Sunday, October 10, 2004
October 10 2004: Meet The Press Transcript.
MR. RUSSERT: I want to bring you back to Tuesday night when you were talking about the war in Iraq, as compared with the war against Osama bin Laden. And let's listen:UPDATE: Here’s John Edwards on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, October 13, 2003: Hardball: Sen. John Edwards. (Hat tip: LGF)
(Videotape, October 5, 2004):
SEN. EDWARDS: Our point in this is not complicated. We were attacked by al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. We went into Afghanistan and very quickly the administration made a decision to divert attention from that and instead to begin to plan for the invasion of Iraq.
MR. RUSSERT: Your point being that the war in Iraq was a diversion from the war on terror against Osama bin Laden?
SEN. EDWARDS: Correct.
MR. RUSSERT: I want to bring you back to October of 2002 to something you said then.
SEN. EDWARDS: Yes, sir.
MR. RUSSERT: "Others argue that if even our allies support us, we should not support this resolution because confronting Iraq now would undermine the long-term fight against terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Yet, I believe that this is not an either-or choice. Our national requires us to do both, and we can."
So you were urging the president in October of 2002 to fight the war against terror in Afghanistan and...
SEN. EDWARDS: Yes, sir.
MR. RUSSERT: ...embark on the war in Iraq.
SEN. EDWARDS: No, sir.
MR. RUSSERT: Now, you're saying it's a diversion.
SEN. EDWARDS: No, I would respectfully disagree with what you just said, Tim. What I said was it was important to continue to wage an aggressive war against terrorism, to win the war against terrorism, and also to confront Saddam, who was a serious threat and that's why the vote on the resolution, both John Kerry and I still stand behind. It was the right thing to do to confront Saddam Hussein....
MATTHEWS: Were we right to go to this war alone, basically without the Europeans behind us? Was that something we had to do?
EDWARDS: I think that we were right to go. I think we were right to go to the United Nations. I think we couldn’t let those who could veto in the Security Council hold us hostage.
And I think Saddam Hussein, being gone is good. Good for the American people, good for the security of that region of the world, and good for the Iraqi people.
MATTHEWS: If you think the decision, which was made by the president, when basically he saw the French weren’t with us and the Germans and the Russians weren’t with us, was he right to say, “We’re going anyway”?
EDWARDS: I stand behind my support of that, yes.
MATTHEWS: You believe in that?
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about-Since you did support the resolution and you did support that ultimate solution to go into combat and to take over that government and occupy that country. Do you think that you, as a United States Senator, got the straight story from the Bush administration on this war? On the need for the war? Did you get the straight story?
EDWARDS: Well, the first thing I should say is I take responsibility for my vote. Period. And I did what I did based upon a belief, Chris, that Saddam Hussein’s potential for getting nuclear capability was what created the threat. That was always the focus of my concern. Still is the focus of my concern.
So did I get misled? No. I didn’t get misled.
MATTHEWS: If you knew last October when you had to cast an aye or nay vote for this war, that we would be unable to find weapons of mass destruction after all these months there, would you still have supported the war?
EDWARDS: It wouldn’t change my views. I said before, I think that the threat here was a unique threat. It was Saddam Hussein, the potential for Saddam getting nuclear weapons, given his history and the fact that he started the war before.