NEW YORK – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has launched an online petition drive to rally support for legislation he co-sponsored to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by next March.
In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, the Delaware senator called the Iraq conflict "the big boulder in the road" and said it must be resolved for the U.S. to regain credibility on the world stage.
"I am convinced there is a fundamental disconnect between where the American people are and where the president is on this war," he said. "What I'm trying to do is to visibly pound away, every single day, to get this president and my Republican colleagues to change course."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has scheduled a vote on the resolution sponsored by Biden and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Only a handful of Republicans are expected to support the bill, which would seek to bring almost all U.S. troops home by March 31, 2008 while leaving a residual force to help train and equip Iraqi troops and participate in counter-terror operations.
Biden is also continuing to push his plan to divide Iraq along ethnic lines, with a central government responsible for border security and allocation of oil.
Biden dismissed his standing in national polls, which show him trailing far behind front-runners Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.
"The front-runner status is virtually meaningless at this point," Biden said, while adding he did not mean to "criticize or denigrate" Clinton or Obama.
The online petition drive is at www.endingthewar.com.