Face The Nation Transcript October 30, 2016: Biden, Pence, Benenson

US Vice presidents’ war: Pence and Biden joust in Munich over foreign policy

NBC News
Image: A combo photo of Vice Pres
Dueling vice presidents: Pence and Biden joust in Munich over foreign policy.
A combo photo of Vice President Mike Pence and former Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Dick CheneyPeter Parks, Spencer Platt, Win McNamee / Getty Images //

“Leadership in the absence of people who are with you is not leadership,” Biden said

MUNICH — Vice President Mike Pence and his immediate predecessor, Joe Biden, on Saturday offered competing visions of American leadership abroad, presaging major divides and campaign cudgels heading into the 2020 presidential race.

“When you hear President Trump ask our NATO allies to live up to the commitments they’ve made to our common defense, that’s what we call being leader of the free world,” Pence told the Munich Security Conference.

“Leadership in the absence of people who are with you is not leadership,” Biden said a few hours later.

Pence urged Europeans to act as a bulwark against Russia and China and warned of the espionage threat from Chinese telecom companies. Europe should scrap the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and cease buying blacklisted Russian weapons, he said.

“We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies are dependent on the East,” Pence said.

Biden savaged the administration on its domestic policies. The separation migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border attested to a “struggle for America’s soul,” he said. And drawing a stark contrast abroad with the Trump administration, Biden praised NATO and the European Union.

“You’re never allowed to disagree with your brothers and sisters in public,” Biden said. “Today, because of, I think, a lack of leadership coming from the other side of the Atlantic, we find ourselves in a different place and it’s uncomfortable.”

Related: Trump is heir to John McCain, Mike Pence tells Europe]

Trump has frustrated European allies throughout his presidency with his hostility to a 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which they credit with defusing a regional nuclear crisis. More recently, Trump irritated European colleagues with an abrupt reversal of his administration’s Syria strategy, announcing without warning that the United States would withdraw from Syria.

Biden received a warmer welcome from the audience. And the event produced other signs of European allies’ discomfort with the Trump foreign policy approach. German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen, for instance, declared that Berlin would not be “neutral” in the great power competition between the United States and China.

“NATO is more than just a military alliance,” she said Friday through a translator. “It is a political alliance. And as a political alliance, we are faced with what is a prominent feature of the new security feature, the return of great power competition. Our American friends recognized that early on and we too understand this now.”

[Read more: China tells world to ignore Mike Pence ‘lectures’]

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This unconstitutional power grab gives Trump vast new powers to undermine our democracy and supercharge his white supremacy. He'll be more able than ever to escalate attacks on immigrants, communities of color, Muslims and Black and Brown people.

Bernie Sanders to seek U.S. presidency again in 2020

US Senator Bernie Sanders: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who lost a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, will seek to run for the White House again in 2020, he said in an interview that aired on Tuesday
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

Bernie Sanders: 17 things the Democratic socialist believes – REUTERS

WASHINGTON |AIWA! NO!| – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who lost a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, will seek to run for the White House again in 2020, he said in an interview that aired on Tuesday.

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, made the announcement in an interview on Vermont Public Radio (VPR). He promised a “very different campaign” in an effort to oust Republican President Donald Trump.

“The current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country,” Sanders told VPR. “He is a pathological liar… he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.”

Sanders joins an increasingly crowded field seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to run against Trump next year.

The list already includes his fellow senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.

He is expected to make an official campaign announcement later on Tuesday in an online video, Vermont Public radio said.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; editing by John Stonestreet

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s “We will be back” speech that drew applause from Europeans at Munich Security Conference as he ripped apart Trump’s ‘America First’ pledge

Joe Biden: An Embarrassment To America
Speaking on German soil 75 years after the U.S. and its allies prepared for D-Day, Joe Biden described America as “an embarrassment” and its trade policies “self-defeating.”

Biden tells Europeans in Munich that America is ‘an embarrassment’ – REUTERS, AIWA! NO!

MUNICH — Speaking on German soil 75 years after the U.S. and its allies prepared for D-Day, Joe Biden described America as “an embarrassment” and its trade policies “self-defeating.”

“The America I see values basic human decency, not snatching children from their parents or turning our back on refugees at our border. Americans know that’s not right,” the former vice president and potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate told the Munich Security Conference. “The American people understand plainly that this makes us an embarrassment. The American people know, overwhelmingly, that it is not right. That it is not who we are.”

