December 4th, 2007
02:50 PM ET
14 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. Jay, Providence, RI

    Charles, Charles, Charles.....where do I begin??!

    First of all, the President of Iran does not have that much power. He can say all he wants but he's not the decider in Iran unlike our president thinks he is in this country.

    Second, Iran is not the only country who says negative things about Israel. Are we to go to war with all countries who speak bad things about Israel?

    Third, Iran has stopped supplying weapons into Iraq as confirmed by our own military and even when it had they were weapons that did not work. Are we to bomb Saudia Arabia because they are giving weapons and money to the Sunni rebels in Iraq? What do you say about that?

    Fourth, are we to bomb Syria since they are allowing the weapons from Iran to be transported through and kept in their country before they enter into Lebanon?

    Fifth, you write about the weapons and other things that Iran is openly working on. I ask you one question...where and from whom did you hear this? I assume the Bush administration which means that more than likely that information is incorrect.

    Charles, don't be so naive. Afterall, it has been proven that the Bush people were wrong about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

    December 4, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Matt

    Patrick Curry –

    Man, some people just don't read. Biden was cleared of all wrongdoing in the plagiarism allegation:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE1DD1230F93AA15756C0A96F948260

    Besides, even if the charge WAS valid, why the hell do we care about mistakes people made 40 freaking years ago???

    December 4, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Kevin, SF, CA

    As usual, JOE IS RIGHT. Joe understands how idiotic the Bush administration is in their policy of trying to pressure Iran to give up nukes while threatening to go to war with them because they are dangerous even without nukes. Like that gives Iran *any* incentive for playing ball.

    We need Joe in the White House. No other candidate understands the situation like he does. Edwards, Hillary and Obama only understand how to smooth talk their way to power. Iowa, go with Joe!!

    December 4, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Jake

    To Patrick Curry in Livingston, TX

    You mean to tell me that you're saying he is not to be trusted because he did something stupid in law school? Are you kidding me?

    Have you looked at what Bush has done? He has lied and failed this country over and over again.

    He lied and took us into a war in which people have actually DIED!

    hmmmm....trusting a person who cheated in college or trusting a person who lied and is responsible for the lives that we have lost. I think I'll pick the one who cheated in college.

    Get Real!

    December 4, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. cari, columbia, md

    thank you Joe. As usual, you are the only candidate up there with the qualifications to lead this country in the direction we need to go. This guy rocks and he is lucky to get a minute or 2 or coverage here and there. All because people think they have to choose between Hilary and Obama....two ultimately unelectable candidates. Joe is the only guy who can really get those crucial swing votes that we need. GO JOE, I SUPPORT YOU 100%!!!!

    December 4, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    Yeah right, Preston... you honestly think Bush is more dangerous than Iran? Why don't you stop to consider why Ahmadinejad says his nation has no homosexuals–could it be they were all exterminated? Maybe you could also try to muster enough brainpower to think of all the Israelis killed and maimed by Hezbollah, which is directly supported by Iran and functions like an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Of course, you probably don't believe that Iran is training and funding terrorists across the Middle East to harm the US and Israel either. Sure, you'll probably come back to say that George W. Bush has the blood of all dead Iraqis since 2003 on his hands, while conveniently forgetting that most of those came as a result of Iraqi-on-Iraqi sectarian violence.

    Folks, Iran might not have a nuke, but it's not for lack of effort. For those of you naive enough to think Iran is now ready to play nice, think again.

    And John from America– the Republic of Texas (from Eric's name) refers to the period from 1836-1845 when Texas was its own nation. It's just a symbol of pride we Texans carry. Have a good day!

    December 4, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    Danny

    im suuuure you live in tehran. you must be the only person in iran blogging on cnn....amazing lol....just goes to show you the tactics of these republicans and there followers they will actually pretend to be from iran and argue with no real information on WHY biden is wrong....

    i really like biden more then any other candidate but too bad it has nothing to do with credentials. ron paul would be going against joe biden if this country still had any HONOR!!

    December 4, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    Patrick Curry Livingston, TX

    no actually its not....it is completely irrelevant but nice try.

    December 4, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Eric, San Francisco, CA

    Imcomptent is a very correct description of the president. I completely agree with Biden whats ashame is he isn't the biggest runner for the democratic party. The biggest threat to our national security is having a leader who is ignorant, stubborn and war hungry. If anything this report hopefully will save us from another war that would have no actual justification or hardcore proof to back it. Bush needs to back off the hard war stance and start learning how to be diplomatic.

