by Andy Brownfield
Vows to bring to justice killers of U.S. Ambassador to Libya
DAYTON – Vice President Joe Biden took time at the beginning of his
Wednesday campaign stop in Dayton to condemn an overnight attack that killed the
U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, while praising the work and
courage of American diplomats and promising to bring to justice those who
carried out the attack.
“(This) brave — and it’s not hyperbole to say brave –— ambassador
was in Benghazi while the war was going on. Our ambassador risked his life
repeatedly while the war in Libya to get rid of that dictator was going on,”
“These men are as brave and as courageous as any of our warriors.”
The Tuesday attack took place during a protest against an amateur
short film made in the United States that protesters say insulted the Prophet
Muhammad. U.S Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members
“Let me be clear — we are resolved to bring to justice their
killers,” Biden said.
The vice president made no mention of Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney’s criticism of the Obama administration’s response from
the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which he characterized as “akin to an apology” and a
“severe miscalculation,” but the vice president quickly segued into politics, alluding
to Romney’s relative lack of experience in foreign policy.
“The task of a president is not only to defend our interests and
causes and the cause of freedom abroad, it is also to build a nation here at
home, to which the entire world can look and aspire to be like,” Biden said. “Whether
we do that and how we do that, that is literally the essence of the choice we
face in this presidential election. It really is that basic, and foreign policy
is not some sideline to all of this.”
The Romney campaign in Ohio was quick to respond, calling Biden’s
remarks “hypocritical” in an emailed statement.
“Vice President Biden’s appearance in Dayton only served further
damage to his credibility as he reprised hypocritical and widely debunked
attacks against Mitt Romney. Not only did the Vice President mislead Ohioans,
but he attacked Mitt Romney for supporting the same tax policy the Obama
Administration supported just last year,” Romney Ohio spokesman Christopher
“With today’s Census report showing nearly 1 in 6 Americans
living in poverty and incomes continuing to decline, it appears that misleading
attacks are all the Obama campaign has left to offer 400,000 Ohioans looking
Maloney’s email also fact-checked a claim made by Biden during
his speech. Biden said that he opposed the so-called “territorial tax,” which
he said would allow American companies that invested abroad to avoid paying
taxes in the United States.
The email included links to an Associated Press fact checking
article that concludes that Romney’s proposal was aimed at encouraging
investment in the U.S. rather than overseas.
Biden spoke to a packed house at Wright State University in
Dayton, with overflow crowds estimated in the hundreds viewing in separate
rooms in the Student Union.
The vice president reiterated many of his usual stump speech
points — the Romney tax plan’s negative effects on the middle class, the
benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration’s commitment to
manufacturing — but much of Biden’s speech focused on education. He said a president
Romney would cut funding for Pell Grants, meaning many students in the audience
would have to leave school. He also lauded President Barack Obama’s
administration’s enactment of a tax break of $2,500 for every family that sends
a child to college.
The usually bombastic Biden wasn’t without his gaffes. Twice he
referred to Wright State as “Wayne State,” which is in Detroit, despite a large
Wright State University banner displayed in the conference room where he gave
The crowd was quick to correct him after the second time he misspoke.
“Wright State, which also includes Wayne State,” Biden said after
he was corrected, eliciting laughs from the audience.