Vice President Joe Biden ripped into Mitt Romney during a speech on foreign policy Thursday. Referring to Romney’s calls for a tougher policy on Iran, Biden declared:
The only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran. If that’s what Governor Romney means by a very different policy, he should tell the American people. He should say so. Otherwise, the governor’s tough talk about military action is just that — talk. And, I would add, counterproductive talk.
On Morning Joe Friday, New York magazine’s John Heilemann said that as a matter of substance, Biden’s right.
“The sanctions that the United States got put in place through the United Nations are the toughest set of sanctions that any country is laboring under anywhere in the world,” Heilemann said. “If Mitt Romney is for tough sanctions, he is for the Obama policy.”
“The only thing the administration could do more right now is to get militarily involved in Iran,” Heilemann continued, echoing Biden. “I don’t think Mitt Romney wants to make that argument, and I don’t think the administration wants to go there. Nor do the American people.”
In general, Heilemann said, foreign policy is shaping up to be a strength for President Obama this fall. “The president is on very strong ground when it comes to foreign policy,” he said. “Having killed Osama bin Laden … it’s going to be very hard for Mitt Romney and his team to get a lot of traction on foreign policy.”
Biden also slammed Romney for saying he’d rely on State Department experts for his foreign policy. "The last thing we need is a president who believes that he can subcontract our foreign policy to experts at the State Department, or for that matter, any other department or agency."
But Joe Scarborough called that argument "a tough sell."
"Americans aren't going to, 'oh well, look at Mitt Romney, boy that's a dangerous guy to have running the country's foreign policy,' when they let a state senator do it four years ago,'" he said.