Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg today criticized rival Joe Biden’s 2002 vote that authorized the war in Iraq.
“I certainly respect the vice president, but this is an example of why years in Washington are not always the same thing as judgement,” Buttigieg said this morning. “He supported the worst foreign policy decision made by the United States in my lifetime.”
His criticism of Biden’s Iraq war vote dates back when Biden was a U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Biden in 2007 said he would support congressional action to end the law that gave Bush authority to order the invasion of Iraq. Buttigieg, who is 37, served 10 years in the Naval Reserve and did a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
“I think there’s a growing understanding among my generation of post-9/11 veterans about what a future engagement in the world has to look like,” Buttigieg said, “making sure that we bring an end to endless wars, which is how the conflict in Afghanistan has come to feel.”
Buttigieg did not go so far as to suggest Biden’s support of the Iraq war resolution made him unfit to be the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nominee. Buttigieg instead criticized President Trump for failing to assert American leadership on the world stage.
“What we’re seeing right now is a so-called ‘America First’ strategy that’s really become ‘America alone,'” Buttigieg said. “It is reducing America to just being one more country out there scrapping for advantage instead of the leader that the world needs right now. The world will not solve climate change without American leadership. Democracy around the world will retreat around the world without American leadership.”
Buttigieg made his comments during taping of the “Iowa Press” program that will air Friday night on Iowa Public Television.