September 24th, 2008
01:20 PM ET
15 years ago

Biden: McCain's foreign policy judgment 'dangerously wrong'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Biden spoken in Ohio Wednesday and took Sen. McCain to task over foreign policy."]
CINCINNATI, Ohio (CNN) – Joe Biden called Republican nominee John McCain “dangerously wrong” on foreign policy Wednesday.

Watch: Biden slams McCain's foreign policy

The comment came as part of a wide-ranging foreign policy and national security speech Wednesday morning focused on the judgment of the two presidential candidates, billed by the Obama-Biden campaign as the second of two “framing” speeches.

"To me it is absolutely, unequivocally clear that Barack Obama is more prepared to be commander in chief of the United States of America than John McCain,” said Biden.

Biden weaved together sections on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and Georgia, dissecting the issues, praising Barack Obama’s judgment and foresight, and slamming McCain for “saber-rattling” and “bluster.”

“I'm just as convinced that the policies John would pursue as president would be wrong for America,” said Biden. “I'm just as convinced that nowhere, nowhere more so than our security and our standing in the world, would John McCain dig us into a deeper hole.”

Biden argued, as he and Obama do regularly, that the central front in the war on terrorism is on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, not in Iraq. He said that a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq must be implemented – noting that President George Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are currently negotiating such a plan – so that troops can be withdrawn and military and financial resources can be focused on Afghanistan.

“On this, John McCain is more than wrong,” said Biden. “He is dangerously wrong.”

The Delaware senator called for a “diplomatic surge,” promising a strengthening of relations with allies and talks with Iran while criticizing McCain for not encouraging either. Biden remarked that five former Secretaries of State encouraged a conversation with Iran and that Bush sent an envoy to meet with Iranian officials.

“John McCain's saber rattling is the most self-defeating policy I can imagine,” said Biden. “It forces the Iranian people who hate their government to unite behind their government. It takes away the voices of the moderate forces in Iran.”

“It's amazing how little faith John McCain has in himself and his foreign policy team that they're afraid to sit down,” he later added. “We can still say no, we can still say no.”

Biden warned that dealing with Russia would require close work with European allies and NATO as well as talking to Moscow directly. He condemned McCain’s call to kick Russia out of the G-8, saying it would have been ineffective and harmful to the U.S’s relationship with Europe, and derided the Arizona senator for saying last week he would not commit to meet with Spain’s president.

“A NATO ally who has Spanish forces in Afghanistan fighting side by side with the United States, John McCain said he will not meet with that leader. What kind of judgment is that? What kind of bluster is that?” asked Biden. “ Ladies and gentlemen, John McCain's notion in how to deal with our allies as well as our adversaries is rooted in something that I just simply do not understand.”

The McCain camp’s response to Biden’s speech centered on Iraq, noting Biden’s 2002 vote for military action.

“[Senator Biden] has abandoned his criticisms of Senator Obama, and his own firmly held beliefs in order to reflect Barack Obama's record of trying to legislate failure in Iraq and ambition-first style of leadership,” McCain spokesman Ben Porritt wrote in an e-mail to reporters.

Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. mitchell


    September 24, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Deb, Allentown, PA

    Joe did an awesome job. He will be ready to be President on Day 1, unlike the VP candidate for the Republicans who continues to be sheltered from the press.

    September 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Paris

    Biden you are an idiot.

    September 24, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. scoot

    I watched this speach, Does anyone else think that Bidin sounds like Max Headroom? -pp-p-p-p-pl-ease,,,,, wwwwwhat www-wwe neeed

    September 24, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. America think for you

    $700 billion to bail out wall street how about main street? America do you realize that that $700 billion that you will spend will be use to bail out Chinese banks and other foreign banks bad business and then they will sell these business back to us American. We should not let this to happen because the same mess will come back again in wall street. Wall Street greed, big CEO Payout need to have control over them. This $700 billion just show you that the republicans do not care. Congress please do not let George Bush rush you and us American into this mess. Bush has four months in power and he does not care of whatever mess that $700 billion will make.
    Is that package has a plan to bail out main street as well? The economy cannot run good without main street confidence. If main street do not have money that $700 billions is a waste.

    September 24, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. karen raleigh

    Could someone tell me apart from being a pow during the nam war-did McCain fight and for how long????

    September 24, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. ohio

    go biden go hammer the fraud

    September 24, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. jon

    would be interested to see how often Biden voted with McCain.

    He did say he would serve with McCain if asked...

    Poor Biden.

    September 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Candia

    “We can still say no, we can still say no.”

    I find that one of the most important aspects of the speech. Why is there such a reluctance to talk with opponents? It's not as if that automatically compromises the plans and values and strategies of America. It's a way to go forward, and if no consensus can be reached this way, you can say you tried your best, but it didn't work out – that, in fact (quoting here) that you can still say "no!". At the same time, you have gained insight and so your future position becomes clearer.

    September 24, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. K

    I didn't realize this guy was still around...

    September 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. bert

    McCain is runing from the debate and they are trying to keep Palin out of the spot light!!!!!!! P.O.T.U.S. is something that is too serious to put on hold. MCCAIN IS CRAZY AND THIS IS A PLOY TO KEEP HIS FALLING NUMBERS FROM FALLING MORE. SUSPENDING HIS CAMPAIGN WILL NOT MAKE THE 700B PLAN GO ANY SMOOTHER. HE HAS ONE VOTE AS A SENATOR BUT THE PRESINDENT HAS A LOUDER VOICE. Obama needs to keep the pressure on the slick GOP. They are hiding Palin and now they want to hide McCain. The GOP are weak and they are trying to pull a fast one. ELECTING A PRESIDENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN A MERE 700 BILLION DOLLARS. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY THIS NATION MAKES AND IS CAPABLE OF MAKING? VOTE FOR OBAMA 08 AND 2012.

    September 24, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. dave g, Minneapolis

    How about inviting Bob Barr to the debates and get a third perspective? For a decision so important to the future, I'm surprised that we the people are only allowed to hear two of the many candidates that have ballot access participate in the debates.

    For that matter, it's not really a debate. It's a Q&A where the candidates can't ask each other questions.

    September 24, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. david Armendale, SF, CA

    McCain's strategery:

    a) deny your Republican identity when it's a political incumbrance

    b) don't let reporters any where near your joke of a VP

    c) Cut and run from a debate when things aren't going your way

    September 24, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. Barack Uda

    ...and dangerously stupid!!!

    September 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. AJ

    To Mr. Mccain, foreign policy is not a conversation but a set of preformed opinions. There are far too man shades of grey to let a man who sang "Bomb bomb Iran" to take the lead.

    September 24, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Cathy in Pennsylvania

    Couldn't agree more with Joe Biden ...McBomb Bomb Iran scares me to death...........Obama has what it takes to work with Foreign leader, calm,cool, stay level headed and be rational dealing with Foreigh leaders and keep us safe.... McCain can't wait to hit the Red Button and put more of our Service men and women in danger and maybe next time we will not be able to prevail and keep it out of our Country........If McCain is elected I fear that life as we know it well be gone.................McCain / Palin = WAR and Endless Debt, Obama / Biden = Peace and Prosperity

    Voting Obama and Biden

    September 24, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. Texas

    McTemper would not meet with Spain PM because he thought Spain was a LatinAmerica country hostile to the US. Spain is a NATO ally with troops in Afghanistam. What a dumb idiot!

    September 24, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  18. Texas for Obama

    God help us if McLoco becomes president, World War 3 for sure

    September 24, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |