Former Vice President Joe Biden isn’t in the 2020 presidential race yet, but he made it clear at an international gathering that he thinks President Donald Trump has undermined America’s ability to claim moral leadership.
The former vice president said the U.S. doesn’t want to turn its back on its closest allies and cherishes democracy, the rule of law and a free press. Biden spoke after current Vice President Mike Pence, who used his speech to tout the Trump administration’s accomplishments.
Biden told the Munich Security Conference that the America he sees “stands up to the aggression of dictators and against strongmen who rule by coercion, corruption and violence.”
He said his country “values basic human decency, not snatching children from their parents or turning our backs on refugees at our border. Americans know that’s not right.”
Pence’s speech had a somewhat cooler reception. When he delivered a line sending greetings from President Trump, the room responded with tepid applause. Pence’s speech focused largely on the idea of “America first, not America alone.”
“And with this renewed American strength, both military and economic, President Trump has been leading our NATO allies to renew their commitment to our common defense as well,” Pence said.
Olivia Gazis contributed reporting.