Joe Biden is promising to restore “historic partnerships” with America’s allies, but he is already irritating them.
On Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that Biden does not understand Brexit, in reaction to Biden’s comment that the U.S. would punish Britain for a withdrawal from the European Union that included a “hard border” in Northern Ireland.
We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.
Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period. https://t.co/Ecu9jPrcHL
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 16, 2020
Other British politicians were less diplomatic in their responses. Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said the British people “don’t need lectures on the Northern Ireland peace deal” from Biden, adding: ‘If I were him I would worry more about the need for a peace deal in the USA to tackle the killing and rioting before lecturing other sovereign nations.”
Nigel Farage, the political leader most responsible for Brexit, warned that Biden would be “an anti-British US President.”
Biden is repeating the mistake that President Barack Obama made in 2016, when he warned British voters that if they passed Brexit, they would be at the “back of [the] queue” in trade deals. British voters responded by turning out to support Brexit.
Moreover, Biden is repeating a mistake that former Republican nominee Mitt Romney made in 2012, when he criticized British preparations for the Summer Olympics in London. Johnson was the mayor of London then, and he ridiculed Romney in front of a large crowd: “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready?”
The American media pounced on Romney, who was plagued on his subsequent trip to Europe by reporters screaming at him: “What about your gaffes?”
There is no chance the corrupt anti-Trump media would ever hold Biden accountable in the same way, but the fact is that what Biden said to Britain is far worse than Romney’s doubts about Olympic security. He literally threatened to kill a trade deal — one that would benefit the U.S. economy, presumably — if Britain did not bow to the EU.
Perhaps Biden simply does not know what he is talking about.
In a town hall Thursday evening on CNN, Biden admitted that he does not read the international press — a shocking admission. Biden also let slip that his “advisers” and his “old security people” are the ones who brief him about what is going on in the world. That is a sign that Biden’s foreign policy will be run by the same old Obama hands who alienated the British electorate and left much of the rest of the world in shambles.
In the Middle East, U.S. allies know well the risks of a Biden presidency. Biden is promising to restore the Iran nuclear deal, a common threat to the region. That is one of the reasons that Arab countries are rushing to make peace with Israel, and are giving Trump the credit: they want the American electorate to understand that Biden is not an acceptable alternative. Israelis also remember Biden that condemned Israel in 2010 for merely building apartments in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem.
In the Far East, U.S. allies are concerned about Biden’s cozy relationship with China. In that absurdly friendly CNN town hall Thursday, host Anderson Cooper asked Biden whether he saw China as an “opponent.” The former vice president said instead that he saw China as a “competitor.” Cooper, perhaps trying to help Biden fix his answer, asked the question again. “I view China as a competitor, a serious competitor,” Biden said — a position consistent with a decades-long pro-China stance.
In Latin America, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro came right out and said it: “We’re rooting for Trump.” Obama and Biden were close to his left-wing predecessors, Lula and Dilma Rousseff: the former was sentenced to over a decade in prison for corruption, the latter was impeached.
Obama and Biden cozied up to Cuba and achieved nothing for the long-suffering Cuban people. Meanwhile, Trump has forged a good relationship with Mexico’s left-wing president, who has stopped the migrant caravans.
The American electorate is constantly told the lie that the U.S. is no longer respected by our allies abroad. The media like to cite polls like the Pew Global Attitudes Survey, which show that foreigners don’t trust Trump. These polls are affected by the fact that one of the major sources for news abroad about the U.S. is CNN, which feeds foreign audiences a diet of anti-Trump invective and conspiracy theories.
The truth is that America is more respected today by allies that share our values and interests. Israel named a town for Trump in the Golan Heights; Hong Kong protesters sing the Star-Spangled Banner.
The Obama-Biden administration viewed America as a negative influence in the world. It appeased Russia, ignoring the pleas of our Eastern European allies. It condemned Israel, leaving it vulnerable against Iran. And it allowed China to become a threat, while Biden’s family enriched itself.
That is why U.S. allies are rooting for Trump — some more openly than others.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.