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

Veteran political reporter Paul Steinhauser said Tuesday that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel 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 SandersHillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel Biden wins Hawaii primary Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden 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 KerryThe continuous whipsawing of climate change policy Budowsky: United Democrats and Biden's New Deal Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil 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 WarrenPentagon charts its own course on COVID-19, risking Trump's ire Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Mass.), former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrat concedes in California House race MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharPoll: Biden leads Trump by 5 points in Minnesota The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US death toll nears 100,000 as country grapples with reopening It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Minn.) and billionaire Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE.

—Tess Bonn