The remarks by Sanders, who prides himself on being among the few lawmakers who voted against invading Iraq, came just days after Biden falsely suggested again to voters that he opposed the war when it began in 2003.
“The president then went ahead with ‘Shock and Awe,’ and right after that ― and from the very moment he did that, right after that ― I opposed what he was doing and spoke to him,” Biden told voters in Iowa on Saturday, referring to former President George W. Bush, according to CNN.
Biden has attempted several times to recharacterize his vote on Iraq in an effort to appeal to Democratic voters skeptical of his history of foreign policy decisions. While Monday was not the first time Sanders has attacked Biden for his stance on the now 17-year war on terrorism, the senator took it a notch higher by going after his rival’s stances on several additional issues.
“Joe Biden voted for the disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China, which cost us millions of jobs. You think that’s going to play well in Michigan or Wisconsin or Pennsylvania?” Sanders told Cooper. “You know, Joe Biden has been on the floor of the Senate talking about the need to cut Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid. Joe Biden pushed a bankruptcy bill, which has caused enormous financial problems for working families.”
The 2020 Democrats’ original positions on the Iraq War are considered especially important now that President Donald Trump is rapidly escalating tensions with Iran, a conflict that stems from the 2003 intervention in the Middle East. Many Americans fear another war after the Trump administration assassinated Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week, a move that could further destabilize the region.
On Saturday, Sanders announced a measure he plans to introduce with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) that would block any funding for a war with Iran that does not have congressional authorization.
“All of that suffering, all of that debt, all of that huge expenditure of money ― for what?” Sanders said at an Iowa town hall on Friday of the Iraq War. “It gives me no pleasure to tell you that at this moment we face a similar crossroads fraught with danger. Once again, we must worry about unintended consequences and the impact of unilateral decision-making.”
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