JOE BIDEN IS WORRIED DONALD TRUMP MIGHT DESTROY WESTERN CIVILIZATION
In the months since Donald Trump’s won the election, Vice President Joe Biden has mostly avoided saying anything personal about the president-elect.
Yes, during the campaign he quipped that if he was still in high school, he would “take him behind the gym,” presumably to deliver an old-school, Wilmington beat-down.
But Biden has since had a revelation, as he explained to The New York Times Magazine in an interview published Tuesday. “Question a man’s judgment, not his motives,” Biden said, echoing the words of an old mentor. And for the most part, that is the approach he and Barack Obama have taken with Trump, pushing back on his policies but working closely with his transition team and hoping for the best.
“The president and I have concluded that there’s no value in making that ad hominem argument,” he told the magazine. “It gets you nowhere.”
That isn’t to say, however, that Biden has no intention of speaking his mind when the occasion calls for it. Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Biden issued a message of caution and made clear his concern that Trump and the incoming administration will accelerate Russia’s plot to “collapse the liberal international order”—not an insignificant charge for a politician hoping to maintain their cordial relationship.
“Simply put, Russia has a different vision for the future, which they are pursuing across the board,” Biden said, warning against lifting sanctions on Russia and offering an implicit rebuke of Trump’s professed fondness for Vladimir Putin. “They seek a return to a world where the strong impose their will through military might, corruption, or criminality—while weaker neighbors fall in line.
”Trump, who is already under fire for his longstanding push to align the United States with Russia, as well as his efforts to insulate Putin from criticism after Russia was determined to have interfered in the 2016 U.S. election, incited a fresh wave of criticism earlier this week when he derided the European Union and characterized NATO as “obsolete” during a series of interviews with foreign media outlets.
At Davos, Biden pushed back hard. “The single greatest bulwark for our transatlantic partnership is the unshakable commitment of the United States to all our NATO allies,” he asserted. “An attack on one is an attack on all. That can never be called into question.”
Standing up for the E.U. and for NATO, Biden suggested, is nothing less than critical for the defense of Western civilization. “The United States and Europe has to lead the fight to defend the values that have brought us to where we are today,” Biden continued, before taking another swipe at leaders—like Trump, though he went unnamed—who “hunker down, shut the gates, build the walls.”
Biden shared a similar sentiment with Jonathan Alter, the author of the Times magazine piece, shortly after the election. “The question I get everywhere is: ‘Is American leadership going to continue?’” Biden said. If Trump “just stays behind the lines—hands off—it could be very ugly. Very, very ugly.”