Vice President Joe Biden sharply criticized Mitt Romney in a foreign policy campaign speech at New York University today, saying Romney has a “profound misunderstand of the powers of the President as the Commander in Chief.”
Biden dredged up a Romney quote from 2007, when the former Massachusetts governor said “a president is not a foreign policy expert.”
“Well, if we want somebody who has a lot of experience in foreign policy, we can simply go to the State Department and pluck out one of the tens of thousands of people who work there. They, of course, have been doing foreign policy all their careers. But that’s not how we choose a president. A president is not a foreign policy expert.”
“In my view, the last thing I think we need is a president who will subcontract our foreign policy to some expert at the State Department,” Biden said.
“That kind of thinking may work for a CEO, but I assure it cannot and will not work for a president,” Biden added, after describing how Obama makes important foreign policy decisions in solitude, after his advisers have all weighed in. “And it will not work for a Commander in Chief.”
Biden also mocked Romney for calling Russia the United States’ primary geopolitical threat.
“As my brother would say, ‘go figure,’” Biden said, drawing laughter from the audience. “Sometimes, I don’t know if it’s a slip of the tongue or a mindset he calls the Russians, Soviets.”
Romney’s opposition to the latest Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty made him, in Biden’s view “one of a small group of Cold War holdovers who have never met an arms control treaty they liked.”
“He’s either woefully misinformed, or he totally misunderstands,” Biden added, about Romney’s knowledge of missile defense issues.
Biden also attacked Romney for saying in 2008 that “it’s not worth moving heaven and earth” to catch bin Laden, quoting the President, and them himself from that year. “I was a little more direct,” Biden said, “We will follow the SOB to the gates of hell.”
“We can’t say for certain what Governor Romney would have done,” Biden added.
Biden suggested that Romney is engaged in “loose talk about a war” with Iran, which is counterproductive to actually preventing Iran from getting nuclear capability.
“This kind of Romney-talk is just not smart,” he said.
Biden also said that it is time follow President Theodore Roosevelt’s guidelines and “speak softly and carry a big stick,” with regards to Iran.
“I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you,” Biden said.