Biden slams Trump, issues contrast to 'America First' foreign policy

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s foreign policy agenda on Thursday and unveiled his own contrasting vision for the United States’s global role.

During a speech in New York City, Biden characterized U.S. foreign policy under Trump as a series of “chest thumping and self-inflicted setbacks,” and took aim at the president’s “America First” policy on trade and international agreements.

“American foreign policy has to be purposeful and inspiring, based on clear goals driven by sound strategies, not by Twitter tantrums,” Biden told an audience at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.


The former vice president also targeted Trump’s response to the murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year, and for “falling in love” with North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnNorth Korea warns US to stay out of its affairs to ensure ‘smooth running’ of presidential election A crisis on the Korean peninsula reinforces the need for allies South Korea charging defectors over leaflets dropped in North MORE.

“Think of the message it sends to the rest of the world,” Biden said.

“As president of the United States, I would remind the world that we are the United States of America and we do not coddle dictators,” Biden said.

“The United States of America gives hate no safe harbor. There will be no more Charlottesville’s, no more Helsinki,” he said, adding that Trump’s news conference in Helsinki last year was “one of the most shameful performances by a U.S. president in modern history.”

Biden, who entered the crowded Democratic primary as the front-runner earlier this year, said the U.S. would have to work to reclaim its credibility after Trump leaves office, urging greater U.S. involvement in global alliances. 

“The challenge of following this disastrous presidency will not be just to restore the reputation of our credibility,” Biden said. “It’ll be to enact a forward-looking foreign policy for the world as we find it today and as we anticipate it will be tomorrow and years to come.”

“Donald Trump’s brand of ‘America First’ has too often led to America alone,” he said, adding that the “Biden foreign policy will place America at the head of the table.”

Biden hit Trump on his economic and trade policies and pushed for greater innovation to bolster the U.S.’s performance on the global economic stage.

“President Trump may think he’s being tough on China, all that he has delivered as a consequence to that has American farmers, manufacturers and consumers losing and paying more,” he said.

“His economic decision making is so shortsighted, and it’s as shortsighted as his foreign policy. China is playing the long game, extending its global reach, investing in technologies of the future,” Biden said.

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Biden also placed a special emphasis on climate change, calling for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris climate accord, and to up international efforts to combat the issue. 

“If we don’t get this right, not much else will matter,” he said.

Biden has long put a focus on foreign policy, serving as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee when serving in the Senate before playing a role in sculpting U.S. foreign policy while serving as vice president in the Obama administration.