Biden: US better off now than four years ago

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 4, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT: You want to know whether we're better off. I got a little bumper sticker for you. Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.



NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Say what you will of the vice president. He can whip up a crowd. And he was doing just that today to say that that is the signature achievement of this administration. A world-class terrorist is gone and a world-class company is back.

To Tom Ridge, the former homeland security secretary, our nation's first, of course, the former Pennsylvania governor as well, out of Washington.

Secretary, what do you make of that, that that is the best of all worlds and Barack Obama and this ticket take a bow?

TOM RIDGE, FORMER U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF: Well, Neil, I had to chuckle at the vice-president's choice of words.

I would probably need a slightly different bumper sticker, but I'll use his words. Let's say that the job market is dead, the housing market is dead, and for 23 million unemployed Americans, the American dream, if not dead, is expiring.

And, by the way, what is alive? The deficit is alive from $10.6 trillion to $16 trillion. The Iranian nuclear program is alive and well. And our dependency on foreign fuel and foreign oil is alive. So I think the vice president chose his words carefully. I just think the real truth, if you're looking in the rear view mirror, is that he needs a bigger bumper sticker.

CAVUTO: But, you know it's interesting, Secretary.

I really think, from the people I have talked to on the floor here when we have been down there, that this whole terrorist thing and the fact that this president has taken out a lot of bad guys, is something they really want to push and remind Americans that post-9/11 we have more than followed up on the Bush crackdown.

What do you think of that?

RIDGE: Well, I think -- I always give credit where credit is due. And Usama bin Laden is dead. That's a fact.

There's also the fact that the infrastructure involving thousands and thousands of intelligence, law enforcement, and military personnel and their ability to collaborate together began under the previous administration.

I also think the fact that Iran remains the most significant exporter of terror behind the atrocities in Syria, continuing to support the Hezbollah and Hamas; certainly, the Democrats don't want to mention that.

And when it gets to giving credit where credit is due, in terms of decisiveness and decision-making, let's look at the decisions where he has either not been decisive or chose to kick the can down the road. Simpson-Bowles, let's wait four years. Let's deal with Iran. Let's wait four years. Let's tell our good friend Vladimir Putin, missile defense, why don't we wait four years?

How about that pipeline to enhance our energy capability? Let's wait four years. So, decisive based on an infrastructure that he inherited, and I give him credit for saying go, although I don't think it was a terribly difficult decision, if you have got a 75 percent chance of getting Usama bin Laden, but we want a decisive president, someone that's going to make big, tough decisions, and not worry about the next election in the process of making them.

In that regard, he doesn't get an incomplete. He gets a failed.

CAVUTO: All right, Tom Ridge, always good having you. Thank you very, very much.

RIDGE: Nice talking with you, Neil. Thank you.

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