"Big old bullfrogs"


Stephen W. Stromberg
June 30, 2004 9:47PM (UTC)

According to a recent round-table interview in Rolling Stone, Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden had a recent "frank exchange of views" of his own with Dick Cheney, and in the Oval Office no less. But as far as we can tell, unlike Cheney's recent outburst, Biden didn't need any four-letter words to get his point across.

Here's what the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says he told Bush and Cheney in a recent visit: "I was in the Oval Office the other day, and the president asked me what I would do about resignations. I said, 'Look, Mr. President, would I keep Rumsfeld? Absolutely not.' And I turned to Vice President Cheney, who was there, and I said, 'Mr. Vice President, I wouldn't keep you if it weren't constitutionally required.' I turned back to the president and said, 'Mr. President, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are bright guys, really patriotic, but they've been dead wrong on every major piece of advice they've given you. That's why I'd get rid of them, Mr. President -- not just Abu Ghraib.' They said nothing. Just sat like big old bullfrogs on a log and looked at me."

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He hasn't given the president a pass in the past, either: "About six months ago, the president said to me, 'Well, at least I make strong decisions, I lead.' I said, 'Mr. President, look behind you. Leaders have followers. No one's following. Nobody.'"


Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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