September 24th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
10 years ago

Biden to hammer McCain over national security

Biden will get tough on McCain later Tuesday.

Biden will get tough on McCain later Tuesday.

(CNN) - Joe Biden is set to give what the Obama campaign is calling a major speech on national security in Ohio at 11 a.m. ET.

"This week, John talked about the judgment required to be Commander in Chief. He's right: nothing is more important than judgment. But time and again, on the most critical national security issues of our time, John McCain's judgment was wrong," Biden will say according to excerpts of the speech released by the campaign.

Read excerpts of Biden's speech after the jump



"Later this week, Barack Obama and John McCain will come together to debate a president's most important responsibility: how to keep Americans safe and America secure. It will be their first presidential debate – but in many ways it's a debate we've been having as a nation for the past eight years. And the outcome of that debate has already been decided. Now, just as most Americans believe we are on the wrong track at home, so too have they come to the conclusion that we've been heading in the wrong direction abroad."

"Our country is less secure and more isolated than it has been at any time in recent history. This administration has dug America into a very deep hole around the world at a time our leadership is needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. A central question for this election is which candidate will keep digging that hole.and which candidate will dig us out of that hole – indeed which candidate has the judgment and the vision to renew the promise of America in the world. It won't surprise you who I believe that candidate is: Barack Obama. But it is equally clear who that candidate is not: John McCain."

". the policies he would pursue as president would be wrong for America – nowhere more so than with our security and standing in the world."

"This week, John talked about the judgment required to be Commander in Chief. He's right: nothing is more important than judgment. But time and again, on the most critical national security issues of our time, John McCain's judgment was wrong. Right after the terrorists attacked us on 9-11, John responded by urging that we consider attacking countries other than Afghanistan, including Iraq, Iran and Syria. In the run up to the war in Iraq, John insisted that we would be greeted as liberators. that we didn't need a lot of troops. that victory was imminent. Then, he said he wasn't worried about Afghanistan. that we would "muddle through". and he declared Afghanistan to be "a remarkable success. In John's judgment, there is nothing to talk about with Tehran. And he has one idea for dealing with Russia: kick it out of the Group of Eight nations.

"In John's judgment, it is not the federal government's responsibility to protect us here at home. He voted again and again against fully funding cops and firefighters. against interoperable communications so that our first responders can talk to each other. against screening more cargo on planes and ships. against better security for our tunnels, trains, ports and chemical plants. It is John's judgment that six years into the war in Iraq, we should keep spending $10 billion a month. indefinitely. at a time Iraq is running an $80 billion surplus.

"And John McCain continues to insist, against all the evidence and all the facts, that Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism. and not the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan where the people who actually attacked us on 9-11 reside and are regrouping.

"John is more than wrong - he is dangerously wrong. On a question so basic, so fundamental, so critical to our nation's security, we can't afford a Commander-in Chief so divorced from reality and from America's most basic national interests."

"Time and again, Barack Obama has demonstrated the judgment we need in our next president. and the vision to see over the horizon."

"Seven years ago, Barack Obama opposed one of the most disastrous decisions in the history of American foreign policy: the diversion of our military might, our resources and focus from Afghanistan to Iraq. He was profoundly right. Now, he is right again: Barack Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly. He will be as careful getting out as George Bush and John McCain were careless getting in. He knows we should not keep spending $10 billion a month indefinitely while the Iraqis are running a $79 billion surplus – which is why he will start to shift responsibility to the Iraqis.bring our combat brigades home over a period of 16 months. lead a diplomatic surge with the world's great powers and Iraq's neighbors to press for a political power sharing agreement. and keep a residual force in Iraq to destroy any remaining terrorists, train Iraqis and protect our personnel."

"Barack Obama understands what John McCain does not: the next President must be more than the Commander-in-Chief for Iraq. He must be Commander-in-Chief for America's security around the world."

"Mark my words: if, God forbid, there is another major attack on America, it will not come from Iraq. It will almost certainly come from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border – where the Bush/McCain approach let down our guard and let our enemies off the hook."

And unlike John McCain – who opposed Barack Obama's call to take out the high-level terrorist targets in Pakistan and called it "bombing our ally" – we will not tolerate a terrorist sanctuary in Pakistan. If Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights."

