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. Jan, Evergreen, CO

    It has been proven that Bush & Company are nothing but liars. I wouldn't trust Bush to tell me the sun was shining even if it was unless I saw for myself.

    December 4, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. Alex Chicago

    Joe you are irrelavant...always have been and you always will be...Your words mean nothing to the american people...just go away

    December 4, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Christine, Burke, VA

    Thank you, Former U.S. Army Officer above, for also speaking truth to power. It's refreshing to hear from reasonable people like you who've seen all sides.

    To those calling for impeachment: Blame Nancy Pelosi for not bringing that to the floor; Joe Biden is not the leader of the Democratic caucus in the House and has no power to do so. He is, however, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, and he has every right and responsibility in the world to advise the president on policy toward Iran.

    Biden is the only candidate I can stomache for a vote in the Democratic Party right now. The rest of them are a bunch of loons, and the evidence pretty much speaks for itself.

    December 4, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Raymond, El Paso TX

    Oh if only Pinocchio could have turned into a real boy before the end of his story. Unfortunatley for us, he got stuck in the part where he turns into an ass and then he just stayed there.

    December 4, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. Robert, Denver, CO

    Why isn't Biden polling in the top tier? The top 3 lack experience and leadership and are too divisive to be president, while the 3 with experience, leadership abilities, and ability to work with both sides of the aisle are polling at the bottom. This just does not make sense to me. I think if people look at the issues and candidates experience, they will see better alternatives to Hil-Obama-John.

    December 4, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. CB Seattle

    Jr California, you must need a beacon because your head is so firmly implanted where the sun don't shine. Whatever happened to land of the "free" home of the brave? or give me liberty or give me death? Our fore fathers must be rolling over in their graves with what is happening to our constitution and this country.

    December 4, 2007 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    I'm from Canada and even I know Joe Biden is the ONLY candidate who has the capabilities to lead America!

    To all those who are supporting Ron Paul, Hillary, Barack, Rudy, McCain give your heads a shake!

    Biden is the only Candidate running who holds any real truth. He speaks not from prompters but from soul. He doesn't waste his time attacking and belittling other candidates even though his ratings are lower. He is versed in International Diplomatic Relations. He is experienced in Politics. He has credible strategies in dealing with Iraq. He doesn't say what voters want to hear. He speaks from his heart and his values for his Country and fellow Americans. He's not a Flip Flopper, a White Washer, or a Chamelon. He's Joe Biden with nothing to hide.

    Hearing Americans support these Bush Lites is more than nerve racking. Your votes do not only effect America – your votes effect THE WORLD. Bush has driven the world into complete and utter chaos. I pray to God that Americans will see through these Candidates giving lip service only to the "Leader Who Can Bring Change to America."

    It's time to start asking these Candidates to explain their strategy for change in long form. As CHANGE void of any Strategy is what put the world in the dire straits it's in today! And it will take a strong, capable, honest, experienced leader to put American and the World back together again.

    December 4, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. NS, New York

    Nah, Bush is only second worst- James Buchanan let a civil war get started here at home, Bush has only let one start overseas (so far at least). But there sure is a whole lot of daylight between Bush and #3.

    December 4, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  9. Steve, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Some of the comments here have noted that Mr. Bush cannot run again. He just does not care what he does at this point. Why should he? Consider this, if he can't run again why should he care about what he does or says? You won't see him out campaigning out there for any of these Republicans. They don't want him and I note they rarely mention him. Mr. Bush wants a war with Iran so bad he can taste it. The Democrats should keep his feet to the fire on this. The Republicans are silent. Where is Dick Cheney hiding out again? I am proud to say I never voted for GW. Obviously someone did and the chickens are coming home to roost. Keep at it Senator Biden and Senator Reid!

    December 4, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. Gina, Italy

    I live in Europe and am intrigued lately about the American election process. I have been following it for some time. I think because your current president doesn't make me happy about things in our areas.

    I have read some things about Sen. Biden and am interested in learning more about him. He seems normal and real and actually I tend to agree with what he says often.

    I've read some of the responses and find it hard to believe he is not even being considered as a viable person for the presidency of your country.

    I ask you all the same question that we in Europe asked when you rehired Bush;

    How could so many millions of people be so stupid?

    December 4, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. Jacksonville, FL

    Biden, Ross Paro what's the difference their both loosers

    December 4, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  12. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    "We the people" are really screwed. There is no sunshine on the horizon in American politics, no "beacon of light" to look to with hope. No one who will really stand up to the darkness that has enveloped our country because of the risk to their pathetic political careers. All our politicians are the same dishonest, self serving, self gratifying, self rightious slobs, while brave, misled people continue to die for Bush and Cheny's "greater good." Daily, they stoop to new lows and the fallout from the last 7 years has just begun. This is much bigger than any of us can imagine.

    We are truly screwed... God help us, and I do not say this in jest.

    December 4, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  13. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    Biden gets a security briefing that the rest of us don't see. If I had to guess, which I don't, special operations has been working in Iran since 2004. Intelligence gathering, recon, political bribery, building a case for war. We have their infrastructure "light up" for strategic air bombardment. We can thank the industrial military complex (Haliburton) and Israeli lobbyist(jewish mafia) for pressuring our government into another war in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    December 4, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. S. Wright

    To all the folks on here screaming for Senator Biden to impeach President Bush, well, I hate to break this to you, but he can't.

    See, there's this thing called the Constitution that states that only the House of Representatives can impeach a President.

