April 7, 2009
"I don't think he is out of line, but he is dead wrong. This Administration the last Administration left us in a weaker posture than we've been anytime since World War II: less regarded in the world, stretched more thinly than we ever have been in the past, two wars under way, virtually no respect in entire parts of the world."
Vice President Joe Biden, taking on former Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview with CNN
"Obviously we've spent a lot of time trying to get Afghanistan right. But I think it's important for us to remember that there's still a lot of work to be done here."
President Obama, telling reporters why he made a surprise trip to Iraq at the end of his European tour
The VP lays down the gauntlet in his response to his predecessor's recent criticism of the new Administration, particularly his assertion that the country is less safe under President Obama. Biden tells the cable network it was the Bush Administration that "left us in a weaker posture."
For his part, Obama makes a surprise visit to Iraq after spending the morning in Istanbul. While there, he visits Camp Victory to rally the troops including Biden's son Beau and assures them, "As long as I am in the White House, you are going to get the support you need." He also sits down with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani during the unannounced stopover. Obama concedes there's "still a lot of work to do" in the country but notes that there has been some political progress.
Meanwhile, the mostly dormant former Cuban leader Fidel Castro makes headlines by meeting with three members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus while on a visit in Havana. It's Castro's first known meeting with American officials since he fell ill in July 2006.