FLASHBACK: Joe Biden Mocks Romney For Naming Russia As Top Threat To US

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Former Vice President Joe Biden mocked then Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 for suggesting Russia was the top geopolitical foe of the U.S. but is now sounding the alarm bell in a new essay for Foreign Affairs.

“I don’t know whether it’s a slip of the tongue or a mind-set … Everybody slips. I never do, but everyone does,” Biden said.

“He acts like he thinks the Cold War is still on, Russia is still our major adversary. I don’t know where he has been,” he added. “We have disagreements with Russia, but they’re united with us on Iran. One of only two ways we’re getting material into Afghanistan to our troops is through Russia … if there is an oil shutdown in any way in the Gulf, they’ll consider increasing oil supplies to Europe.”

Biden also admitted in 2012 to coining the phrase “reset” with respect to Russia, which was intended to usher in a period of good relations in 2009 between the two countries. “The ‘reset’ of relations with Russia is considered one of Obama’s major foreign policy achievements,” the council on foreign relations wrote in 2012.

Much of Russia’s more objectionable actions occurred after the re-election of former President Barack Obama, namely the annexation of Crimea, military support for separatists in Eastern Ukraine, robust military support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, and interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Biden’s remarks and record appear particularly relevant after he co-authored an alarming essay for Foreign Affairs Tuesday declaring “today, the Russian government is brazenly assaulting the foundations of Western democracy around the world.”

“The United States must lead its democratic allies and partners in increasing their resilience, expanding their capabilities to defend against Russian subversion, and rooting out the Kremlin’s networks of malign influence,” he added.

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