Transcript: Sen. Biden on 'FOX News Sunday'

The following is a transcribed excerpt from 'FOX News Sunday,' September 26, 2004:

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: We turn now to Sen. Joe Biden (search), senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and a key foreign policy adviser to John Kerry (search). He joins us from Wilmington, Delaware.

And, Sen. Biden, welcome. Always good to have you with us.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN, D-DE: Good to be with you, Chris.

WALLACE: This is the week that John Kerry became the anti-war candidate, in some cases seeming to contradict what he has said earlier in the campaign.

BIDEN: How's that?

WALLACE: Let's look at what Kerry said this week about the fall of Saddam Hussein (search) and what he said last December when he was running against Howard Dean (search). Let's look.


U.S. SENATOR JOHN KERRY (D-MA): The satisfaction that we take in his downfall does not hide this fact: We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.

KERRY: Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president of the United States.


WALLACE: Sen. Biden, how do you reconcile those two statements as anything more than saying what would get you the most votes at two different times?

BIDEN: Well, that's easy. There's nothing at all contradictory at the time. The assumption was, when Saddam Hussein was knocked out, that we'd act rationally and we'd manage the situation in Iraq, that there wouldn't be chaos.

And the fact of the matter is, that what we have done, we have traded a dictator, who, in fact, no one wanted to stay there, happy they're gone, like to have him gone, thinks it's good we're gone, and it's resulted in chaos because of the incredible mismanagement, as Dick Lugar said, of this president.

That's a statement of fact. It's very, very good he's gone. Kerry's happy he's gone. Kerry would have done everything to get rid of him. But he would not have mismanaged and sent so many mixed signals that this administration has, so that the end result is today we have something close to chaos in that region.

WALLACE: But, senator...

BIDEN: That's totally consistent.

WALLACE: First of all, the situation back last December when he was saying this was bad. That's why Howard Dean was doing...

BIDEN: No, nothing like this. It wasn't even remotely like this, Chris. It wasn't remotely like this.

WALLACE: Forgive me, but there were heavy casualties. That's why Howard Dean was doing so well.

BIDEN: Chris, there weren't. There are 700 causalities since he said that. Seven hundred casualties since he said that, Chris. Over probably somewhere in the order of 6,000 or 7,000 wounded since then, Chris. Five, six, seven, eight times the number of bombings, Chris.

Come on, as they say where I come from, get real. It wasn't remotely the situation it is now.

At the time, you had the international community saying they wanted the G-8 and the neighbors to get together. They weren't talking about anything massive. John Kerry back then, Joe Biden back then said, "We should have the G-8."

I met with Allawi right after — in Baghdad with him immediately after he got sworn in. He said to me he wanted a regional meeting. He asked if I could help. He said the G-8 should be involved. I came back and wrote a report to that effect. The administration and Rumsfeld said, "We don't want any meeting over there." And now all of a sudden they're deciding on a meeting?

At the time that John Kerry said that back in December, it was the expectation was we would have spent by now $12 billion to $14 billion rebuilding Iraq. This administration has spent less than $500 million of the appropriated money.

WALLACE: Senator Biden, let's talk about the allies, because John Kerry says that the key difference between what he would do in Iraq and what President Bush has failed to do is he would engage the allies.

I want to play for you two comments that John Kerry made this week, first talking about Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi and then talking about the Saudi government.


KERRY: The prime minister and the president are here obviously to put their best face on the policy.

KERRY: As president, I will do what President Bush has not done. I will hold the Saudis accountable.


WALLACE: Is that how Kerry intends to engage the allies, sir, by insulting them?

BIDEN: Do you think the Saudis are our allies?

WALLACE: Do you not?

BIDEN: I do not think they're our full allies. We're talking about NATO. We're talking about our friends who have the capacity to help somehow. We're talking about people who are real allies, guys who can raise guns and shoot straight and help kill the bad guys with us. Come on.

WALLACE: What about Prime Minister Allawi, who's risking his life and who...

BIDEN: He is risking his life.

WALLACE: If I may just ask the question, sir...

BIDEN: You already did, but go ahead.

WALLACE: Well, no, I didn't get it out.


... who President Kerry, if he's elected, would have to deal with.

What about Prime Minister Allawi, is he an ally?

BIDEN: I've met with President Allawi — sure, he's an ally. All John Kerry pointed out — look, President Allawi's in a tough spot. He comes over here on the eve of the election. He's put in a position where, what's he going to do? Put a positive face public on it. He did. And God bless him, he did the right thing.

Privately with all of us he let his ministers speak. He said privately, look, the borders are porous. We now have all these international guys, the bad guys, the Al Qaida types in our towns. We're in a position where we have parts that are no-go zone.

And he says, I sure hope — to all of us, to the leadership — I sure hope you actually spend the money now; we need more money spent now. He laid out in detail what he needs and what has not been done for the last 10, 12 months or so since he's been president.

But God love him. Look, when I saw him, you ask Frist, who's the leader of the Senate. We actually met each other in the hall. He walks over and gives me a bug hug and he said, "I know this man. He knows my country. He's my friend."

BIDEN: I've been this guy's friend before he became prime minister. This guy has more guts than most people have —- any other 10 people.

But the truth of the matter is, just like Karzai came — Karzai's an old friend. The first time Karzai came, he said everything's going fine. He gets back home and calls me. And he said, "I'm not getting the help I need." And I said, "Because he told everybody things were going fine, Mr. President." So he says, "Will you help me tell people it's not going fine?" He comes back the second time and says, "By the way, we need more help."

Look, this guy's in a tough, tough, tough spot. John Kerry wasn't criticizing him. John Kerry was pointing out — why is it you guys — I mean, here the president of the United States of America stands up there and sends this signal to the entire world that our intelligence community isn't worth a damn, all it does is guess. And you guys say when he says, "Well, he really meant to say estimate," you say, "well, OK."

Kerry says something, you know what he means, and you make it sound like he's indicting Allawi. That's malarkey, pure malarkey. He wasn't indicting Allawi. He was saying, "Level with the American people, Mr. President, for god's sake.

And the last thing I want to make this point: I find the way the opposition is dealing with this is really, really dangerous. They're telling everybody that basically if Kerry becomes president of the United States, he's not going to stick with Iraq.

I personally was authorized by Kerry in front of all my colleagues to say the first thing in a private meeting, I said, "Mr. President, you know me." And he said, "Yes, I do." I said, "I guarantee you that John Kerry as president — you will continue to have the full support of the United States of America in order to be able to establish a representative republic. He said, "Thank you, and I know it."

WALLACE: Senator Biden, let me get one last question in here. We've got less than a minute left.

John Kerry says he's going to finish the job in Iraq. Let me ask you specifically, what would he do about Fallujah? Would he send in troops now?

BIDEN: He...

WALLACE: Would he call in for more troops?

BIDEN: Well, first of all...

WALLACE: Would he wait until the Iraqi — excuse me, sir. Would he wait until the Iraqi troops are trained? What specifically would he do in these so-called no-go zones?

BIDEN: John Kerry would have listened to his Marines at the time when in fact they said we should have finished the job then. John Kerry will listen to his military on the ground. John Kerry will listen to the people who know, not the politicians in the White House.

WALLACE: Sen. Biden, thank you so much. I think you ought to stick to the decaf. You're really keyed up today. Thank you so much.

BIDEN: Well, I tell you, these guys so misrepresent things, it just is disgraceful.

WALLACE: Thank you, sir.

BIDEN: Thank you.