Biden Targets Edwards on Troop Training

By Nitya

Jan 3, 2008 7:28am

ABC News’ Brian Wheeler reports: Senator Joe Biden continued to critique his Democratic rivals’ foreign policy Wednesday. This time his target: Senator John Edwards.

At an event in Burlington, IA, Biden said, "One of my colleagues who’s running for the Democratic nomination said he’s gonna end, he said to prove that he’s against the war….he’s not gonna allow any trainers, any American trainers to be in Iraq. I thought to myself…what’s he talking about? There’s a race among the candidates to try and tell you that they will end this war quicker than anyone else."

In an interview conducted Sunday, Edwards told the New York Times withdrawing American military trainers was part of his plan to remove all troops from Iraq. "To me, that is a continuation of the occupation of Iraq," Edwards told the paper.

Biden has been reticent to directly name his Democratic opponents when questioning their foreign policy statements. However when asked by ABC News about the possible consequences of pulling military personnel involved in troop training from Iraq, Senator Biden readily offered that he was referring to Senator Edwards.

"I really don’t understand John’s proposal," said the Delaware Democrat, "I was told…that he said he would immediately remove all American trainers from Iraq. They would be the last people you would withdraw from Iraq. The idea was build their force up while were leaving to be protecting us. I’m at loss to figure out what, allegedly, John said," Biden said.

Biden continued: "What we should be drawing down is our combat troops. But, pulling out trainers, it perplexes me. It’s a little bit like saying let’s get all the generals out first and then we’ll figure out how the troops will get out. I don’t get it."

In the past few days Senator Biden has worked gaffes on foreign policy by both Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson into his campaign speeches, although he never directly refers to them by name.

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