Biden faults Bush on Iraq

President Bush has staked out a hardline position on Iraq that is out of step with even his top military advisers and leaves the United States few options, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said in Iowa Tuesday.

“With him digging himself in (Monday), he went even beyond what I’m confident his military advisers are saying, that under no circumstances are we going to leave,” Biden said.

Biden’s comments came as he opened his latest swing through Iowa in Cedar Rapids, where he campaigned for congressional candidate Dave Loebsack.

Biden said he had traveled to war torn Iraq this summer. During the trip, he said, he spoke with a string of key military leaders, a trip that has helped lead him to a different view of the conflict.

“We’ve talked to every other commander and they are saying ‘Look we’re becoming part of the problem,'” Biden said. “They said we should be drawing down our troop numbers by September.”

Biden argued that Bush’s stance is so rigid it will be difficult for him to change — and that it will lock the United States into a deadly war for the foreseeable future.

“He doesn’t have much of a theory but he’s got a lot of opinions and he holds to them very firmly,” Biden said.

Biden has made it clear he is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. To boost that effort, and make up ground on other aspirants who have already laid ground work, Biden has planned to spend much of August in Iowa, where precinct caucuses are expected to launch the presidential nominating season.

Biden said he was spending much of his time campaigning for Democratic congressional candidates because it was critical Democrats took back at least one chamber of Congress.

“The message is the importance of electing a Democratic Congress, because this guy (Bush) has got two more years and can really screw things up,” Biden said. “It’s gigantic.”

Tuesday’s event benefited Loebsack, a Cornell College professor and longtime Democratic activist, who is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Jim Leach in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.

Loebsack, who is an underdog in his race, has been the beneficiary of visits from several Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Biden, Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (news, bio, voting record), and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

Their support is priceless, Loebsack said.

“It rallies the base, they love to come to events like this,” he said.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press