There was once a time when politics stopped at the water’s edge. An unwritten rule was observed in past days that American politicians did not go to a foreign land and jump ugly on America’s president. Those days are long gone and no one was worse than Barack Obama about going overseas and apologizing for our country. Former Vice-President Joe Biden sounds a lot like Barack Obama these days.
Good ole Joe is in Munich attending the Munich Security Conference along with others, including Vice-President Pence who delivered a different message to the conference attendees. Biden appealed to the open borders crowd and implied that America’s moral leadership has diminished because the current president is securing our border.
Biden told the Munich Security Conference that the America he sees “stands up to the aggression of dictators and against strongmen who rule by coercion, corruption and violence.”
He said his country “values basic human decency, not snatching children from their parents or turning our backs on refugees at our border. Americans know that’s not right.”
Biden continued, telling the crowd that securing our borders makes the U.S. “an embarrassment.”
“The American people understand plainly that this makes us an embarrassment. The American people know, overwhelmingly, that it is not right. That it is not who we are.”
Biden said: “While I cannot speak today as an elected government official who is able to set policy, I can speak as a citizen. I can offer insight into my country. I know we’ve heard a lot today about leadership, but in my experience, leadership only exists if somebody — and others — are with you. Leadership in the absence of people who are with you is not leadership.”
Thanks, Joe. Shouldn’t he, as a career politician remember that the number one promise he made to Americans as he was sworn in for his many, many terms in office was to keep America safe? Border security and enforcing current immigration law is the duty of a president. Joe does know that, though, as President Obama was known as the deporter-in-chief by the open borders crowd during his time in the Oval Office but that was then and this is now. I don’t recall Biden speaking out against the Obama administration’s enforcement of deportation or using tools like cages and tents on the border so that illegal aliens are detained, not released into the country.
Biden elaborated on his vision for life after President Trump.
“The America I see is not in wholesale retreat from the interest and values that have guided us time and again, to be willing to shoulder our responsibility of leadership in the 20th century, and we can do that again. We must do that again,” Biden said in remarks at the Munich Security Conference. “The America I see does not wish to turn our back on the world or allies, our closest allies. Indeed, the American people understand that it’s only by working in cooperation with our friends that we are going to be able to harness the forces of a rapidly changing world, to mitigate their downsides and turn them to our collective advantage.”
“I strongly support NATO. I believe it is the single most significant military alliance in the world,” he said. “I think it is the basis upon which we have been able to keep peace and stability for the past 70 years. It is the heart of our collective security.”
Biden has always fancied himself a foreign policy expert though his track record shows him to frequently be on the wrong side of history. Most recently he has the Obama administration’s deal with Iran hanging over his head. He boasted about his foreign policy cred in Munich, too, with an eye on the 2020 presidential election.
“I’ve done more foreign policy than I think anybody who’s actively around in politics,” Biden said during a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio, last fall.
Recent talking points circulated by Biden’s team tout his foreign policy experience as an asset for a possible campaign.
“He has represented the United States admirably on the world stage, and can look any world leader in the eye with credibility and goodwill,” the document reads.
I would like to know which dictators President Trump is not standing up to today. He has leveled more stringent sanctions on Russia, for example, than Obama who famously was caught on a hot mic saying he’d have more leeway after the election, telling Russia’s foreign minister to deliver that message to Putin. Trump is still talking to Little Rocket Man in North Korea. And he is encouraging the ouster of the failed socialist government in Venezuela. As far as NATO goes, Joe Biden should be pleased that President Trump demanded that the other nations pony up their fair shares of monetary support and has been successful in doing so.
Biden also participated in a panel on election integrity. When asked if he will be a candidate in 2020, he demurred. He wanted to focus on how President Trump’s policies can be “altered”. Biden is 76 years old right now. He would be the oldest person elected to the presidency if he was to successfully run against President Trump. Is an old white man running from the middle the kind of candidate today’s Democrat presidential primary voters want? He doesn’t think there is any rush to jump into the fray. I haven’t heard much from the candidates who have already declared their candidacies about an interest in foreign policy. They are too busy promising an increase in social welfare programs and using taxpayer money to do it. It’s the 2020 Democratic Socialist version of America First.
“No, I haven’t reached a decision. I am in the process of doing that and I will, in the near term, let everyone know what that decision is,” Biden said in a response to a question from CNN. “I think there is a sufficient amount of time to do that. And I think we have a tendency, particularly in the States, to start the whole election process much too early. I think we should be focusing now on what needs to be done to alter some of the policies that are being promoted by the President.”
Vice-President Mike Pence also spoke at the conference. He spoke before Biden and was not as warmly received as Biden. That isn’t exactly a surprise. He delivered a more upbeat message and brought greetings from the president.
Pence’s speech had a somewhat cooler reception. When he delivered a line sending greetings from President Trump, the room responded with tepid applause. Pence’s speech focused largely on the idea of “America first, not America alone.”
“And with this renewed American strength, both military and economic, President Trump has been leading our NATO allies to renew their commitment to our common defense as well,” Pence said.
Great meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ukraine President @poroshenko, Afghan President @AshrafGhani, & @NATO Sec. Gen. @Jensstoltenberg. Under @POTUS Trump, America is STRONGER than ever before and America is LEADING on the world stage once again. pic.twitter.com/A2lAql7n62
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 16, 2019
And Ivanka Trump is promoting her program for women’s economic empowerment. She met with Chancellor Merkle and other German leadership as well as participating in panels. One tweet from Ivanka is in German.
Es war eine Freude, wieder mit Kanzlerin Merkel zu treffen. Sie ist eine fantastische Verfechterin von Berufsausbildung & #WomensEconomicEmpowerment in 🇩🇪 & in aller Welt. Ich habe im Zuge unseres Gesprächs so viel von ihr gelernt & freue mich auf unsere Zusammenarbeit. Danke! pic.twitter.com/mOJb5GxYfP
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) February 16, 2019
Biden may think he has all the time in the world to declare his candidacy for 2020 but he may want to pick up the pace. I think he’s leaning toward running – his ego may demand it – and he can appeal to working-class voters who went for Trump last time. He can secure a spot as the non-Socialist running for president. Meanwhile, President Trump’s numbers have ticked up in the latest polling after the latest skirmish over border security and he is a tireless campaigner. If Biden gets in, it will be interesting to watch as he decides if he will remain as a traditional, working-class Democrat or moves further left to keep up with the others in the Democrat field.