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Biden: McCain to neglect urgent global issues

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman says the Republican presidential candidate would continue President Bush's practice of pursuing war in Iraq .
Image: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Joseph Biden.
Former presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., says, 'When it comes to Iraq, there will be no change with a McCain administration.'Joshua Roberts / Reuters
/ Source: The Associated Press

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden says Republican Sen. John McCain would continue President Bush's practice of pursuing the war in Iraq at the expense of other urgent global issues.

"When it comes to Iraq, there is no daylight between John McCain and George W. Bush. They are joined at the hip," Biden said in excerpts of remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday at Georgetown University.

"When it comes to Iraq, there will be no change with a McCain administration ... and so there is a real and profound choice for Americans in November."

McCain, the certain Republican presidential nominee, backs Bush's policy in Iraq and favored last year's increase in U.S. troops in the country.

"John McCain remains wedded to the Bush administration's myopic view of a world defined by terrorism. He would continue to allow a tiny minority to set the agenda for the overwhelming majority," Biden said.

"It is time for a total change in Washington's world view. That will require more than a great soldier. It will require a wise leader."

Biden accused the Bush administration of squandering the ability of the U.S. to shape such emerging issues as the increasing influence of China and India, the resurgence of Russia, the unification Europe, the spread of dangerous weapons and lethal diseases, the impact of climate change, and shortages of secure sources of energy, water and food, among others.

Instead, the war in Iraq "stands like a boulder in the road between us and the credibility we need to lead in the world and the flexibility we require to meet our challenges at home," Biden said.

"We should debate the consequences of drawing down in Iraq," Biden said. "But more importantly, we should talk about what both President Bush and Senator McCain refuse to acknowledge: the increasingly intolerable costs of staying."

Biden dropped out of the Democratic presidential race after Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses. He has not taken sides in the contest between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination.