On Thursday, Barack Obama’s former adviser, David Axelrod, tweeted that Joe Biden was distorting his own record, endangering his candidacy. “It’s one thing to have a well-earned rep for goofy, harmless gaffes. It’s another if you serially distort your own record,” Axelrod tweeted. Joe Biden, he says, is “in danger of creating a more damaging meme.”
It’s one thing to have a well-earned rep for goofy, harmless gaffes. It’s another if you serially distort your own record. @JoeBiden is in danger of creating a more damaging meme.https://t.co/ThCVCz4Fjb
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 6, 2019
Axelrod linked to an article at the liberal site Slate, which took Biden to task for rewriting his record on the war in Iraq. Biden had claimed in an interview with NPR that he voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq in 2002 because he was assured by then-President George W. Bush that he would not actually use military force. “[Bush] looked me in the eye in the Oval Office. He said he needed the vote to be able to get inspectors into Iraq to determine whether or not Saddam Hussein was engaged in dealing with a nuclear program,” Biden told NPR.
Biden claimed that once U.S. forces invaded Iraq, he “immediately” came out against the war. Slate’s chief news blogger Ben Mathis-Lilley described Biden’s version of events as “so twisted,” and proceeded to thoroughly debunk it.
So … given that it’s extremely at odds with both the public record and the themes of his campaign, why is Biden claiming that George W. Bush fooled him into accidentally voting to start a war? Probably because the most central theme of his campaign, and indeed the theme of his entire career, is that Joe Biden represents the common-sense majority consensus of the American public against extremists on both sides.
It may be the theme of his campaign, but it certainly isn’t the reality. Biden was propped up as the moderate alternative to the crazies running for president, but Biden has repeatedly adopted more radical positions to appease the increasingly radical base of the Democratic Party. If Biden were a true centrist, he would have had to drop out like the other “moderate” Democrats have.
Between his flip-flops, gaffes, and outright lies, how much more will his party accept?
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis