Biden mourns consulate deaths at Ohio campaign stop
September 12th, 2012
03:22 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden mourns consulate deaths at Ohio campaign stop

Fairborn, Ohio (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden forcefully responded at a campaign event on Wednesday to the violence that killed four American diplomats in Libya. In his remarks, Biden offered both prayers and praise for those who lost their lives, then transitioned to his standard political critique against his Republican rivals.

"I feel like it's necessary to begin on somewhat of a somber note with a word about the news out of Libya and out of Egypt," Biden said early on.

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He continued by calling the four deceased diplomats "dedicated" and "courageous."

Biden explained that the late Ambassador Chris Stevens, who the U.S. said was killed in the Tuesday attack, previously worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden sat as its chair. Calling him a "really fine, fine man" and "brave," the vice president praised Stevens' steadfast work on the nation's behalf.

"Our ambassador was in Benghazi while the war was going on," Biden said. "Our ambassador risked his life repeatedly while war in Libya to get rid of that dictator was going on."

The vice president also offered prayers and praise for the three others killed: Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and two other victims who have not been named, pending family notification.

"These men are as brave and as courageous as any of our warriors that we've sent," Biden said. "And ladies and gentlemen, their loss tragically reminds us again of the incredible price that not only our warriors pay in the service of this great country - the price paid by foreign service officers and AID personnel," he continued, a reference to the U.S. Agency for International Development.

"Chris and Sean and their colleagues were exemplars of our nation's commitment to freedom and justice and to partnership with nations and people around the world in order, in order to make us safer at home," Biden said.

And the vice president was forceful against the perpetrators.

"Let me be clear, we are resolved to bring to justice their killers," Biden said. "And we will work, we will work with the Libyan government and our other partners to do just that. There is no place in the civilized world for senseless murder like what occurred last night."

The appearance is Biden's second trip to Ohio in the past five days, highlighting this particular battleground state's importance in the electoral math. After his remarks on the violence, he then turned to his normal critique of Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Biden told supporters that a president should be focused on both events abroad and on "building a nation at home to which the entire nation can look and aspire to be like." Voters "deserve leaders who tell you what they intend to do in both spheres," he continued, arguing that he and President Barack Obama see both areas of policy differently than do their Republican challengers, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

"Let me tell you what we are for, the president and I, and what we are against," he said. "We are for Medicare. We are against vouchercare."

In addition to Medicare, he argued differences existed between the two tickets on fiscal matters.

Biden also said that "serious people who took a serious look at" the issue of deficit reduction and the federal budget said it would require the government to both spend less and raise more revenue.

"The wealthiest among us, they're as patriotic as we are, but they have to get in the game," Biden said.

Also see:

– With attacks in Middle East, campaign turns to foreign policy

– Romney's political pretzel over Libya

– Democrats outraged with Romney foreign policy attacks

– Ryan ramps up foreign policy attack on Obama


Filed under: 2012
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Libya consulate bombing.

    September 12, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "The wealthiest among us, they're as patriotic as we are, but they have to get in the game," Biden said.
    --------------------
    He's right. Unfortunately, there are people like Sheldo Adelson who wants the US to fight wars for Israel, but also wants to personally pay very little or no taxes at all to pay for those wars.

    September 12, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. jinx88

    Alot better than having the other party bash Obama before giving condolences to the families of the deceased. Thats the Different between the Repuke party and Dem party. Mittens and Ryan take this moment take a shot at Obama foreign policy before knowing the details.

    September 12, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Arkansas Undertaker

    President Obama and Vice President Biden are proven Leaders in times like these. They have yet to try to Politicize any of these events while the nation and families mourn the loss of Four Courageous Diplomats. God Bless and Keep our President and VICe President.

    September 12, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    There is nothing we can do other than CAUTIOUS.

    September 12, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. RealityBites

    Meanwhile..., 400,000 children lack of teachers goes seemingly un-noticed by grieving Uncle Joe.

    September 12, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "He's right. Unfortunately, there are people like Sheldo Adelson who wants the US to fight wars for Israel, but also wants to personally pay very little or no taxes at all to pay for those wars."

