YORK, Pa. -- Vice President Joe Biden today slammed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for calling the Iraq and Afghanistan troop drawdowns "a mistake" and said the GOP nominee is "ready to go to war" in Syria and Iran.
"Listen to what he says about foreign policy. You caught some of it in his [convention] speech," Biden told a crowd of over a 1,000 at a Pennsylvania high school. "He said it was a mistake to end the war in Iraq and bring all of our warriors home."
Biden added, "He said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in Afghanistan and bring them home. He implies by the speech that he's ready to go to war in Syria and Iran. He wants to move from cooperation to confrontation with Putin's Russia."
While Romney has opposed the administration's strategy of timetabled troop exits for both wars, he did not address either conflict in his convention speech. Democrats have skewered Romney for failing to once mention Iraq or Afghanistan in his remarks to a primetime audience last Thursday night. (The campaign counters that he offered a lengthy foreign policy earlier last week.)
Romney did criticize Obama's policies towards Iran and Russia during his convention speech, saying "under my administration ... Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone."
Biden also had harsh words Sunday for his VP counterpart, Rep. Paul Ryan.
Mentioning Ryan's statement last week that "The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves," Biden listed off education and health initiatives that he says would be cut under the Romney-Ryan plan.
"I'd like to change the quote of my distinguished colleague, Congressman Ryan," he said. "I think the truest measure of a *political party* is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves. And by that standard, it's no contest."
*** UPDATE *** The Romney campaign issued this response, although it didn't include a mention about foreign policy: “Just today, President Obama’s own surrogates admitted that we are not better off than we were four years ago. It’s clear that we need to move in a different direction, but Vice President Biden only brought the same failed policies and tired attacks to Pennsylvania that have not turned around our economy or helped the middle class. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a plan for a stronger middle class that will bring back jobs and jumpstart the economy.”