Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden defended his father Vice President Joe Biden’s debate performance, saying his laughter and facial expressions did not undermine the substance of his comments at last week’s debate.
“I’m happy to defend my dad. I don’t think he needs any defensiveness. Any time the other side – Karl Rove or folks on the far right – are going after my father for smiling too much, you know that’s a victory,” Beau Biden told me this morning on “This Week.” “My father spoke clearly to the American people about the facts, and you saw him do that for 90 minutes straight.”
“This isn’t, Jake, about how much my father smiled or how many gallons of water that the congressman drank nervously on that stage,” Biden quipped. “It’s about talking directly to the American people about very important facts.”
Biden charged Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan with not being “up to speed on foreign policy,” criticizing Ryan for his comments during the debate on troop levels in Afghanistan.
“You had him suggest, if not open the door, to put additional troops in Afghanistan. So it was a remarkable position to take,” Biden said. “It demonstrated, I think, that, you know, the congressman is not quite up to speed on foreign policy as you might want a would-be vice president to be.”
“The point that I heard and the American people heard is that you heard my father clearly articulate that we wouldn’t have forces in Afghanistan by 2014,” Biden added, “and you’ve seen here the congressman equivocate on that, in fact, not be willing to guarantee the American people that we wouldn’t have forces in Afghanistan.”
Beau Biden also defended Vice President Biden for saying at the debate that “we did not know they wanted more security again,” regarding American officials in Libya requesting more security before the attack that killed four Americans at the consulate in Benghazi last month.
The Obama administration said the vice president was referring to the White House not knowing about the security request, despite the State Department being notified. “He was speaking for himself and the president, as you heard Jay Carney tell you in the briefing room just the other day,” Beau Biden said.
Biden criticized the Romney campaign for politicizing the Libya issue, saying “These are folks that seem to be more interested in kind of pounding their chest to make the neoconservatives who advise them proud than they are about being serious about foreign policy and protecting our national interests around the world.”
“This is a tragedy when we lose an ambassador and three other personnel,” Biden said. “This is not a moment in time where we should be politicizing these issues… And the idea that Romney and Ryan are suggesting that the President of the United States doesn’t take seriously the security of our diplomats and Foreign Service officers around the world I find absolutely outrageous.”