Biden On John McCain, Election And National Security

Sen. Joe Biden will take to Georgetown's Gaston Hall tomorrow to deliver what aides are billing as an argument in favor of a Democratic foreign policy and national security vision for 2008.

But much of the speech is a sustained argument against John McCain and his foreign policy vision, an audition of sorts, or a template for the type of speech that the running mate of Barack Obama (or, possibly, Hillary Clinton) will be expected to deliver in the fall.

A Biden adviser provided some excerpts. The key line: "When people say ‘this is the most important election in my lifetime,’ they’re right."


"When it comes to Iraq, there is no daylight between John McCain and George W. Bush. They are joined at the hip. When it comes to Iraq, there will be no change with a McCain administration… and so there is a real and profound choice for Americans in November."

"Fifteen months into the surge that President Bush ordered and Senator McCain embraced, we’ve gone from drowning to treading water. We are no closer to the President’s stated goal of an Iraq that can defend itself, govern itself and sustain itself in peace. And we’re still spending $3 billion every week and losing 30 to 40 American lives every month."

"We can’t keep treading water without exhausting ourselves. That’s what both the President and Senator McCain are asking us to do."

"They can’t tell us when, or even if, Iraqis will come together politically, which was the purpose of the surge in the first place."

They can’t tell us when, or even if, we will draw down below pre-surge levels. They can’t tell us when, or even if, Iraq will be able to stand on its own two feet. They can’t tell us when, or even if, this war will end."

"Most Americans want this war to end. They want us to come together around a plan to leave Iraq without leaving chaos behind."

"They’re not defeatists. They’re patriots who understand the national interest – and the great things Americans can achieve if we responsibly end a war that we should not have started."

"I believe it is fully within our power to do that. Then, with our credibility restored, our alliances repaired and our freedom to act renewed, we will once again lead the world. We will once again address the hopes, not play to the fears, of our fellow Americans. That is my hope for next November."