POLITICS

Rep. Seth Moulton Slams Joe Biden's Pro-Iraq War Vote

The 2020 Democratic candidate's critique came after Biden publicly changed his mind about the Hyde Amendment.
Rep. Seth Mounton (D-Mass.) praised 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden for changing his view on the Hyde Amendment, but slammed
Rep. Seth Mounton (D-Mass.) praised 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden for changing his view on the Hyde Amendment, but slammed him for supporting the Iraq War.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) laid into former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday for his 2002 vote to give then-President George Bush the authority to invade Iraq, but praised his 2020 opponent for reversing support for the Hyde Amendment.

Biden announced Thursday that he could no longer support the Hyde Amendment he voted for in 1976, which prohibits federal funds from being used for abortion procedures, after pressure from his fellow candidates.

Moulton, who jumped in the race in April, congratulated Biden for “doing the right thing.”

“It takes courage to admit when you’re wrong, especially when those decisions affect millions of people,” Moulton wrote on Twitter. “Now do the Iraq War.”

Biden’s long voting record as a senator from Delaware has become a target for Moulton and other progressive Democratic presidential candidates.

Moulton was called out this week in a CNN interview for hesitating to criticize Biden’s support for the Iraq War, in which the congressman served. Moulton called the war a “mistake” after declining to weigh in because he was nowhere near Biden’s position in Congress at the time.

Biden was one of a number of Democratic senators who initially backed the Iraq War and later expressed regret for the decision. 

“It was a mistake,” Biden told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in 2005. “It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly.”

“We gave the president the authority to unite the world to isolate Saddam [Hussein]. And the fact of the matter is, we went too soon. We went without sufficient force. And we went without a plan,” he added.

Moulton served in Iraq as a Marine. On the campaign trail, he’s told the story of leaving an injured Iraqi boy writhing in pain in the middle of a road, and how the experience contributed to his post-traumatic stress disorder. Driving around the boy was the right decision, he said, because stopping could have endangered his platoon.

“I’ll be haunted by the image of that boy until the day that I die. But now I control what I think of,” Moulton said at a Massachusetts town hall last month where he highlighted a plan to improve mental health care.

“I don’t think about it every single day,” he said, explaining that therapy has helped him. “I can choose moments like this to bring it up.”

In a video posted Thursday, Moulton told Vice News he hesitated to reveal his PTSD diagnosis from the war because it might be a political risk. 

But he told the outlet: “Fuck it. It’s the right thing to do.”

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