Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed President Trump as “dangerously incompetent” in a speech Tuesday, in which the Democratic presidential hopeful presented his foreign policy experience as a foil to what he said was “Trump’s folly” in killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Biden blamed the current crisis in the Middle East on a series of missteps that began with Trump backing out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, a move the former vice president said planted “the seeds of danger.”
“I have no illusions about Iran, I never have. The regime has long sponsored terrorism and threatened our interests. They continue to detain American citizens. They have ruthlessly killed hundreds of protesters,” Biden said. “But there’s a smarter way to counter them, to counter Iran.”
Biden said Trump had “no strategy, no endgame” and his “constant mistakes and poor decision making” have left the United States “with a severely limited slate of options to move forward with, and most of those options are now bad.”
But Biden’s foreign policy record has already come under scrutiny from some of his Democratic rivals, particularly U.S. Bernie Sanders and now former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who have both criticized Biden’s vote in favor of invading Iraq in 2002. Sanders in particular has become more vocal in his attacks as the Democratic presidential hopefuls seek to make their case as the best commander in chief amid the Iran crisis.
Biden told the president to “stop tweeting so he doesn’t box us in with these threats,” to rejoin the nuclear deal and to focus on de-escalation.
“You have to explain your decision and your strategy to the American people. That’s your job as president, Mr. President, not ‘Dear Leader’ or ‘Supreme Leader.’”
Biden played up his own foreign policy bona fides, citing his eight years in the executive branch under former President Barack Obama, and his 36 years in the U.S. Senate, during which he was chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“I understand better than anyone that the system will not hold unless we find a way to work together to advance our national interests,” Biden said.