New presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden says rival Sen. Hillary Clinton's plan for Iraq would be a "disaster," as he filed papers to form an exploratory committee today for a run for the White House in 2008.
"I think it would be a disaster if it is her plan" to cut off funding for local Iraqi forces, Biden told "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer. "I think it's counterproductive."
Biden has sponsored a nonbinding resolution to oppose the president's call to send more troops to Iraq. When it comes to Iraq, Biden believes the only solution is a political one.
"We should insist on a political settlement between the Sunnis and the Shias," he said. "We ought to be bringing all the parties together. … There is no military solution to Iraq."
Biden also said he believed that Iran, which President Bush believes has been aiding insurgents in Iraq, had an advantage because of the way the United States had handled the war.
The United States should "sit down and talk to [Iran]. … We did that when we were in Afghanistan," he said. "They're in the catbird seat because our policy in Iraq is flawed."
Biden on Clinton and Obama
Despite his open dislike of her plan, Biden had many good things to say about Clinton.
"She is fully qualified to be president. … We have a heck of a field out there, and she is clearly the front-runner," he said. "I'm the only one that's laid out a detailed plan."
Biden joked about his entrance into the 2008 race for the White House.
"I'm the 800th candidate," said Biden, who is the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "As you know you've got to file the formal papers to raise the money and that's what I've done today. Everyone is calling it exploratory, but I'm not exploring. … It's a marathon."
Biden called Sen. Barack Obama "incredible."
"He's fresh. He's new," he said. "I think experience does matter. … But it also relates to judgment. … He's a really incredible person."
Although Biden has been criticized for being long-winded, he said that politicians too often reduced things to sound bites. The sophisticated American public, he said, deserves more than that.
"On complicated issues, I'm going to give them straight answers," Biden said.