Biden: Terrorism no 'existential threat' to US

Vice President Biden argued Thursday night in a foreign policy address at Harvard University that Americans “face no existential threat” from terrorism.

Imploring students to keep the threat posed by violent extremists “in perspective,” Biden said that although the country must remain vigilant, terrorists did not fundamentally challenge “our way of life or our security.”

“Let me say it again: We face no existential threat — none — to our way of life or our ultimate security,” Biden said. “You are twice as likely to be struck by lightning as you around to be affected by a terrorist event in the United States.”

The vice president made the comments the week after the U.S. expanded its bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which President Obama described in a “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday as posing “immediate threats to the United States.”

“These folks could kill Americans,” Obama said.

Biden acknowledged that ISIS had demonstrated “the most blatant use of terrorist tactics the world has seen in a long, long time,” but said the U.S. knows “how to deal with them.”

“While we face an adaptive, resilient enemy, let’s never forget that they're no match for an even more resilient and adaptive group of people, the American people, who are so much tougher, smarter, realistic and gutsy than their political leadership gives them credit for,” Biden said.

The vice president said he argued "with all of my colleagues, including in the administration" about whether the American people “have already factored in the possibility that there will” someday be another terrorist attack like the Boston Marathon bombing.

“But it will not, cannot — has no possibility of breaking our will, our resolve, and/or our ultimate security,” Biden said.

“’We’re America,” he added. “Americans will never, ever stand down. We endure. We overcome. We own the finish line. So do not take out of proportion this threat to us.”