"Barack Obama has been clear: no country poses a greater security challenge to the United States, Israel and our allies than Iran. Under the policies George Bush has pursued and John McCain would continue, Iran, not freedom, has been on the march. Iran is much closer to the bomb; its influence in Iraq is expanding; its terrorist proxy Hezbollah is ascendant in Lebanon; its ally, Hamas controls Gaza and launches rockets at Israel. Beyond bluster, what would John McCain actually do about these dangers? He doesn't say."

"The worst nightmare for a regime that thrives on isolation and tension is an America ready, willing and able to engage. Since when has talking removed the word "no" from our vocabulary? It's amazing how little faith John McCain has in himself and in America."

So ask yourself: based on the judgments they have made and the policies they have proposed, which candidate is more likely as president to end the war in Iraq responsibly. to focus America's full might on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. to unite our allies in dealing effectively with Iran and renew the promise of America in the world? The answer is clear.

"There's a short list of the forces shaping the 21st Century. No one country can control these forces, but more than any other country, we have an ability to affect them – if we use the totality of our strength. That means maintaining the finest fighting force in the world – not pushing it to the breaking point. rebuilding our alliances, partnerships and international institutions – not disparaging them. strengthening our diplomacy - not disdaining it. and using our economic might, not putting it in jeopardy.

Barack Obama understands that strength and wisdom go hand in hand. that the power of our example is as important and the example of our power. and that its only leadership when others join us in the struggle for freedom, security, prosperity, and progress. Barack Obama will keep our citizens safe. He will keep our country secure. And he will answer the yearning, at home and around the world, for an American foreign policy that is once again as good and strong as the American people."

Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain • Ohio
soundoff (482 Responses)
  1. shawna

    To Charlotte: No, Bullets are not cheaper if we are fighting in Afghanistan, however, we will be fighting one war not two. Plus we will be efficiently using our troups to get the real bad guys.
    Does that make sense now???

    September 24, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. therealist

    Compared to Joe Blow Biden.., Sarah Palin is looking better and better every day..

    September 24, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Rob

    And here's what apparently all the Obama/Biden backers think will happen if the annointed one wins.

    Hours after the results, all nations who habor ill will towards America declare that they now love America and promise never to leave it alone on a Saturday night, remember birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates, and to take it to prom. Of course they'll blow Israel off the globe, but since Obama wouldn't lift a finger to help the Israelis (since they favored Bush's policies and Rev. Wright told him not to), America will stay out of it.

    You know I could go on, but I live in the real world. That you people really believe Obama would do anything but sell us out or make us the weakest kids on the block amazes me. But then again, reading all of your comments here makes me wonder, there appear to be several villages missing their idiots. You all should probably call and check in.

    September 24, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    Go get em Joe!! Can't wait for him an moose burger barbie to debate

    September 24, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. maddie

    And there is any comparison with the other VP candidate? This must be an insult to Joe Biden. I really wish we could hear more of what this charismatic, intelligent man has to say.

    September 24, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. TAYO, NY

    McCain is too arrogant to be president.

    He is going to be bombing every where if he become the president.

    We can't afford to be more isolated than we are at the moment.

    Thia is one of the reasons Obama/Biden ticket has my vote>


    Obama/Biden 08

    September 24, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Matt in Pittsburgh

    Let's see –
    1) Clinton was handed Bin Laden and didn't want him. that lead directly to 9/11
    2) Jimmy Carter introduced the Community Investment program and Bill Clinton put it on steroids. that's what caused Fannie and Freddie to go belly up.
    3) Christopher Dodd and Lord Obama are the two largest recepients of compaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie. So you know they aren't going to be critical
    4) Charlie Rangle calls Gov. Palin physically handicaped, yet the conservatives are the smear merchants?
    5) Lord Obama calls himself a community organizer, which is exactly what John Gotti, Josef Stalin and V.I. Lenin were.
    6) Jesus was not a community organizer. He was a teacher and a carpenter. he had a real job.
    7) Pam Anderson, Lindsey Lohan, Matt Damon, Babs Streisand and Keith Olberman tell me to vote for Lord Obama – reason enough to vote straight republican.
    8) Germans and Finns like Obama. good for them. who cares?
    9) Let's talk scandals – Whitewater, Rose Law Firm billing, Purgery, Travelgate, Vince Foster, IMPEACHED President!!!

    And in closing – Carl Rove made me write this, no… it was Dick Cheney, no… wait a minute… it was Haliburton.

    September 24, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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