From NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro
While Joe Biden is defending Obama over the Illinois senator's lack of subcommittee hearings on the issue of Afghanistan, opponents of Obama's candidacy have reminded us of some unflattering things the then-Biden campaign said on this topic.
On Aug. 1, 2007, when Obama unveiled his counterterrorism agenda, the Biden camp fired off a snarky email congratulating him for his "Johnny-come-lately position" on Afghanistan, noting that during two Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Afghanistan and other subjects, Obama didn't ask questions about the Taliban, Al Qaeda, or Afghanistan. (We also wrote on it here.)
"We find it a little disingenuous that Sen. Obama is hailing this as a new bold initiative when he has neglected to join his colleagues in the Senate when the opportunities have been there to redirect our forces into Afghanistan" Biden campaign manager Luis Navarro said at the time. "It's good to see Sen. Obama has finally arrived at the right position, but this can hardly be considered bold leadership." Ouch.
Biden's office passed along this response: "I doubt many people would be surprised to find out that Senator Biden and Obama ran against each other last year," Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander wrote First Read. "Unlike Senator McCain, Senator Obama understands that the responsibility of the next president goes beyond being commander-in-chief for Iraq -- he has to be commander-in-chief for America's security in the world. That's why he supports re-centering our foreign policy and beginning a responsible redeployment of American combat forces from Iraq."