    You have to understand: to people like Adelson and the Koch brothers, et al, the lives of middle-class and poor Amurikans are the currency to be spent on protecting their wealth. The idea that they shoudl spend their welath to protect their wealth doesn't enter the equation.

    September 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. RealityBites

    Senseless murder or Islamic 9/11 trubute? America waits for the answer...

    September 12, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Matt Roe

    President Obama is running the country and Governor Romney is running his mouth. So whats new?

    September 12, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. cali girl

    Wow, I wonder why the rightys are so game to go to war? I wonder how many of their own children will have to suit up to go fight something again and again. Bin Laden is dead, what more do you want? Bush could not and would not hunt him down to make him pay for the thousands he killed on 9/11. Obama had the brass to go in and take care of business.

    September 12, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. rla

    He and Obama should morn them because they were caused by four years of lame / liberal, progressive foreign policy!!! Only during the carter term did anything like this happen!!! Obama will vote present again- just wait

    September 12, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Pat

    Biden is a clown!

    September 12, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Reality – Are you suggesting the federal government take over a local school district, or are you just trying to find something that makes Mittens look like he is not a high school dropout?

    September 12, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. "When you walk through the door of opportunity, you do not close it, you reach behind you and help someone else" Michelle O!

    A new low for Fox, the are featuring a picture of the dead ambassador being drg through the streets!

    What has happened to human decency?

    No concern for his family or friends.

    Simply disgusting.

    September 12, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If you look at the Fox foreign owned media posters, I think we are beginning to see a 'right wingnuts for bigger government ' movement, along with their 'vouchers for seniors' medicare plan.

    September 12, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. myviewis

    Of course Obama and Biden are for Medicare, how else would Obama pay for Obamacare?????..."We are for Medicare. We are against vouchercare"

    September 12, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. dontbow

    yea obamya apologizes to muslims first before codemning the acts of violence. what a leader...puke.

    September 12, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. truth hurts

    >RealityBites - Meanwhile..., 400,000 children lack of teachers goes seemingly un-noticed by grieving Uncle Joe

    rest assured, he remains a strong supporter of the unions ability to send him hundreds of millions in campaign donations. the children he could care less about. he'll be long gone by the time they can vote or send him money.

    September 12, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    RealityBites

    Meanwhile..., 400,000 children lack of teachers goes seemingly un-noticed by grieving Uncle Joe.
    ----------------
    As well it should go unmentioned in a stump speech in Ohio. I know "you all" hold a different opinion, but it really is a local matter that federal politicians need to keep their noses out of unless asked by one of the opposing sides. I'm glad to see your concern for the kids, though. It speaks highly of you. You should be a Romney advisor because they chose to come down hard against the union, and ignored the kids and the families.

    September 12, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. myviewis

    cali girl
    Bin Laden is dead, what more do you want?
    -------------------------

    I totally agree with you Bin Laden is dead and they're still at it in Libya. Killing Bin Laden did not stop them from killing our Americans, our Ambassador is dead. Who knows what else is to come.

    September 12, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. tee1227

    Jon Kyl: U.S. Egypt Embassy's Response In Attack Is Like Judge Blaming Woman For Getting Raped. You talk about crazy the Republicans are.

    September 12, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. truth hurts

    >Rudy NYC - but it really is a local matter

    Really? Why wasn't Wisconsin and Scoot Walker a local matter?? Oh yeah, a Republican was involved versus a Democrat mayor, former aide to Obama and high profile Democrat figure. And now the unions strike actions are hurting kids and parents and the Democrats, unions and their MSM lackeys don't want that to be a story. It doesn't look good for them.

    September 12, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. cali girl

    Myviews, there is still turmoil and you can find it anywhere, even on our own soil.
    Both Egypt and Libya's governments apologized for the killings. It was a small group of extremeists, and of course Al Qaeda claims the bombings were there thing which they would love nothing more to do and spout off about.

    September 12, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "rest assured, he remains a strong supporter of the unions ability to send him hundreds of millions in campaign donations. "

    Rest assured, we all know quite well that that is the only part of the whole thing that you and the rest of the Teatroll care about. The children, as far as you're concerned, can go uneducated and indoctrinated by right wing approved churches.

    September 12, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |