Vice President Joe Biden tore into presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s "empty bluster" on foreign policy in a he-who-shall-not-be-named fashion, indicating that Democrats think foreign policy could be a winning issue for them in November.
During a speech at the Center for New American Security, Biden warned that "if we build walls and disrespect our closest neighbors, we will quickly see all this progress disappear, replaced by a return of anti-Americanism and a corrosive rift throughout our hemisphere."
His focus was on the importance of maintaining positive foreign relations around the world and staying true to what he referred to as "American values," stressing the importance of the next president’s ability to do these things.
Biden discussed the United States’ ability to "lead by example and draw partners to our side," emphasizing the importance of allies and inclusivity. "It matters how you treat other nations — the respect you show or don’t show."
"That’s what has always made America great," Biden said. "Not empty bluster. Not a sense of entitlement that fundamentally disrespects our partners. Not the attitude and insecurity of a bully."
The VP, who has remained relatively uninvolved in the presidential election since deciding not to run for the Democratic ticket, seems to be taking a more aggressive stance against Trump in recent weeks. And he’s not doing it alone.
Democrats are lining up to attack Trump on foreign policy
President Obama similarly gave a speech after last week’s shooting in Orlando in which he strongly criticized Trump’s "yapping" on the phrase "radical Islam" — a term he said using would "make no difference" in fighting the core problem.
"We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States to bar all Muslims from immigrating to America," he said. "We hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests that entire religious communities are complicit in violence. Where does this stop?"
Similarly, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has also emerged as an effective attack dog against Trump, calling him a "thin-skinned, racist bully." She’s been so effective that many are floating Warren as a possible VP pick for presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Democrats are uniting to defeat Trump at all costs. Though previous research indicates that the issue of terrorism tends to be a winning hand for Republicans, Democrats are hoping that with a Republican nominee as unpredictable as Trump they can turn the issue into a winning strategy for them.
Biden also commented on how Trump’s most popular ideas, like his purported Muslim ban, are a dangerous path for America to go down:
Adopting the tactics of our enemies — using torture, threatening to kill innocent family members, indiscriminately bombing civilian populations — not only violates our values, it’s deeply damaging to our security. Wielding the politics of fear and intolerance — like proposals to ban Muslims from entering the United States or slandering entire religious communities as complicit in terrorism—calls into question America’s status as the greatest democracy in the history of the world.