Joe Biden; Stephen Colbert

Biden: Bush deserves 'a lot of credit'

By Christina Wilkie, The Hill

Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday night said that former President George W. Bush deserves “a lot of credit” for his handling of the initial Iraq war drawdown.
Speaking to Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, who conducted a rare serious interview with the vice president, Biden was asked what he would say to Bush as the United States meets a preliminary deadline set by President Obama in 2009 for the withdrawal of combat troops this week.
“Mr. President, thank you,” said Biden, addressing a hypothetical Bush. “I’ve known you for all eight years of your presidency, and I’ve never known a time when you didn’t care.”
Asked whether Bush deserves credit for the end of combat operations, Biden said earnestly, “You deserve a lot of credit.”
Despite expressing optimism over the end of the Iraq combat mission, Biden rebuffed a suggestion by Colbert that the U.S. had “won” the seven-year-long Iraq war, stressing, “We haven’t said we’ve won it. There are 50,000 troops still there, and until we keep President Bush’s commitment to get the guys out by next year, we haven’t won it.”
Biden was referring to an agreement signed by then-President Bush in 2008 citing the “aspirational goal” of having all U.S. troops out of the country by 2011, provided certain security terms were met.

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