Biden on Meet the Press

Senator Biden appeared on Meet the Press this Sunday and gave a tough assessment on the Administration’s performance in Iraq. The full transcript can be found here.

MS. MITCHELL: …because The Times’ lead story says that the U.S. is struggling once again, for the second time, in fact, with body armor, that the body armor is failing our troops. This is a critical issue.


MS. MITCHELL: What is your response to this and how does this happen?

SEN. BIDEN: Well, you know, I don’t understand how it happens. Imagine if Secretary Rumsfeld was the CEO of a corporation. These guys talk about how they came from business backgrounds. He’d be fired by now. The idea that we are at this moment, with this headline saying “U.S. Struggles to Get Soldiers Updated Armor,” is absolutely irresponsible. And I realize all the problems. If you read the article, it goes back two and a half years and the mistakes consistently being made. And I just-I don’t get it. I think Rumsfeld should get his notice on Monday morning.

MS. MITCHELL: Well, in fact, one of your colleagues, one of your Republican colleagues, John McCain, this morning on FOX reiterated what he said previously: that he does not have confidence in Don Rumsfeld. Is Rumsfeld just a…

SEN. BIDEN: No one does but the president.

MS. MITCHELL: …convenient whipping boy for this, though?


MS. MITCHELL: This is the president, this is the Pentagon; I mean, this is larger than just one defense secretary, is it not?

SEN. BIDEN: No, that’s true, but we can’t fire the president and the vice president for their incompetence, to the extent that it exists, but you can, in fact, do that with the secretary of defense. And look, one of the reasons we’ve had difficulty getting others to get involved, meaning our European friends, NATO, the EU-they look out there, and as long as Rumsfeld’s in charge of this operation, as opposed to the uniformed military, they virtually have no confidence in our ability to get the job done. And I just think it is-I don’t understand the president’s willingness to continue to follow the advice of a man who has not been right on a single major piece of advice he’s given the president since the statue of Saddam has fallen in that circle on that fateful day over two and a half years ago.

fyi, the New York Times Andrea Mitchell is referencing can be found here.

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