Tapper presses 2020 Democrat Seth Moulton over 'cop out' on Biden's Iraq War vote

CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCNN Pelosi town hall finishes third in cable news ratings race, draws 1.6M Defense secretary fires Navy chief over SEAL war crimes case Democrats look to next steps in impeachment MORE pressed Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonDeval Patrick beefs up campaign staff Lawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Pardoning war crimes dishonors the military MORE (D-Mass.), a 2020 White House hopeful, on Sunday on whether he thought then-Sen. Joe BidenJoe BidenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Top Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony The great AI debate: What candidates are (finally) saying about artificial intelligence MORE's vote for the Iraq War was good or not, calling Moulton's response a "cop out."

"You fought in Iraq even though intellectually you opposed the war. Joe Biden was in the Senate at the time, he voted to go to war in Iraq, was that a mistake?" Tapper asked during the network's "State of the Union," referring to the former vice president who is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

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"I have a lot of respect for Joe Biden, he's a mentor and a friend, but I do think that it's time for the generation that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to step in," Moulton initially responded.

"But was it a mistake for him to vote to go to war in Iraq?" Tapper asked again.

"Well, I wasn't in the Senate at the time so I'm not going to say that, but," Moulton began to answer before Tapper cut him off.

"I'm sorry, but that's a cop out. You were in the front lines, you have more of a right to make a judgement about that vote than anyone I've interviewed who is running for president," Tapper said.

"OK, fair," Moulton relented, "It was a mistake, because we should have been a lot more careful about going into Iraq, we should have questioned the intelligence."

Some Democrats have pointed to Biden's vote for the Iraq War in 2002 as a reason he may not be liberal enough to win the primary, given the party's leftward shift since then.

Biden is leading the Democratic field, averaging 35 percent support in recent polling, according to RealClearPolitics. Moulton averages 0.2 percent support.