is the timing of Senator Biden's comments and the Iran NIE. The day before it was released to the public Joe made his statement concerning impeachment. I'm sure the NIE was available to him prior to this statement and I believe that what he was really going after is to make Bush tow the line on the truth. Impeachment isn't realistically possible in the remaining amount of time Bush has in office.

    December 8, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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