Bi­den: Trump is ‘dan­ger­ously in­com­pe­tent’

Orlando Sentinel - - NATION & WORLD - BY BILL BAR­ROW

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Joe Bi­den said Tues­day that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s es­ca­la­tion of ten­sions with Iran proves him to be “dan­ger­ously in­com­pe­tent” and puts the U.S. on the brink of war.

Speak­ing in New York, Bi­den said Trump used a “hap­haz­ard” de­ci­sion-mak­ing process to or­der the killing of Ira­nian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and has failed to com­mu­ni­cate the ra­tio­nale to Congress or U.S. al­lies around the world. Bi­den said Trump in­stead of­fered “tweets, threats and tantrums” that prove the Repub­li­can pres­i­dent to be “dan­ger­ously in­com­pe­tent and in­ca­pable of world lead­er­ship.”

“Democ­racy runs on ac­count­abil­ity,” Bi­den said, urg­ing Trump to con­sult with Congress on acts of war, as re­quired by the Con­sti­tu­tion.

The for­mer vice pres­i­dent’s re­marks were part of his sec­ond ma­jor for­eign pol­icy ad­dress of the cam­paign. This one comes less than a month be­fore the Feb. 3 Iowa cau­cuses be­gin.

But the mo­ment presents chal­lenges for the 77-yearold can­di­date with nearly five decades in Wash­ing­ton.

Pro­gres­sives hop­ing to make the world less mil­i­taris­tic point to Bi­den’s 2002 vote au­tho­riz­ing the U.S. in­va­sion of Iraq, sug­gest­ing that mud­dies his warn­ings about an­other Mid­dle Eastern war. Al­ter­nately, Trump and Repub­li­cans cast Bi­den as in­de­ci­sive or weak, seiz­ing on his op­po­si­tion to the 1991 U.S. mis­sion that drove Iraq out of Kuwait and his re­luc­tance about the raid that killed Sept. 11 mas­ter­mind Osama bin Laden in 2011, when Bi­den was Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s No. 2.

Bi­den him­self has been in­con­sis­tent in his pitch to vot­ers, con­fi­dent that crit­i­cism of Trump and con­trasts with less-sea­soned Democrats are enough.

In Iowa last week­end, Bi­den called the Iran cri­sis “to­tally of Don­ald Trump’s mak­ing.”

SPENCER PLATT/GETTY

For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den said Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump did not have a clear Iran pol­icy.

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