Vice President Joe Biden has an eight-year American administration legacy to defend and he did exactly that Monday in Orlando, denouncing denigrations of the United States’ power and strength and calling Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “dangerously uninformed.”
Speaking to a small gathering of no more than a couple hundred people packed into an old country-and-western show bar called the Cheyenne Saloon in downtown Orlando, Biden accused Trump of already being dangerous, saying he’s feeding into myths held by many in the Middle East about America, and forcing American leaders to reassure nervous allies.
“I’ve never seen a candidate who knows so few facts,” Biden said. “I don’t believe ever in the history of the United States of America has a major party candidate been less informed, dangerously informed.”
Biden specifically criticized Trump for his “unabashed admiration” of Russian President Vladimir Putin; his lack of understanding of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and occupation of Crimea; and his dismissal of protection of the Baltic states against Russian aggression.
Biden said he personally traveled to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to reassure leaders that, “no, [Trump’s view] is not only not our administration’s position, it’s not the view of any Republicans, except Donald Trump.”
He also blasted Trump’s statements that President Barack Obama founded ISIS. While Trump has half-heartedly dismissed them as sarcasm, his comments actually fueled such a myth already held by many in the Middle East, making a difficult situation worse, especially in the administration’s attempts to appeal to friendly Muslims in the region, Biden said.
“One of the ways to put our people in harms way in the is to tell Sunnis in the region, tell the Shia in the region, that we really are supporting extreme, extreme groups like ISIS,” Biden said.
He didn’t stop there. Biden also took Trump to task for his comments in last week’s debate, and his post-debate comments, in which he called not paying taxes “smart,” and taking advantage of the housing crisis “good business,” and tried to shame former Miss Universe Alicia Machado in 3 a.m. tweets.
“The way he conducts himself, and the words he utters are truly beneath the dignity of the office of the president of the United States,” Biden said.
But Biden’s most passionate criticism of Trump focused on the Republican’s campaign broad theme of making America great again. In doing so, he said, Trump has denigrated the American military, “the finest fighting force in the history of the world,” and mistakenly portrayed the country’s future as in jeopardy.
“We’re going to own the 21st century,” Biden declared.
This is where Biden laid out what he believes is the America the Obama-Biden administration will be handing off, and how he believes Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will take it even further. He ridiculed predictions that other countries — notably China — are better positioned, saying the U.S. has the economic power and momentum, natural resources, research universities, and worker production levels to leave them far behind.
“I’m so sick and tired of hearing our nation talked down,” Biden said. “We’ve had candidates before who try to scare, but they never, never succeed, because we Americans don’t scare easily.”
Trump’s campaign responded with Susie Wiles, Florida senior advisor, declaring that Biden’s speech for Clinton “couldn’t send a clearer message that Hillary represents a third Obama term of stagnating job growth at home and continued weakness abroad.”