EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - Vice President Joe Biden stressed the dedication of diplomats serving the U.S. abroad Thursday and voiced his belief that those who "callously" killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, "have no real values."
"The brave Americans we tragically lost in Libya remind us again of the incredible price that not only our military pays when they're deployed, but the incredible price through Afghanistan, Iraq, the Arab spring that our diplomats have paid," Biden said at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. "The cause to which they are dedicated and gave their lives - democracy, partnership, tolerance - stands in absolute sharp contrast to the values held by those who callously took their lives, who I think have no real values."
"We will remain as Americans, steadfast and resolved and committed in the face of such horrific events and we will not, we will not be run off. We will redouble our work that those courageous Americans have been doing to ensure a more tolerant more secure world in the interest not only of the people in those countries but in the interest and security of the united states of America. We owe them a lot," Biden added.
Speaking to a crowd of 3,000 at the college campus, Biden honed in on the importance of education and accused GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, of only speaking about education in a "negative context."
"If you've noticed, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan hardly talk about education at all, literally, think about it, think, listen to what they say," Biden said. "They hardly mention education at all except in the negative context. It's almost the only time you hear them talk about it. You know, they tell you though, that they still value education."
Joking that he was "supposedly an expert on foreign policy," Biden told the crowd of a meeting he had with United States allies during which he said education was the most important objective in the United States.
"I was asked a simple question: what is the single most important objective? What's the single most important job that America must complete in order to maintain its dominance physically as well as economic ascendancy in the world? What is it? And the answer I gave them I think surprised them but the president and I share this view together. We have to be the single best educated nation in the world in order to be able to do," Biden said.
Biden, who was on his second trip to Wisconsin since Ryan joined the GOP ticket, ran through a list of other issues he and Obama differ on from the Republicans, including the territorial tax and Medicare.
"Were time to permit I can tell you some of the other ridiculous proposals - I shouldn't say ridiculous. Some of the other in my view unfair proposals," Biden said.
After his speech, Biden stopped at the Acoustic Café in downtown Eau Claire to visit with patrons. As he ordered a turkey pita at the counter, Biden grabbed the receipt of Pauline Schlutz from Chippewa Falls, Wis. and pulled out two twenty dollar bills to pay for his meal along with her order - a meal she had already paid for herself.
"And this is for mine too," Biden said as he tried handing the receipt and money to the cashier. "I'll take care of that. Ok, so we've got mine and this. This one I'm paying for plus mine."
"Well it's already paid for, but so I guess you can give her the money because she already paid for it," One of the cashiers chimed in.
"Oh she already paid for it. You're out of luck," Biden said handing the money to the cashier.
"I'm out of luck," Schultz said.