Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said Monday he has no regrets for his support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“I don’t live in a regret world, and I didn’t make the decision,” Bloomberg said in a sit-down interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“America wanted to go to war, but it turns out it was based on faulty intelligence, and it was a mistake,” the billionaire former mayor added. “But I think the people that made the mistake did it honestly, and it’s a shame, because it’s left us entangled, and it’s left the Middle East in chaos through today.”
Bloomberg’s remarks follow fellow Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2002 vote for the invasion.
“Joe Biden voted and helped lead the effort for the war in Iraq, the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country,” Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday evening.
In response to criticism from Sanders and others, Biden has said that while he voted in favor of the invasion, he came to regret it soon after U.S. troops entered Iraq.
“Immediately, that moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment,” the former vice president has said. “From the moment ‘shock and awe’ started, from that moment I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress and the administration.”
However, Biden’s public statements tell a different story. During a July 2003 speech at the Brookings Institution, the then-Delaware senator said that he stood by his vote.
“Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force and I would vote that way again today. It was the right vote then and would be a correct vote today,” he said at the time.
Sanders, who was a congressman at the time of the vote, voted against the invasion.