Speaking at New York University, Vice President Joe Biden gave an address on President Barack Obama’s foreign policy successes that directly refuted many of the claims made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. According to Biden, Romney has a “profound misunderstanding” of the role of Commander-in-Chief and a clear record of “distorting” the President’s record. Click here or below to watch the Vice President speak about the President’s record on Israel and Iran. Click here to read the full transcript. Scroll below for reporting on the speech.
Beth Fouhy of the Associated Press wrote:
In a campaign speech delivered at New York University Law School, Biden laid out a robust defense of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy record while eviscerating Romney for lacking vision and for ‘distorting’ Obama’s record in a way that has been counterproductive to U.S. interests.
‘If you’re looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,’ Biden said, saying Obama’s decisions on both foreign and domestic policy had made the U.S. safer.
Biden cast the former Massachusetts governor as an inexperienced foreign policy thinker who would delegate decisions to staff and advisers. He also hit Romney on his reputation for flip-flopping on issues.
‘We know when the governor does venture a position it’s a safe bet that he previously took or will take an exactly opposite position,’ Biden said, noting that Romney had originally supported setting a time frame for pulling U.S. troops from Afghanistan only to later criticize Obama’s plan to do so by the end of 2014.
Biden repeatedly used Romney’s own words against him, such as when Romney downplayed the significance of capturing Osama bin Laden during Romney’s 2008 presidential bid and, more recently, when Romney said Russia was the United States’ gravest geopolitical foe.
‘As my brother would say, “Go figure,”’ Biden said to laughs.
Biden made special note of Obama’s commitment to Israel’s safety and security, accusing Romney of twisting the president’s positions. Fouhy wrote:
On Israel, Biden said Obama has stood firm in support of the Jewish state - often alone and facing criticism from other allies. He noted that Romney had accused Obama of ‘throwing Israel under the bus.’
‘The governor is falling back on one of his party’s favorite tricks of late - distort and mischaracterize your opponent’s position. Keep repeating the distortions and mischaracterizations over and over again,’ Biden said.
‘We funded what’s referred to as the Iron Dome, a missile defense system that recently intercepted in those rockets coming out of Gaza, nearly 80 percent of the rockets fired from Gaza just a few weeks ago, saving homes, schools, hospitals and the men, women and children who inhabit them,’ Biden told an audience at New York University.
‘We’re collaborating right now and have been on longer range missile defense systems like Arrow and David’s Sling, and tying Israel into our early warning radar system,’ he continued. ‘The U.S. and Israel’s top political, defense, and security intelligence officers are engaged in the most consistent, comprehensive consultations ever.’
Biden also noted a joint exercise planned for the autumn, and Obama’s defense of Israel at the United Nations.
Biden also criticized Romney’s positions on Iran, firmly stating that the governor continues to attack the president without offering any difference in opinion or strategy. Fouhy wrote:
On Iran, Biden said Romney’s call for crippling sanctions and a U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon simply mirrored Obama’s approach.
‘The only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran. If that’s what Gov. Romney means by a “very different policy,” he should tell the American people,’ Biden said.
Romney and his team have charged that Obama has deferred extensively to European allies and others in how to deal with Iran.
Biden countered that Obama administration’s strategy of first rallying international support was more effective in isolating Iran.
‘Iran is more isolated and the international community more united in their effort to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon than ever before,’ he said. ‘Tehran has deep difficulties acquiring equipment and technology for its nuclear and missile program. It’s increasingly cut off from the international financial system, unable to do the most basic business transactions.’
To read the entire AP account of Vice President Biden’s speech, click here.
To learn more about the President’s record on stopping the Iranian nuclear weapons program, click here.
To learn more about how the President has strengthened the U.S.-Israel relationship, click here.
To read more of the Vice President’s past comments on the U.S. and Israel, click here.
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