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

Veteran political reporter Paul Steinhauser said Tuesday that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina 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 SandersNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina 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 Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Bring on the brokered convention 18 progressive groups sign unity pledge amid Sanders-Warren feud 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 WarrenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE (D-Mass.), former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina Sanders says gender 'still an obstacle' for female politicians Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders Buttigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism MORE (D-Minn.) and billionaire Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerBiden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina Buttigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE.

—Tess Bonn