Biden Says You Can’t Have Military Strikes Without Congressional Approval–the Exact Opposite of What He Said in 2008


During Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden said Donald Trump does not have the authority to go to war unless Congress gives approval–which is the opposite of what he said in 2008.

Biden was asked by debate moderators about the recent increased U.S.-Iran tensions due to President Donald Trump ordering airstrikes that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Many have criticized Trump for this because he did not seek approval from Congress before taking military action.

‘Only way to take a nation to war was with informed consent of the American people’

Biden said that unless there was a direct attack on America, the “only way to take a nation to war was with informed consent of the American people.”

“I ran the first time as a 29-year-old kid against the war in Vietnam, on the grounds that the only way to take a nation to war was with informed consent of the American people,” Biden said. “The informed consent of the American people.”

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What Biden Believed in 2008

Biden said in 2008 that, “It is precisely because the consequences of war – intended or otherwise – can be so profound and complicated that our Founding Fathers vested in Congress, not the President, the power to initiate war, except to repel an imminent attack on the United States or its citizens” (emphasis added).

The State Department claimed after the Soleimani killing that the Iranaian leader had been plotting “imminent attacks” on Americans. Biden continues to criticize the Soleimani strike, despite the State Department’s statement about “imminent attacks” squaring with what he believed in 2008.

Biden appeared to flip-flop on his former belief during Tuesday’s Dem debate that an “imminent attack” could be used to bypass Congress.

Obama-Biden Conducted Many Military Actions Without Seeking Congressional Approval

When Biden was Vice President for President Barack Obama’s administration, his administration made multiple military actions without consulting Congress, something CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer noted.

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Biden defended their actions by saying that there was “authorization for the use of military force” but said it only gave them permission “to deal with these other issues,” not “to go into Iran.”

“No, there was the authorization for the use of military force that was passed by the United States Congress, House, and Senate and signed by the president,” according to Biden. “That was the authority. Does not give authority to go into Iran. It gave authority to deal with these other issues.”

How slippery is this logic?

Sorry. You can’t have it both ways, Joe.

is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in conservative media and Republican politics. He... More about John Hanson

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