    December 4, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Dave S., South Windsor, CT

    Biden hit the nail on the head in his comments. Not only is Bush the most incompetant president in US history, he is also the most dangerous and clearly without doubt....mentally ill.

    The ONLY threat to world peace is Bush. God save us from him and Cheney.

    December 4, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Carla, Chevy Chase, MD

    Good for you Senator Biden. Now show us some presidential muscle and impeach Bush and put the administration up for war crimes. You will have my vote then!

    December 4, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Alice from Dallas

    Um, Eric – Thank God Bush isn't running. America couldn't stand for more years of his ineptness, not that he'd win anyway.

    He's a disgrace to THE republic of Texas, and the rest of the world as well.

    December 4, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Jr., California

    Joe Biden should be ashamed of himself. And so should all of you that criticize our President and suggest his impeachment. How pathetic and unpatriotic you are.

    Bush is doing a fine job as he looks out for you and I. This is what our fore fathers would have demanded. A president with our national security on the forefront, a beacon for all others to see. See the light people.

    December 4, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    he is a senator. he might be running for president but he still has a job to do as a senator and he is doing it. every statement he makes doesnt have to be directed to anyone that he is running against. hes better then any republican running for office.

    December 4, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. HISTORY REPEATS, NY

    Jr., California

    hahahahahaahhahaahahahhahaahahahahahahahahahahah.....wait your joking right?? right??? if this was the time of our fore fathers bush wouldnt even have a seat on the floor!! during that time we didnt have a standing army!!! we fought against people that attacked us. and if that was the case we would have went to war with suadi arabia since almost every hijacker on 9/11 was saudi arabian. you have a long road to go if you are really being serious with your statements.....im just going to believe you are joking

    December 4, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Rocco, Wellington, Fl

    It is amazing to me when people like JR from Calif. say without reservation that Bush is doing right by this Country. This President has done so much damage to our Country, our way of life and the life of future generations that I think impeachment is to good. I would support criminal charges and prison. What is wrong with you people?

    December 4, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Ba Gua Zhang, Chico, CA

    "...a beacon for all others to see. " Yeh, Abu Ghraib and torture, New Orleans still in shambles, utter disregard for habeas corpus a pillar of Western jurisprudence, lies about WMDs and "yellow cake," the president joking about finding WMDs under his sofa, etc., etc. Some folks really have their heads buried in the sand, don't they? Impeach the political bums!!

    December 4, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. LT Jon, Olathe, KS

    Jr. California

    Live FREE or die.

    I refuse to accept the sacrifice of Liberty for G W's "National Security".

    Read the Constitution before you use the founding father's names. Your statements are blasphemous.

    GW is an afront to the principles this country was founded upon.

    December 4, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. JD Rugby ND

    Bush is the worst American president ever. He and Cheney need to be impeached and charged for war crimes for their illegal, immoral, and unjust invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    December 4, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. DJ, LA, CA

    Yes Bush is THE most incompetent presidents in our nation's history...not "one" of.

    Also that if Bush indeed was not telling us the truth as Biden claims about Iraq, then why isn't he being impeached right now as Biden speaks???

    December 4, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Me thinks those hair transplants Old Joe had a few years ago must have been planted a little too DEEP Thus the fuzzy thinking!!

    Charlie Roberts ,Eagle,Idaho

    December 4, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Anonymous, Denver, CO

    Love Joe Biden! He speaks truth to power! And, Eric from the Republic of Texas, W's record is something that is worth running against. Notice how the Republican candidates avoid mentioning his name. George W Bush is, in fact, the WORST president in ALL of our history!

    December 4, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. Tim, DC

    I don't know if it is just how the press reports it..but could the Whitehouse give the American people a little more than a "witty" one-liner?

    One-liners and dodging questions: the only thing that Bush Press Secretaries are good for.

    December 4, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. trent porter, tx

    does bush think we should wage wars based on NOTHING? our intelligence has clearly concluded that IRAN DOES NOT HAVE NUKES. LEAVE THEM ALONE! STOP TRYING TO START WORLD WAR THREE!

    December 4, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. Kim. Dallas, TX

    Joe Biden would be an awesome leader. He tells things like they are. Bush has been the worst thing that has ever happened to our country. Can you imagine if he would have been in office during the cuban missile crisis? or northwood? You could kiss the ground we stand on goodbye. Bush is a very scary person with more responsibility than he should ever have been given. I just pray that our country makes it through the next 13 months.

    ps. I live in TEXAS and not all of us think like Eric.

    December 4, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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