'Worst foreign policy decision' in my lifetime: Pete Buttigieg criticizes Joe Biden's 2002 Iraq War vote
DES MOINES — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Sunday criticized former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2002 vote for the Iraq War.
“Well, I certainly respect the Vice President, but this is an example of why years in Washington is not always the same thing as judgment,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said during a taping of Iowa Press, according to a transcript. “He supported the worst foreign policy decision made by the United States in my lifetime, which was the decision to invade Iraq.”
Buttigieg made the remark in response to a question about his own foreign policy experience. Buttigieg, who served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, was asked about it in relation to Biden’s foreign policy experience.
At a town hall later Sunday in Knoxville, Iowa, a reporter asked Buttigieg about his criticism and whether a vote for the U.S. invasion of Iraq is disqualifying to be president.
“Well, I think that anybody is qualified to run, if they meet the basic constitutional threshold, and then the voters get to decide. And part of what they’re going to decide on is based on our judgment. Experience, sure, but also judgment,” Buttigieg said. “And I think that it’s certainly a question that reflects on foreign policy judgment at a time like this, that is so precarious for the future of the U.S.”
When another reporter then asked Buttigieg whether he thinks Biden has the foreign policy judgment to be president, Buttigieg responded: “Well, obviously, my judgment is different when it comes to a lot of these issues, and I think that the vision that I’ve laid out for a better foreign policy is the right one for our country.”
Biden, who was in Iowa over the weekend, voted for the Iraq War when he was a U.S. senator from Delaware and the chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Biden has commented on his vote during several Democratic debates. In July, he told a televised audience that he made a “bad judgment” with his support for the Iraq War.
“I did make a bad judgment, trusting the president saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the U.N. to agree to put inspectors in,” Biden said during the July 31 debate in reference to former President George W. Bush.
At the September debate, Biden said: “I should have never voted to give Bush the authority to go in and do what he said he was going to do.”
While Buttigieg led a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll in November, Biden has outperformed the mayor in polls in other early primary states. Both candidates have highlighted the importance of foreign policy diplomacy while campaigning in Iowa.
Buttigieg is on a three-day swing through parts of central, southeast and eastern Iowa. He wraps his latest trip Monday.
Barbara Rodriguez covers health care and politics for the Register. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 515-284-8011. Follow her on Twitter @bcrodriguez.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Election 2020: Pete Buttigieg criticizes Joe Biden’s vote for Iraq War
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