Joe Biden says will decide soon whether to run for presidency

The former vice president was speaking exactly three-quarters of a century after American troops were fighting against Germans at the Battle of Anzio and Allied military staffs were deep into planning for the D-Day invasion of Normandy less than 4 months later.

Biden said: “While I cannot speak today as an elected government official who is able to set policy, I can speak as a citizen. I can offer insight into my country. I know we’ve heard a lot today about leadership, but in my experience, leadership only exists if somebody — and others — are with you. Leadership in the absence of people who are with you is not leadership.”

That concept of American politics ending at “the water’s edge” was formulated in 1947 by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, a Republican from Michigan who was then the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman. He was urging President Harry Truman to take a bipartisan approach to foreign policy.

[Related — Dueling vice presidents: Pence and Biden joust in Munich over foreign policy]

Biden’s jabs drew applause from European critics of Trump hours after Vice President Mike Pence had spoken at the conference lauding the president’s efforts to press NATO allies to increase defense spending in the face of Russian aggression.

Ironically, Biden lambasted Trump at the high-profile conference for making his grievances with allies public. “You’re never allowed to disagree with your brothers and sisters in public,” he said. “Today, because of, I think, a lack of leadership coming from the other side of the Atlantic, we find ourselves in a different place,and it’s uncomfortable.”

Biden alluded to limbering up for a bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination, which would be his third tilt at White House, after sputtering attempts in 1988 and 2008. “I have spent the better part of the last two years traveling throughout the United States of America, from Minnesota to Texas; from Boston to Birmingham,” he said. “I can assure you, that the American people, the ultimate wellspring of power in the United States of America, remain committed to engaging the world with decency and respect.”

He added, “Those same people who I met all across the United States, who may feel disconnected, discounted, ignored, or left behind … They still believe, as I do, that the core values enshrined in our alliances are worth defending.”

Joe Biden: 'I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president'

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT Biden: I’m the best qualified person in the country to be president

Former Vice President Joe Biden pauses during a speech in Las Vegas, Saturday, Dec. 1.Yasmina Chavez / AP


‘I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president;’ Former Vice President Joe Biden pauses during a speech in Las Vegas, Saturday, Dec. 1.Yasmina Chavez / AP

Joe Biden believes he is the ‘most qualified person in the country to be president’

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Promoting his latest book in Missoula, Montana, Monday night, former Vice President Joe Biden discussed his 2020 prospects, saying he believes that he is the “most qualified person” to be president, noting a decision is coming in the next two months, and acknowledging he’s a “gaffe machine.”

“I’ll be as straight with you as I can. I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” Biden said to applause at the University of Montana. “The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I’ve worked on my whole life.”

Biden bemoans ‘how demeaning’ politics has become“No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job. I’ve been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that I have — even my critics would acknowledge, I may not be right but I know a great deal about it,” he added.

Biden said his family must now decide as a “unit” whether or not they’re prepared for a run — setting a decision time frame of the next six weeks to two months.”I have two young grandchildren my son left who love me and adore me and want me around. I want to be there to take care of them, so we’ve got to figure out whether or not this is something we can all do as a family,” he said. “We’re going to make that decision in the next six weeks to two months, and that’s the basis of the decision.”The moderator, Bruce Feiler, pointed out some of the potential liabilities of a Biden campaign, saying “He’s too old. He signed, he cosponsored the crime bill. He was the chairman of the judiciary committee during the Anita Hill hearings, and he’s out of touch in the era of Me Too. $1.5 million ain’t gonna cut it anymore, you need $100 million. Who wants to wake up at 6 a.m. for the next two years and get insults from the President of the United States?…You’re a gaffe machine. I could go on. Which of these scares you the most?””None of them,” Biden said before moving on to defend some of those potential liabilities.”I am a gaffe machine, but my God what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can’t tell the truth,” he said. “I’m ready to litigate all those things, the question is what kind of nation are we becoming? What are we going to do? Who are we?””Whether or not I run, whoever runs, I’m going to break my neck to make sure they win,” he said. “We can’t have four more years.”Earlier in the night, Biden discussed some of the missteps of his 1988 presidential campaign, including accusations of plagiarism while he was in high school.”It all came out in the wash — I never did plagiarize, I never did — and it all was proven that that never happened,” Biden said.