Tom Cotton rips Biden on foreign policy in convention speech
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Thursday evening ripped former Vice President Joe Biden’s record, invoking former Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s claim that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Speaking on the final night of the GOP convention, Cotton argued that Biden “slashed defense spending again and again” and President Trump “rebuilt our military and added the Space Force.”
“Joe Biden opposed the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, President Trump avenged the murder of hundreds of Americans by killing Iran’s terrorist mastermind, Qassem Soleimani,” Cotton said.
Leon Panetta, director of the CIA during the Obama administration, wrote in his 2014 memoir that Biden had argued U.S. forces did not yet have enough intelligence to prove that bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, was in the Pakistani compound where he was later found and killed in 2011.
Cotton, a 43-year-old combat veteran, also accused Biden of sending “pallets of cash to the ayatollahs,” referencing an airlift by the Obama administration of $400 million of cash to Iran in 2016 to coincide with the release of four Americans detained in Iran.
“Joe Biden treated Israel like a nuisance, President Trump moved our embassy to Jerusalem and brokered peace deals in the Middle East,” Cotton said, referring to a recent deal to normalize relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
Biden in 2010 criticized Israel’s decision to build new Israeli homes in East Jerusalem, a disputed territory, during his visit to the region.
Cotton, an outspoken China hawk whose name has been floated as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, also slammed Biden for not taking a stronger position against the emerging global power and military rival.
“Joe Biden aided and abetted China’s rise for 50 years with terrible trade deals that closed our factories and laid off our workers. President Trump stands up to China’s cheating, stealing and lying,” he said, while accusing the Obama administration of not doing more to interdict Chinese-made fentanyl from flowing into the country and becoming part of the nation’s opioid crisis.
He said Chinese leaders would prefer Biden win the election, a possible reference to the recent claim by a senior intelligence official, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, that China doesn’t want to see Trump win a second term. Evanina also said Russia was seeking to “denigrate” Biden.
“Joe Biden would be as wrong over the next four years as he has been for the last 50. We need a president who stands up for America, not one who takes a knee,” Cotton said.
The Arkansas senator argued that “weakness is provocative” and Trump’s “strength has kept us out of war.”