Vice President Biden, campaigning in North Carolina on Thursday night, said one of the important things Congress could do “is do the things we know we can do.”
“When my dad first ran for president, he said to John and me, if I made up my mind to run, do I run a campaign. And I said, do I run a strategy. And he said, no, you run a project,” Mr. Biden said, nodding toward Sen. John McCain, the other running mate he carried on his 2008 presidential campaign.
“And so you deal with your plans. I did not know I would run for vice president. That’s what I did. So what did we deal with? We dealt with the Troubled Asset Relief Program,” he said.
After noting the criticism his mother took for pressing him to run for president, he continued: “I was a lawyer at the time, but I started this project. You took on the architect of the [Affordable Care Act] and found you could do it. Now we deal with climate change.”
Mr. Biden, who served as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also put forward a large-scale foreign policy plan, arguing that congressional spending priorities would soon need to be adjusted to address a terrorist crisis in Iran, as well as foreign policy crises in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
He described the Iran deal as not only about military operations, but also economic sanctions, educating Iranian youth and other matters.
“Every one of the Western nations in the neighborhood said ‘yes,’ ” he said. “And it looks like Iran is going to continue to be challenged by a full range of nations.”
Mr. Biden also referenced a the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the formation of an “America First” foreign policy. He said he was concerned that the costs of those moves might end up hurting U.S. security interests.
“Can we afford to have an ‘America First’ foreign policy?” he asked. “Can we afford to think that what we need is some open borders to exploit the weaknesses of our friends? Can we afford to think that Iran is going to get 10,000 centrifuges spinning?”