Former Obama Adviser: Biden 'Serially' Distorts Own Record

Biden under fire for misleading remarks about Iraq War opposition, medal-pinning story

David Axelrod / Getty
September 6, 2019

Former Obama White House adviser David Axelrod said in a tweet Thursday that Joe Biden was distorting his own record to a damaging degree.

Linking to a Slate article about Biden's misleading remarks about when he began opposing the Iraq War, Axelrod wrote Biden was "in danger" of creating a harmful meme about his candidacy.

"It's one thing to have a well-earned rep for goofy, harmless gaffes," Axelrod tweeted. "It's another if you serially distort your own record. @JoeBiden is in danger of creating a more damaging meme."

Biden claimed in a recent NPR interview that he only voted to authorize President George W. Bush to use military force because Bush promised him it was only about getting weapons inspectors into Iraq. Biden claimed that once "shock and awe" began, he came out against the war.

NPR reported that Biden's claim was false:

But in multiple public remarks made after the invasion began in 2003, Biden openly supported the effort. Biden publicly said his vote was a mistake as early as 2005, but not immediately when the war began in 2003.

Biden has also taken heat after the Washington Post reported a story he often tells about pinning a war medal on a Navy captain was false in almost every detail. He dismissed criticism in his interview with NPR.

"The details are irrelevant in terms of decision-making," he said.

Axelrod also criticized Biden's second debate performance, but said he may be incapable of doing better.

Biden remains the frontrunner in the crowded Democratic primary field, but left-wing darlings Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) are right on his heels.

Biden's first two presidential runs ended poorly; he dropped out of the 1988 race before any primary voting due to a plagiarism scandal, and in 2008, he quit the race after a poor showing in Iowa.