In Wide-Ranging Speech, Biden Discusses Egypt, Bipartisanship, War

by Sheila Ash on February 11, 2011

Vice President Joe Biden says it’s time for a smooth transition to Democracy in Egypt.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned shortly before Biden took the stage at the University of Louisville McConnell Center. The Vice President began his remarks with a comment on the situation.

“This is a pivotal moment in history, it’s a pivotal moment in not only Mid East history, but in history I would argue. We have said from the beginning as an administration that this unrest, that the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people,” he says.

Biden says any violence against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable and the rights of the Egyptian people must be respected.

In the rest of his speech, Biden discussed everything from education and the economy to innovation and infrastructure.

Referring to Iraq and Afghanistan, Biden said the Obama administration will begin withdrawing forces in Afghanistan in July and 50 thousand troops will be coming home from Iraq by the end of the year.

Biden was accompanied by the center’s namesake, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. The Vice President said despite frequent disagreements, he and McConnell have been able to reach some common ground.

“We also share the conviction that we can sustain our position in the world and we can and must strengthen it. We share the conviction that America’s best days are ahead,” he said.

Biden cited the recent tax cut compromise as an example of his bipartisan work.

For video of the speech visit the McConnell Center website.

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