'This Week' Transcript: Biden

BIDEN: I didn't take it personally at all. I really, honest to God, didn't, compared to what happens in politics, this is -- that was a piece of cake. And it wasn't so disparaging is that I -- I was the enemy. It wasn't that I -- I wasn't the clown. I was the guy who, in fact, was their problem, they thought. I'm not their problem. I agree with the policy the president put in place. But it was clear -- I was asked to and I did on my own survey, I think, six four star generals, including present and former, every single one said he had to go.

So we did -- we made -- the president made the right decision. He changed the personalities, but not the policy. He put the strongest guy in the U.S. military and a counter-insurgency policy in place.

So I think it was -- it was the absolutely necessary thing to do. The president didn't take it personally. I didn't. I met with McChrystal. The president met with McChrystal. He was -- he was really apologetic. He knew they had gone way beyond. But we also knew that if a sergeant did that, if a lieutenant did that, I mean no one could stay.

TAPPER: Why do you think they thought of you as the enemy, because you had been in favor of...

BIDEN: Well, because...

TAPPER: -- the counter-terrorism instead of the counter-insurgency?

BIDEN: -- they -- because I had been someone who -- who offered a plan that was different in degree. But, you know, again, I -- I -- someday I'll be able to lay out exactly what the plan I offered was. It would be inappropriate to do that because it was so close to what -- what, in fact, the plan ended up being that there was virtually no difference. But I got characterized because I was really very challenging to some of the assertions made.

If you notice, what we have is a counter-insurgency plan along the spine of the country, where the population is. It's not a nationwide counter-insurgency plan. We're not engaged in nation-building, which the original discussion was about. We have a rec -- we -- we have a date where we're going to go look and see whether it's working. And we have a timetable in which to transition.

All of those things were things I was supporting. All those things were -- so. And to -- to conclude, when -- when General Petraeus was picked the day in the office -- it was the day we were supposed to go downstairs into The Situation Room, they call it, to discuss the overall policy. Everyone was there. I pulled him aside and I said, David, there is no daylight between your position and mine.

And he said, I know that. Will you tell people that?

TAPPER: Let's switch over now to Iraq.

BIDEN: Yes.

TAPPER: This is your first news interview since returning from Iraq.

BIDEN: True.

TAPPER: There's a -- there's a tremendous stale mat -- stalemate there.

BIDEN: Yes.

TAPPER: Since the March elections, I believe the parliament there has only met for 20 minutes. And just this week in Washington, the Iraqi foreign minister, Zebari, pleaded for more U.S. engagement. He said: "We believe that there's a role for more engagement to help, to encourage, to facilitate, not to pick and choose the next government or the next leader, but really to play a greater role in the process."

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