After a meeting today in Paris with the French president, Francois Hollande, Vice President Joe Biden praised "the incredible competence and capability" of the French military. He was specifically referring to the recent military action taken by the French in Mali.
"And as the [French] President indicated, we discussed an array of issues starting and including Mali and North Africa more broadly. And let me say again on behalf of the President, the people of the United States, we applaud your decisiveness and I might add the incredible competence and capability of your French military forces," said Biden.
The vice president then told a story to illustrate the "competence and capability" of the French military.
"I often tell the story -- I’ve been in and out of Afghanistan and Iraq an awful lot, several dozen times; and I remember the first time I was in a forward operating base up in the hills above the Kunar Valley, the mountains. And I asked early on in the campaign, before I was Vice President -- I asked my -- the six Americans who I was standing with who they enjoyed standing most together with," said Biden. "And one young man said, 'the Tricolors, the French.' And 'they know how to shoot straight' was his expression. You have a brave and competent -- and I say to the Minister of Defense -- competent military. And your decisive action is not only in the interest of France, but quite frankly the United States and everyone."
On Afghanistan, Biden added, "Our conversation also ventured into Afghanistan where we have stood together in a stalwart way. We reviewed our strategic vision, how to secure and stabilize Afghanistan."
Biden added, "President Hollande and I also reminded one another of the firm commitments of all NATO leaders in Chicago to both sustain NATO’s mission in Afghan post-2014 and to remain in incredibly close contact as to how to proceed."
Vice President Joe Biden has taken the oath of office for the second time. "At 8:21am, Joe Biden took the oath of office for a second term a Vice President, surrounded by family at the VP residence at the Naval Observatory," the pool reporter notes.
During the vice presidential debate, Paul Ryan reiterated his opposition to abortion. Joe Biden explained that he’s personally opposed to abortion but doesn’t believe in protecting the unborn. President Obama has previously expressed his own position, which might best be described as not being opposed to abortion either personally or as a matter of policy (see the first 30 seconds of this clip):
You don’t win a nationally televised debate by being rude and obnoxious. You don’t win by interrupting your opponent time after time after time or by being a blowhard. You don’t win with facial expressions, especially smirks or fake laughs, or by pretending to be utterly exasperated with what your opponent is saying.
In email to supporters, Vice President Joe Biden promises tonight to "tell the truth and stand up for what we believe in." The subject line of Biden's email reads, "My promise to you and Barack tonight."
"I told Barack I have one mission tonight: tell the truth and stand up for what we believe in," writes Vice President Biden. "Our side is always going to win when we do that."
Biden then portrays himself and President Barack Obama as underdogs. He writes, " But, Daniel, take a look at what we're up against this week:"
President Barack Obama's closest political adviser, David Axelrod, would not rule out dropping Vice President Joe Biden from this year's presidential ticket when asked about the rumors this morning on MSNBC.
"All right. David, it's Sam Stein," said the Huffington Post writer to Axelrod. "I''m guessing you're not taking John McCain's advice to drop him and put Hillary Clinton? But a more serious question --"
Mitt Romney, the cautious candidate, wary of being specific, and counting on the bad economy to defeat President Obama – forget all that! The Romney who picked Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate is an entirely different person. He’s prepared to take the fight to Obama on the biggest bundle of issues – spending, debt, the deficit, taxes, entitlements, and the reversing of America’s accelerating decline under Obama. Specifics? There will be plenty.
Elm Grove, Wisc. & Washington, D.C. THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned that the Romney campaign has begun to prepare a vigorous effort in support of Paul Ryan if he is selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick—something now likely to happen soon. For example, GOP officials tell THE WEEKLY STANDARD that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is among a group of Republicans who has been asked to be ready, in terms of his schedule and other practical preparations, to make the case publicly for a Romney-Ryan ticket as early as Saturday.