Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Biden: 'I'm In Charge, Not Panetta'

Josh Green has a scoop.

On Monday he was speaking with Rep Barney Frank who had just come from a caucus meeting where every one was pretty much freaking out about the debt ceiling deal. Frank spoke to VP Biden and OMB Director Jack Lew.

As Frank tells the story to Josh,, Biden was at the caucus, and I said I was upset about Afghanistan and Iraq. So Jack Lew says, "Well, we're winding them down." I said, "What do you mean, you're winding them down? I read Panetta saying that he's begging the Iraqis to ask us to stay." At which point Biden asserted himself and said -- there's clearly been a dispute between them within the administration -- "Wait a minute, I'm in charge of that negotiation, not Panetta, and we have given the Iraqis a deadline to ask us, and it is tomorrow, and they can't possibly meet it because of all these things they would have to do. So we are definitely pulling out of Iraq at the end of the year." That was very good news for me. That's a big deal. I said, "Yeah, but what if they ask you for an extension?" He said, "We are getting out. Tomorrow, it's over."
I'm sure you all hope, as I do, that this is in fact the truth.

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