Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke before political leaders and security experts on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, criticizing President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, CNN reports.
Biden stressed that the United States will remain loyal to its allies in Europe and elsewhere, while discussing Trump’s isolationist foreign policy rhetoric. Under President Trump, according to Biden, the United States is perceived as “pulling away” from its leadership responsibilities.
Biden explained his vision of America, stressing that the country will reclaim its global leadership role, and stop turning its back on European and world allies. International cooperation, according to the former vice president, is what the United States should focus on.
“The America I see does not wish to turn our back on the world or allies, our closest allies. Indeed, the American people understand that it’s only by working in cooperation with our friends that we are going to be able to harness the forces of a rapidly changing world, to mitigate their downsides and turn them to our collective advantage.”
As CNN noted, Biden did not explicitly reference or even mention President Donald Trump, but it is clear that he was referring to what is perceived as nationalist and isolationist posture of the Trump administration.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, and throughout his presidency, Trump aired discontent with international agreements and organizations, threatening to leave dozens of them.
As the Washington Post reported, Trump — who proudly refers to himself as a nationalist, and frequently criticizes what he perceives as globalism — withdrew from the landmark Paris agreement, floated the idea of withdrawing the United States from the World Trade Organization, exited the so-called Iran deal, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 17, 2019
Notably, the Trump administration withdrew the United States from the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, citing bias against Israel. The president has also criticized NATO and its member countries on multiple occasions.
But according to Joe Biden — who is reportedly eyeing a 2020 run for the White House, but still hasn’t made a final decision — the United States needs to reclaim its role as global leader and go back to cooperating with international allies. Biden explicitly praised NATO, in what seemed like another thinly-veiled dig at Trump, calling it the “most significant military alliance in the world.”
“I think it is the basis upon which we have been able to keep peace and stability for the past 70 years. It is the heart of our collective security,” the former vice president said.
Biden was critical of Donald Trump’s domestic policy as well, accusing Trump of mistreating refugees and criticizing the president’s controversial family separation policy.