Obama-Biden War-Funding Split Draws Fire

By Arnab Datta

Aug 22, 2008 5:22pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis, Arnab Datta, and Rigel Anderson Report: The GOP is planning to step up its attacks on Barack Obama’s war funding record if the presumptive Democratic nominee taps Joe Biden to be his running mate.

"Our argument will be that the Biden pick only underscores how inexperienced Barack Obama knows he is," a Republican official told ABC News, previewing the GOP’s possible line of attack. "Obama’s vote against funding our troops was an example of inexperience and poor judgment. The fact that his more experienced running mate made the right call highlights Obama’s mistake."

"Whereas to date that vote hasn’t gotten a lot of attention," the Republican official added, "now it will."

Obama national security spokesperson Wendy Morigi declined to comment when contacted by ABC News, saying, "We’re not commenting on any aspect of any potential V.P."

Biden, who serves as chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, is not the only vice presidential prospect who was at odds with Obama on the May 24, 2007 war funding vote.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., for example, also broke with Obama by voting to fund the U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Biden, however, is seen by Republicans as offering more ammunition on the war funding issue.

That’s because Biden, as a former White House hopeful and staple on the Sunday morning talk shows, has been more pointed than any other Democrat in contrasting his views on war funding votes with those of Obama.

"I am not going to fail to protect these kids as long as we have a single, solitary troop in Iraq," said Biden during a Sept. 9, 2007 appearance on "Meet the Press."

"This isn’t cutting off the war," he added. "This is cutting off support that will save the lives of thousands of American troops."

Watch it here.

Biden’s son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, is set to deploy to Iraq by October as a JAG Captain, according to a spokesman for the state’s National Guard.

The GOP’s possible plans to target the Obama-Biden split on war funding include emailing youtubed versions of Biden’s remarks to reporters, putting it in a web video for supporters of the Republican Party, and, perhaps, even using it in a television ad.

"We have it pulled and ready to use as necessary," said the GOP official, referring to Biden’s remarks on "Meet the Press."

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