    Which means only one thing: that you are as ignorant as Joe Biden about the role that he has in government.

    Please, for the love of God and country, don't vote. Crack open a book instead, and shut yer pieholes.

    December 4, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. Jennifer, Spokane Washington

    Regardless of someone's "relevance" the proof is in the pudding today. The President could have short handed his press conference this morning with: we don't care what the intelligence suggests- we follow our agenda.

    Shame on the White House and the RNC for attempting to distract people with their lame one liners- Biden may be many things but he is a United States Senator who is speaking out to the American public. Its about time we stopped being bullied into talking dishing on issues that clearly affect our security and perception in the world.

    December 4, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Jose Card

    First, many people called G.W. Bush stupid. Then it stopped. This year, Nobel Laureate in literature, Dorris Lessing wondered if Bush might be even very clever.

    If anybody wants to impeach Bush, what are they waiting for?

    If you just make all the noise for nothing, please save the energy for something positive to say.

    Joe Biden does have a point.
    The problem is that our president cannot tell us anything classified. Bill Clinton, 6 years after his administration, won't even release documents during his administration till 2012. Hillary Clinton is desperate for their release.

    December 4, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  17. Brian, Tulsa, OK

    it is terribly ironic that the people who are pointing to this intelligence estimate as truth are the very ones that just a few years ago didn't trust them.

    I would highly question this intelligence estimate as well. it is suspect.

    we need to fix our intelligence community. and biden is NOT the man to do it.

    December 4, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. Jan, Vincennes, IN

    Biden's a buffoon, leave him on his own long enough and he'll put his foot in it...though he is the most qualified candidate on the Democrat slate. Doesn't say much for the rest of the field, does it?

    December 4, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. Picabo, Upstate New York

    To Jr. from California.

    You have my deepest sympathies for having had such a poor education. The people responsible for educating the children in your school district failed you horribly.

    Senator Biden's comments are EXACTLY what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Amendment I of the Constitution says "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech"

    I will spare you the rest of the history lecture, but if you have the time, I highly recommend learning about the motivation behind it.

    December 5, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  20. Jimmy

    Biden your smarter then that. This report is no magic horse for I told you so. Politics we are trying to get away from. Still all the same if this one report that states with INTERNATIONAL PRESURE the Iran Nuclear program was halted in 2003. This Iran President has stated He does not like the United States. And wishes the doom for Israil. I am a Democrat and am against war, but come on I have children NO WAY will I let my gaurd down for a President that has so much contempt for our GREAT NATION. Iran is clearly still a threat. This is in no means to defend President Bush for I do not like how he has ran our country. But if I were a senator I to would have voted to designate the Revolutionary Gaurd as a tearist organization. That just took some of our people hostage less then a year ago. Where are proples memories at

    December 5, 2007 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  21. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    Unrestricted torture, check.
    Warantless wiretapping, check.
    Falsifying intelligence, check.
    Most disastrous war since the end of Vietnam, check.
    Leaks bordering on treason endangering CIA operations for political purposes, check.
    Manipulating terror alerts for political purposes in an election season, check.
    Failure to listen to CIA, State Department and military experts, instead favoring special interests like Halliburton and foreign elites like the Saudi royals or Cuban and Iraqi exiles, check.
    But would the Bush administration ever deliberately ignored the Iran memo in order to give the American people yet another WMD bogeyman to be scared of? Surely not.

    December 5, 2007 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  22. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Eric, from THE Republic of Texas,

    Note to Eric: There IS no debate. Your former Governor is indeed one of the most incompetent presidents in modern American history – even the "smartest woman in the world" knows THAT!

    And he was caught lying and spinning yet AGAIN!

    Thanks for looking like an idiot and for the comic relief!

    December 5, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  23. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Patrick Curry Livingston, TX,

    Or kinda like Dubya talking about ..

    umm ...

    ANYTHING.

    December 5, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  24. Bill, Kuwait by way of N.C.

    All of you G.W. haters need to take a deep breath and relax. You are living in the best country in the world, by far. You have all the freedoms anyone could want. The reason you can open your collective mouths and not be thrown in jail or even killed for your comments is because of this freedom. When Bush was elected, people loved him. He is leaving. In a few years you same loud mouths can complain again that the next president, maybe Clinton, Obama, Biden, have not doen anything for the country. Maybe after Bush leaves and the next president takes a soft stance on terror and then the U.S. gets attacked again, you will all say "how could Biden, or Obama or Clinton let this happen, they are worse than Bush...at least he kept us safe on the homefront". I guess time will tell. Running the USA is not like running a car wash, or Taco Bell, or dept. store. Has bush made all the right decisions, no. Has he protected yor interests, ie. shopping, working, living a nice life, going on family outings without fear of IED'S, and suicide bombers. I will let you answer that. You may not like him, but you have to respect him. he is the president. And by virtue of AMERICAN FREEDOM, you can select another in another year.

    December 5, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  25. Carson Minneapolis MN

    Interesting comments to read. The overwhelming majority of people on here are in support of Biden. Very few against him. What does that tell you, you very few, about your precious, precious Bush? And let's not attack Biden too harshly, boys. He is, after all, the chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has been for quite some time. So, that being said, I think the man knows what he's talking about and kudos to him for finally growing a pair and denouncing the Bush administration the way he should have six years ago. Joe Biden is the candidate that I should be voting for but I will probably vote for Obama! Because I would like real change in Washington.

    December 5, 2007 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
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