KITTERY, Maine — Vice President Joe Biden took the occasion of a visit to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Wednesday to promise that the United States will follow the terrorist group ISIS “to the gates of hell.”
Biden mourned the murders of two journalists with New Hampshire ties — Steven Sotloff and James Foley — and said, “If they think the American people will be intimidated they don’t know us very well.” He called the ISIS terrorists “barbarians” who belong in hell.
“The American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy could fully understand,” Biden said. “As a nation we are united and when people harm Americans we don’t retreat. We don’t forget.”
Biden also praised the work of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which could face still another time of anxiety if congress decides to form another Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
As Biden spoke, with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter at his side, Republicans criticized him and President Barack on the economy and on the administration’s strategy – or admitted lack thereof – on ISIS.
“Jeanne Shaheen has supported the administration an astounding 99 percent of the time, but can she explain what the Obama administration’s foreign policy is?” said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brook Hougesen. “The fact is that, the ‘We don’t have a strategy yet,’ doctrine might be the cleanest, simplest, and most accurate description of both the Obama administration and Jeanne Shaheen’s time in office.”
Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown’s campaign issued a web video chiding the Obama and Biden for Obama’s statement, “We don’t have a strategy, yet,” regarding ISIS.
“Our enemies have been emboldened by the Obama administration’s incoherent foreign policy, and President Obama must work with Congress to define a strategy to stop ISIS and keep our country safe,” said Brown. “With their heinous actions, ISIS has shown they are pure evil, and their aggression cannot go unanswered a moment longer. We need a plan to stop them and restore American leadership in the world.”
Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she was informed of the visit by Biden last Friday, too late for her to change her schedule and attend the event at the Shipyard, which was an official, as opposed to a campaign-related, event.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party commented:
“It’s a shame that Senator Ayotte couldn’t put politics aside for once to stand up for our shipyard and its workers. We are disappointed by her petty behavior and that she missed an opportunity to showcase the strength of our shipyard to the Vice President.”