Andrea Mitchell of NBC asked Biden to respond to McCain’s allegations that Obama is flip-floping on Iraq. After a long answer about Obama’s policy on Iraq, Biden threw this in, “John McCain has no notion of what’s going on. He didn’t know early on that the likelihood of Saddam and al-Qaeda getting together is like Lenin and Trotsky deciding to form a coalition government, number one.”
“Number two, he doesn’t get the fact that in fact there is no reasonable prospect of there being a strong central government located in Baghdad headed by and under written by the U.S. military. It is not going to happen. And so he just, I don’t understand where John (McCain) and Lindsey (Graham) are coming from here,” Biden continued.
Biden also said that Mitchell should go call McCain and Graham and ask them what the number one threat facing the U.S. is. He said that they will tell her that it is international terrorism. Biden wanted Mitchell to tell them that he will take them to Afghanistan, take them up in a helicopter, and show them where the terrorists live.
The McCain campaign went on the attack against Biden. “Senator Biden’s comments about John McCain and Iraq are as absurd as they are wrong. He opposed the surge and the counterinsurgency strategy and instead proposed partitioning the country. No Iraqi political leader supported the Biden plan to dismember Iraq. If we had followed Senator Biden’s ill-informed advice to split Iraq into three pieces, we would have seen wide-scale civil war. Instead, we have the dramatic security gains of the last 18 months because John McCain’s strategy was implemented,” Randy Scheunemann, the McCain campaign’s Director of Foreign Policy and National Security said.
I am not a big fan of Biden’s Iraq solution, and Obama has shown know no sign of adopting the Biden plan, but the McCain camp is taking credit for the troop surge, whose success is questionable at best. Notice how the McCain camp dodged the part of Biden’s comments that stressed where the real terrorists are. What is clear is that Biden’s profile is rising within the Obama campaign, and I think this exchange today demonstrated why Biden would be a good running mate for Obama.
You can listen to Biden’s remarks here