Posted: November 8, 2007 5:34 PM
Biden Takes on Republican Front-Runner Giuliani
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., critiqued former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the latest Democratic debate in Philadelphia. He pronounced the Republican candidate “genuinely not qualified to be president” and insisted that “there’s only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, and a verb and 9/11.” The quip was easily the funniest line of the night and well received by the audience at Drexel University.
Biden’s remarks were piercing enough to elicit a rebuttal from the Giuliani camp. The former mayor’s communications director, Katie Levinson, shot back: “Rudy rarely reads prepared speeches, and when he does, he isn’t prone to ripping off the text from others,” a jab at Biden’s infamous plagiarized speech in 1988 that derailed his campaign for president.
Levinson continued her analysis of the debate: “Senator Biden certainly falls into the bucket of those on the stage tonight who have never had executive experience and have never run anything. Wait, I take that back, Senator Biden has never run anything but his mouth.” She wasn’t finished, “Such a desperate attack from Senator Biden is to be expected considering I — Katie Levinson — have a better chance of becoming President that he does.”
Senator Biden had also accused Giuliani of taking credit for making New York City safe, when “it was the Biden crime bill, that became the (Democrat New York Senator Hillary) Clinton crime bill, that allowed him to do that.”
It appears the Biden camp is currently assuming the strategy of Clinton, who routinely wears Republican criticism as a badge of honor. In this case, Senator Biden preemptively struck Giuliani, and for the most part, the leading Republican candidate has taken notice.
Biden also sought to highlight his international policy credentials this week. Beginning with the current crisis in Pakistan, where President Musharraf declared emergency rule over the weekend, Biden spoke on Sunday with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and on Tuesday afternoon, he spoke over the phone to Musharraf himself, urging the general to restore the rule of law in his country.
Biden explained the consequences Musharraf’s decision to declare emergency rule and suspend the constitution will have on the United States: “This administration has a Musharraf policy, not a Pakistani policy. Its hands are pretty well tied right now. And it’s put itself in a very difficult position and in turn us in a difficult position,” he told the Associated Press.
On Iraq, Biden continues to promote his plan to divide the country into three semi-autonomous regions for the Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni sects. “This war has gone on longer than World War II. I’ve been pushing my exit strategy: Get our troops out of this civil war,” he told a group of supporters rallying in Osceola, Iowa. “We certainly don’t want our sons and daughters going to Iraq, but we also don’t want our grandkids going there, either.”
Last week the senator picked up another key endorsement from Iowa State Senator Herman Quirmbach who called Biden “our best hope to restore America’s credibility in the world - credibility we’re going to need if we’re going to lead on nuclear issues, terrorist, global warming, energy and a host of others.” Quirmbach becomes the twelfth Iowa State Legislator to endorse Biden’s bid for the nomination.