Biden defends Obama’s record on Iran and Israel, attacks Romney
April 27, 2012 Leave a comment
By Lauren Appelbaum, Political Director
Washington, April 27 – On the campaign trail in New York, Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech Thursday comparing President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s foreign policy positions. However, he said “there’s no real difference” between the two men on “a few core issues” before discussing the president’s policies toward both Iran and Israel. As expected, Biden also claimed Romney “misrepresents the president’s approach or suggests that the president is not doing things that in fact he is already doing.”
Stating Iran as “the clearest example” of Romney misrepresenting Obama, Biden said the president has said containment is not his policy and is “determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon” and “no options are off the table.”
“When he took office, the effort to pressure Iran was stuck in neutral, Iran’s influence – and think about this, when he took office, Iran’s influence was spreading in the region,” Biden said during the campaign event in New York University’s Tishman Auditorium. “But President Obama understood that by seeking to engage Iran in the first interest, by going the extra diplomatic mile and presenting Iran a clear choice, we would demonstrate to the world that Iran, not the United States, was the problem.”
“Now, Iran is more isolated and the international community more united in their effort to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon than ever before. Tehran has deep difficulties acquiring equipment and technology for its nuclear and missile program. It’s increasingly cut off from the international financial system, unable to do the most basic business transactions.”
On Romney, Biden said the former governor has called for “‘a very different policy’ on Iran” but says that Romney’s policy is no different than Obama’s policy.
“The only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran. If that’s what Governor Romney means by a very different policy, he should tell the American people. He should say so. Otherwise, the Governor’s tough talk about military action is just that – talk. And, I would add, counterproductive talk.”
“No country is more concerned about a nuclear Iran than Israel, and rightly so,” Biden also said. “And no president since Harry Truman has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama.”
The vice president celebrated Obama’s stance at the United Nations, standing up for Israel during threats of delegitimization at the U.N. Security Council.
“President Obama has stood up to what is I think the gravest threat to Israel, the effort of the rest of the world to delegitimize it as a state and I might add, often stood up alone – alone – in fighting the effort to delegitimize Israel at the United Nations and other international organizations – single vetoes.”
As expected, Biden also took a shot at Romney for attacking Obama’s policies toward Israel.
“Israel’s leaders have called President Obama’s support for and cooperation with Israel ‘unprecedented.’ Gov. Romney though, said relations between the United States and Israel had ‘hit a low’ and went on to accuse President Obama of – this is a good one – ‘throwing Israel under the bus.’ That’s just one in a long litany of untruths about our administration’s policy toward Israel uttered by Gov. Romney and repeatedly debunked by reporters, policy experts, fact checkers across the country – and maybe most convincingly debunked by Israeli leaders.”
Regarding the other areas in the Middle East, Biden said Obama is “ratcheting up the pressure” on Bashar al-Assad in Syria and “engaging the forces for change in the Arab Spring and putting America firmly on the side of freedom around the world.”