Veteran political journalist: Biden needs 'firm answer' on Iraq War record

Veteran political reporter Paul Steinhauser said Tuesday that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE needs to address his record on the Iraq War once and for all going into tonight’s Democratic primary debate in Iowa.

Steinhauser argued that Biden has been “all over the map” on his 2003 vote in favor if the invasion of Iraq.

“He needs to have a firm answer tonight, explaining why he voted in 2002 the way did to try to put this to rest, otherwise it’s going to continue to come up as he has been dating back to last summer,” the New Hampshire-based reporter told Hill.TV.

Steinhauser’s comments come as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE’s (I-Vt.) 2020 campaign ramps up attacks against Biden over his vote in favor of the Iraq War. The Vermont independent has repeatedly targeted the former vice president over his 2002 vote to authorize military action in the country, a measure Sanders voted against at the time.

Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to the Sanders campaign, issued a statement over the weekend, accusing the former vice president of trying to “rewrite history” over his vote in favor of the war.

"It is appalling that after 18 years Joe Biden still refuses to admit he was dead wrong on the Iraq War, the worst foreign policy blunder in modern American history," Weaver said in a statement late Saturday.

A day after the statement was released, Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDemocratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents John Kerry: Democratic debate 'was something of a food fight' MORE came to Biden’s defense, saying that Sanders was “distorting” the former vice president’s record.

The issue is likely to come up again in tonight’s Democratic debate, where six candidates are poised to face off.

Biden will take the stage along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE (D-Mass.), former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE (D-Minn.) and billionaire Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE.

—Tess Bonn