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

CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch The Memo: Fears of violence grow amid Trump race storm Jake Tapper on Trump's rhetoric: 'No more dog whistles, just naked racism' MORE pressed Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonStanley McChrystal endorses Moulton for president 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally 2020 Democratic candidates rip Trump remarks at campaign rally MORE (D-Mass.), a 2020 White House hopeful, on Sunday on whether he thought then-Sen. Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Biden campaign rips 'Medicare for All,' calls on Dems to protect Affordable Care Act Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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.