During the presidential election last year Vice President Joe Biden attacked Mitt Romney for being "ready to go to war" in Syria. He offered no specifics.
"He said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in Afghanistan and bring them home. He implies by the speech that he's ready to go to war in Syria and Iran," Biden said Sept. 2, 2012 speaking in York, Pennsylvania.
"He wants to move from cooperation to confrontation with Putin's Russia. And these guys say the president's out of touch? Out of touch? Swiss bank account, untold millions in the Cayman Islands. Who's out of touch, man?"
Biden more clearly defined his own Syria position in his vice presidential debate with Rep. Paul Ryan. He was asked why the need to intervene in Syria was not the same as in Libya where it was justified to prevent further massacres. (At that the time the death toll in Syria was 30,000. It has now passed 100,000 deaths.)
"Different country. It's a different country," Biden said. "It is five times as large geographically, it has one-fifth the population, that is Libya, one-fifth the population, five times as large geographically.It's in a part of the world where they're not going to see whatever would come from that war. It seep into a regional war."
"You're in a country that is heavily populated in the midst of the most dangerous area in the world. And, in fact, if in fact it blows up and the wrong people gain control, it's going to have impact on the entire region causing potentially regional wars," Biden added.
Biden said the Obama Administration was working with allies in the region to identify people to takeover in the "when" Assad fell.
"We are working hand and glove with the Turks, with the Jordanians, with the Saudis, and with all the people in the region attempting to identify the people who deserve the help so that when Assad goes — and he — there will be a legitimate government that follows on, not an Al Qaida-sponsored government that follows on."
Ryan and Biden said they agreed upon the Obama Administration's "red line" against chemical weapons.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
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