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Biden rips Bush

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee absolutely tore into President George W. Bush for his comments from Israel, which appeared to take a swipe at Obama.

Bush said this morning, "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement."

An exasperated Biden skewered Bush over that in a conference call with reporters, calling the comments "pure politics," "blatant," "beneath the presidency," "truly disgraceful," "outrageous," "disturbing," "ridiculous hypocrisy" and "long-distance Swiftboating." He even said Bush "oughta get a life."

"For this president to go on the attack against Barack Obama," Biden said. "It cannot go unanswered." [Possible veep audition?]

Coupling Bush's comments with McCain's assertion that it's clear who Hamas wants to be president, Biden said he sees "an ugly pattern emerging."

He said the president should "get in touch with his administration."

"I assume he's going to fire his Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense," Biden said. "They want engagement of Iran."

He went on. "This is the kind of political rhetoric which continues to masquerade as policy," Biden said. "All they have is masquerades."

And… "This is why we're in the situation we're in," he said, as he criticized Bush for "demonizing" Democrats.

Bush "should try to figure out how to dig us out of the God awful hole this president has gotten us into." He added that when he travels abroad, "I don't criticize the president" --no matter how much they might disagree on various facets of foreign policy. In fact, he said he has defended the president when abroad.

Biden also sharply criticized Bush's -- and John McCain's, for that matter -- Mideast policy, or in McCain's case lack thereof, Biden said. He called Bush's policy an "abject failure," "truly delusional" and "backwards."

"The president's saber rattling has been the most self-defeating policy imaginable … spurs instability in the Middle East … increase in price of oil … plays into the hands of those Iranian leaders he rails against.

"Since when, since when has talking removed no from the American vocabulary.

More: "This is the same president, who talks about appeasement, the same one who asks me to get on a plane and talk to Qaddafi," Biden said. "The same president who made a deal with Qaddafi. He writes letters, 'Dear Mr. Chairman' to Kim Jong Il.

"He oughta get a life here … Under George W. Bush's watch, Iran, not freedom has been on the march … They're a lot closer to the bomb… He calls Maliki our guy … Whose policy produced that? Whose watch was that? … Iran's proxy Hezbollah is on the ascendancy. Don't take my word for it, look at NIE … Afghanistan, Pakistan, Al Qaeda is stronger now.

"We should take zero backseat to this pres, talking about appeasement. … Under him, Israel is less safe."

Biden also admitted to initially calling Bush's comments "bull----."

"I reacted viscerally," he said. "But the essence of what I said was accurate. I should have said malarkey."