Biden mourns consulate loss in Ohio, will speak in WI Thursday
Fairborn, Ohio (CNN) — Vice President Joe Biden forcefully responded at a campaign event on Wednesday, September 12th to the violence that killed four American diplomats in Libya. In his remarks, Biden offered both prayers and praise for those who lost their lives, then transitioned to his standard political critique against his Republican rivals.
“I feel like it’s necessary to begin on somewhat of a somber note with a word about the news out of Libya and out of Egypt,” Biden said early on.
He continued by calling the four deceased diplomats “dedicated” and “courageous.”
Biden explained that the late Ambassador Chris Stevens, who the U.S. said was killed in the Tuesday attack, previously worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden sat as its chair. Calling him a “really fine, fine man” and “brave,” the vice president praised Stevens’ steadfast work on the nation’s behalf.
“Our ambassador was in Benghazi while the war was going on,” Biden said. “Our ambassador risked his life repeatedly while war in Libya to get rid of that dictator was going on.”
The vice president also offered prayers and praise for the three others killed: Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and two other victims who have not been named, pending family notification.
“These men are as brave and as courageous as any of our warriors that we’ve sent,” Biden said. “And ladies and gentlemen, their loss tragically reminds us again of the incredible price that not only our warriors pay in the service of this great country – the price paid by foreign service officers and AID personnel,” he continued, a reference to the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“Chris and Sean and their colleagues were exemplars of our nation’s commitment to freedom and justice and to partnership with nations and people around the world in order, in order to make us safer at home,” Biden said.
And the vice president was forceful against the perpetrators.
“Let me be clear, we are resolved to bring to justice their killers,” Biden said. “And we will work, we will work with the Libyan government and our other partners to do just that. There is no place in the civilized world for senseless murder like what occurred last night.”
The appearance is Biden’s second trip to Ohio in the past five days, highlighting this particular battleground state’s importance in the electoral math. After his remarks on the violence, he then turned to his normal critique of Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Biden told supporters that a president should be focused on both events abroad and on “building a nation at home to which the entire nation can look and aspire to be like.” Voters “deserve leaders who tell you what they intend to do in both spheres,” he continued, arguing that he and President Barack Obama see both areas of policy differently than do their Republican challengers, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
“Let me tell you what we are for, the president and I, and what we are against,” he said. “We are for Medicare. We are against vouchercare.”
In addition to Medicare, he argued differences existed between the two tickets on fiscal matters.
Biden also said that “serious people who took a serious look at” the issue of deficit reduction and the federal budget said it would require the government to both spend less and raise more revenue.
“The wealthiest among us, they’re as patriotic as we are, but they have to get in the game,” Biden said.
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