FAIRBORN, OH -- The morning after a mob in Libya killed four Americans at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazzi, a subdued Joe Biden paid tribute to the dead and promised justice for their killers.
"These men are as brave and as courageous as any of our warriors that we’ve sent," Biden said of the four Americans killed, first noting that the late Ambassador Chris Stevens fought for the liberation of the Libyan people.
"The cause to which they dedicated their lives and gave their lives, democracy, partnership, tolerance, stands in sharp contrast to the values of those who callously took their lives," he said. "And let me be clear, we are resolved to bring to justice their killers."
The vice president also called for recognition of all foreign service officers, whose jobs often put them in danger and whose careers aren't "all about going to coffees and teas."
"As we always have, Americans must be steadfast, resolved and committed in the face of such horrific events," he added. "We never have been and we will not be run off, period."
Biden, who appeared at a campaign rally at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio (which he at one point mistook for Michigan's Wayne State), offered fewer of his red meat lines than usual, barely mentioning opponents Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan by name.
But he did pivot from his recognition of the Middle East conflict to his stump speech by drawing an implicit contrast with Romney over the GOP's ticket's view of foreign policy as a "sidelight."
"Foreign policy is not some sidelight to all of this," he said. "And you deserve all of America deserve leaders who will tell you what they intend to do in both spheres."