Joe Biden branded President Trump an “existential threat” to the United States in his remarks prepared for delivery in Iowa on Tuesday. Biden has a peculiar understanding of what truly is or is not an existential threat. While serving as Barack Obama’s vice president, he claimed that “terrorism is not an existential threat.” Is Biden for real in saying he thinks that President Trump is an existential threat to America while ISIS never was? Say it ain't so, Joe!
In his Iowa tirade, Biden went after the president by name 76 times. He berated President Trump on a whole range of issues, including for his China tariff policies and stance on climate change. Biden added that President Trump knows less about economics than the "cashiers at Target.”
Let’s start with China. Biden has apparently had an overnight conversion on the competitive challenge posed by China, just as he did in suddenly reversing his many years of support for the Hyde amendment banning federal financing of abortions. It was only last month during a campaign rally when Biden declared that the Chinese are “not competition for us.” On Tuesday in Iowa, he said, “We are in a competition with China.” Which is it, Joe?
The Obama-Biden administration had eight long years to do what Biden is now belatedly telling his campaign audience in Iowa must be done – “to hold China to account for their cheating.” The Obama-Biden administration utterly failed, no matter how many times Biden boasts that he has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. At least, President Trump is trying to confront the Chinese threat head on rather than sweep it under the rug.
Biden bragged in his Iowa speech how the Obama administration “got the Chinese to agree for the first time to limit their carbon pollution.” Sorry, Joe, but you and your boss were played by the Chinese, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses. China committed merely to “achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030,” according to its own submission as part of the Paris climate agreement process. Obama had ordered drastic cuts in the use of coal by executive fiat with potentially serious dislocations to the American economy. China, which operates by single party government fiat, is taking things much more slowly to ensure as little adverse impact on its own economy as possible. President Trump does not oppose a sound environmental policy. He just does not want to put the United States behind the eight ball, which would have been the result if President Trump had not decided to withdraw the U.S. from the flawed Paris climate agreement.
Biden was off track on Russia as well. Like his boss Obama, Biden criticized Mitt Romney for stating during the 2012 presidential campaign that Russia was our major strategic adversary. “He acts like he thinks the Cold War is still on, Russia is still our major adversary. I don’t know where he’s been,” Biden said at the time. “They are working closely with us.” During Obama’s second term, Russia showed how much they were “working closely with us” by propping up the Assad regime in Syria, intervening militarily in Ukraine and illegally annexing Crimea, and interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
The fact is that Joe Biden often does not know what he is talking about when it comes to real-world threats. Robert Gates, a former defense secretary during the Obama administration, recently stood by his statement in his memoir that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." Biden proved the truth of Mr. Gates' observation when he advised Barack Obama against the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. Fortunately, even Obama knew enough not to listen to his vice president at least that one time.
Biden declared in his Iowa speech that he would get rid of the Trump tax cuts, which Biden falsely charged President Trump had “passed for the multi-millionaires and billionaires.” He promised “to build an economy that doesn’t just reward wealth.” Biden is relying on the Democrats’ tired ‘soak the rich’ class warfare demagoguery to drown out the fact that the economy under President Trump has soared, benefiting many Americans, with unemployment across the board at near historic lows.
Biden accused President Trump of “childishness” and “crude language.” What did Biden think he was doing when he was caught on an open mic exclaiming "This is a big f**king deal!" in congratulating Obama during the Obamacare signing ceremony? Was Biden the mature adult when he said back in 2016 that, instead of debating candidate Trump, “I wish we were in high school and I could take him behind the gym”? Look in the mirror, Joe.
Finally, Biden accused President Trump of actions that he claimed were an unprecedented “abuse of power.” He tried to draw a contrast with Barack Obama, who, Biden said, was “a President of extraordinary character and decency.” Could Biden have seriously been referring to that same former president who once famously said about Republicans, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun” and equated an election to a “brawl.”
Biden criticized President Trump for his “attacks on the independence of the Courts.” Yet it was Obama who broke standard protocol at one of his State of the Union addresses when he sharply criticized and mischaracterized a Supreme Court decision, with the Supreme Court justices sitting directly in front of him.
President Trump calls many in the media “the enemy of the people.” But such hot rhetoric is nothing compared to the Obama administration’s spying on journalists, seizing phone records, and labeling a reporter a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Biden accused President Trump of “deliberately and completely ignoring the legitimate authority of the Congress.” Yet it was the Obama administration that stonewalled congressional investigations of the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.
Just days ago, Biden posted a photo of a friendship bracelet with the names “Joe” and “Barack” for National Best Friends Day, further tying himself to an administration with a tepid economic record, disastrous foreign policies, and a pattern of abuses of power. They deserve each other. As president, Biden would make things even worse than they were under Obama.