Former Vice President Joe Biden blasted Republican President Trump on Thursday, as the current front-runner for the Democratic nomination spelled out his vision for a sweeping overhaul of U.S. foreign policy.
In a scathing attack on the incumbent he hopes to boot from the White House, Biden accused Trump of conducting “erratic” and “chest-thumping” foreign policy driven by “Twitter tantrums.”
Biden said the “overarching purpose of our foreign policy I believe must be to defend and advance our security, prosperity and democratic values that the United States stands for. Every president, Democrat and Republican in modern history prior to Donald Trump, has understood and carried out this basic directive.
“Never before has it been so thoroughly abandoned,” Biden claimed during a 45-minute speech at the City University of New York. The address comes as the former veep tries to steady his campaign after a rocky debate performance last month. This has included more TV interviews as well as policy-focused events like his foreign policy address.
Pointing to the president’s 2018 meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Biden charged Thursday that Trump “repeatedly deferred to Vladimir Putin over American interests, the American intelligence community, and I would argue over the American people's interest. I would argue it was one of the most shameful performances by a U.S. president in modern history.”
Biden also accused Trump of falling “in love with a murderous dictator in North Korea.”
“From North Korea to Iran to Russia to Saudi Arabia, Trump has made the prospect of nuclear proliferation, a new nuclear arms race, and even the use of nuclear weapons, more likely, not less,” he added.
He charged that “Trump has taken a battering ram to the NATO alliance.”
He argued that the president “undermines our democratic alliances while embracing dictators who appeal to his vanity” and claimed that “the world sees Trump for what he is – insincere, ill-informed, impulsive, and sometimes corrupt.”
It’s no surprise that Biden would target what he calls the ‘Trump Doctrine.’
The current president has made undoing the Obama administration’s foreign policy a top priority. And Biden, who served for eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, played a key role in implementing agreements like the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accords. Trump removed the U.S. from both agreements.
Ahead of his speech, the Republican National Committee slammed Biden’s foreign policy record, saying “Biden doesn’t have any ground to stand on.”
“Joe Biden has consistently advocated for dangerous and destabilizing foreign policy strategies his entire career. His foreign policy track record and philosophy is a disaster and it’s one that America does not need to experience again,” the RNC’s Steve Guest said.
Biden vowed Thursday that if elected president, “I would remind the world that we are the United States of America and we do not coddle dictators. The United States of America gives hate no safe harbor.”
“I will make sure democracy is once again the watchword of U.S. foreign policy,” Biden said. “We have to restore our ability to rally the free world.”
While the former vice president said that “I’ll never hesitate to protect the American people, including when necessary by the use of force,” he also noted that “the use of force should be a last resort, not a first, used only to defend our vital interests.
And Biden vowed to “make it my mission to restore American leadership, elevate diplomacy as a principal tool of our democracy. I will reinvest in the diplomatic corps that this administration has hollowed out and put our diplomacy back in the hands of genuine professionals.”