Biden: Obama Greatest Friend to Israel Since Harry Truman

Continuing his role as the President’s attack dog, Joe Biden delivered a biting speech today, aggressively criticizing Mitt Romney’s foreign-policy positions.

“He starts with a profound, a profound misunderstanding of the responsibilities of a president and a commander-in-chief,” Biden charged, referencing Romney’s comment last cycle that “If we want somebody who has a lot of experience in foreign policy, we can simply go to the State Department . . . But that’s not how we choose a president. A president is not a foreign-policy expert.”

“That kind of thinking may work for a CEO, “ Biden said, “but I assure you, it will not and cannot work for a president, and it will not work for a commander-in-chief.”

He argued that the Obama administration had been a steadfast friend to Israel, saying, “No president since Harry Truman has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama.”

Mentioning Romney’s January comment that Obama had thrown “Israel under the bus,” Biden attacked Romney as a politician willing to tell outright lies to gain votes.

It was likely, Biden said, that Romney was resorting to one of “his party’s favorite tricks,” namely choosing to “distort and mischaracterize your opponent’s position, keep repeating the distortions and mischaracterizations over and over again, even when every objective observer says you’re wrong, keep repeating in the hope that it will eventually stick.”

#more#Biden also criticized Romney’s rhetoric with regard to his proposed Iran policies. “The only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran,” Biden said. “If that’s what Governor Romney means by a very different policy, he should tell the American people.”

Throughout the speech, Biden depicted Romney as mired in the past, saying his foreign-policy vision was “through the glass of the rear-view mirror” and accusing him of maintaining a Cold War mindset. He criticized Romney’s position on the New START treaty, noting that prominent Republicans such as Richard Lugar (R., Ind.) had backed the treaty.

“Sometimes, I don’t know if it’s a slip of the tongue or it’s a mindset, but he even refers to the Russians as Soviets,” Biden said of Romney. Then, the famously gaffe-prone vice president added, ““Everybody sometimes slips. I never do, but everybody does.”

In fact, there was at least one likely unplanned line in his speech today that will make the White House cringe.

Saying that Obama heeded Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to “speak softly and carry a big stick,” Biden added, “I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you.”

The vice president also trotted out a new line that looks poised to become a common refrain: “If you are 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.”

In a conference call held before Biden’s speech, Romney adviser and Bush-administration ambassador Pierre Prosper criticized Obama’s record on foreign policy.

“President Obama has shown himself to be ineffective in this area, negotiating many times against himself and many times negotiating from a position of weakness,” Prosper said, according to a transcript of the call provided by the campaign. “He’s constantly giving while the others take and we get nothing in return. Meanwhile weapons are produced, atrocities are committed, as I said, democracies are being trampled and U.S. influence wanes. The result is that the United States becomes a spectator on issues of national security.”

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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