Someone please explain how this by itself isn’t simply disqualifying:
The leading Democratic presidential candidate voted to authorizethe use of military force against Iraq in late 2002 as a US Senator from Delaware. He’s been strongly criticized for that vote to support the war throughout the Democratic primary.
Biden has walked back his vote and now says he believes it was a mistake. He told NPR, “Immediately, that moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment.”
At this past July’s Democratic debate, Biden chalked up his decisionto “bad judgment.” He added: “From the moment ‘shock and awe’ started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress and the administration.” (“Shock and Awe” was how the Bush administration called the initial wave of airstrikes on the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.)
However, Biden didn’t publicly swing against the war until 2005 — two years after it began.
In July 2003, Biden — then the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — struck an optimistic tone on the war’s direction in a CNN interview. . . .
NPR also reported that Biden staunchly defended his vote in an appearance at the Brookings Institution on July 31: “Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force, and I would vote that way again today.”
In the NPR interview, Biden said his vote to back the war was based on a commitment from President George W. Bush that he was only seeking to pressure Iraq into allowing weapons inspectors back into the country to investigate whether it had a nuclear program.
“[Bush] looked me in the eye in the Oval Office. He said he needed the vote to be able to get inspectors into Iraq to determine whether or not Saddam Hussein was engaged in dealing with a nuclear program,” Biden told NPR. “He got them in and before you know it, we had ‘shock and awe.'”
Bush spokesperson Freddy Ford denied Biden’s chain of events, telling NPR, “While I’m sure it’s just an innocent mistake of memory, but this recollection is flat wrong.”
As always with Biden, there are two conflicting explanations for what’s going on:
(1) He’s just incredibly arrogant, and thinks he can get away with flat-out lying about his decision-making role in a matter of stupendous public importance. Note this isn’t some gotcha gaffe about law school grades, or even his weird misappropriation of Neil Kinnock’s personal history back in the day. It’s about the most important decision he made in his public career. It’s a decision that is, of course, copiously documented, so it’s not as if there’s any ambiguity here about the actual historical record.
(2) Biden is sincerely completely misremembering his actions in regard to the Iraq war, and he’s too lazy/arrogant to bother checking, if he does indeed have to actually refresh his recollection on the question of when he started publicly opposing it. (It seems amazing that he would need to do this but I guess it’s possible).
I don’t know which explanation is valid, but I do know either one should be completely disqualifying. It’s a sign of how radically the Age of Trump has coarsened standards of minimally acceptable behavior from aspiring presidential candidates that this could even be a question.