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Biden's 'Foot-In-Mouth' Xenophobic Comments Demonstrate Ignorance About The World

Loose talk weakens America's standing in the world.

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

When candidate Obama ran in 2008, he surprised the world by picking Joe Biden as his running mate. The official justification was that Obama, who had been in the United States Senate for only two years when he announced his candidacy, wanted someone with a solid foreign policy background to advise him should he win. Biden had served six terms in the Senate and, most recently, as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Even sympathetic media outlets have diagnosed Biden with a severe case of foot-in-mouth disease. The dust had barely settled from his recent controversial remarks about Papua New Guinea and cannibals. Biden's dramatic story about his uncle Finnegan, shot down in an area with cannibals in New Guinea, suggested his body was never found due to cannibalism, creating ripples on the opposite side of the globe. In response to Biden, PNG's Foreign Minister warned that Biden’s “uninformed remarks” could undermine relations between the countries.

Earlier this week, President Biden, who prides himself on his foreign policy knowledge and is yet arguably the worst foreign policy president in recent memory, presiding over two wars after a disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, made another significant blunder.

At a campaign reception on Wednesday night, Biden tried to compare America's record on immigration to four populous countries - Japan, India, China, and Russia - and made a few rash statements:

They don't want immigrants. And Japan and India are struggling economically because they're xenophobic.

Xenophobic, which means that someone has a prejudice against people from other countries, is an extraordinarily broad term to apply to an entire nation. While there is some truth to his criticism of Japan, which for centuries has been an inward-looking homogenous country, mentioning India in the same breath was nonsensical.

India is known for its diversity, which is reflected in its culture, customs, and traditions. With over 1.3 billion people, India is one of the world's most populous countries and is home to many languages, religions, and ethnic groups. 

Over 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India, with 22 languages officially recognized. Some of the major religions in India include Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, and Buddhism. The country is also home to several tribal communities, each with its unique culture and lifestyle. India's diversity is also reflected in its cuisine, music, dance, and art, which vary from region to region. Overall, India's diversity is one of its greatest strengths and adds to its rich cultural heritage.

Clearly, India doesn't need more immigration because the country is not diverse enough. 

As regards India's economic performance, Biden may be jealous of India's accomplishments. India is currently the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity. It was one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world over the past few decades, with an average annual GDP growth rate of around 7% from 2014 to 2019. The country has a young and rapidly growing population proficient in English and serves as the world's human capital source. More Indians enroll in American colleges and universities than from any other country, and the Indian diaspora abroad is the wealthiest among all ethnic groups. 

India is the only country to have successfully launched a lunar mission to the moon's south pole. These achievements wouldn't have been possible if India weren't diverse enough. 

Despite this stellar performance, India remains mired in poverty. According to the United Nations Development Program, nearly 15% of India's population is multidimensionally poor. The World Bank defines this as an index that measures the percentage of households in a country deprived along three dimensions—monetary poverty, education, and essential infrastructure services—to capture a more complete picture of poverty. We struggle with President Biden's criticism: How can a country that has 211 million multidimensionally poor people afford to take in more immigrants?  

Biden's comments about China don't pan out either. China is a vast country with a population of over 1.4 billion people, only recently eclipsed by India as the world's most populous country. China's population growth was so high that the government implemented the highly controversial "One Child Policy" in 1979, only abolishing it in 2015. How can President Biden expect a country teeming with people and struggling to cater to its own growing middle class to welcome even more people from the outside? Unlike Japan, China is highly diverse, counting more than 55 officially recognized ethnic minority groups, including the Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongolians, and Hui. These ethnic minority groups have their own distinct cultures, languages, and traditions. China does not need additional migration to add to its diversity.

Russia, the world's largest country, is home to over 190 ethnic groups. The majority of the population is Russian, but there are also significant populations of Tatars, Ukrainians, Bashkirs, and Chuvash, among others. Russia is also a linguistically diverse country, with over 100 languages spoken across its vast territory. Contrary to what President Biden said, Russia has historically been a popular destination for migrants from Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Significant numbers of migrants also come from Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, China, Vietnam, and Syria.

John F. Kirby, the national security spokesman at the White House, tried to walk back President Biden's comments. "Look, I think the broader point that the president was making, and I think people all around the world recognize this, is that the United States is a nation of immigrants and it's in our DNA," he said. "We're better for it. We're stronger for it. We're not going to walk away from it. And that's the broader point that he would make."

Nice try, Mr. Kirby. It must be tough for Biden's spokespeople like you to stand up on the podium and lie. While America is a land of immigrants, what has happened under Biden's watch is unpardonable. Americans have repeatedly criticized Biden - the House even impeached DHS secretary Mayorkas - for his horrible record on illegal immigration, which has brought in over ten million illegal immigrants into America and created havoc in our cities. America's immigration anxiety is real. In our latest I&I/TIPP Poll, most American voters say they still back a border wall with stiff immigration controls.

While Robert Gates, who served as defense secretary under both Presidents Bush and Obama, criticized Biden's foreign policy record, Special Counsel Robert Hur's recent decision to absolve Biden raises further questions about his leadership capabilities. Gates, in his 2014 memoir, wrote about Biden:

I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.

Gates was proved right, yet again.

Recently, Special Counsel Robert Hur gave Biden a pass, refusing to bring charges against Biden, writing:

We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.

Americans must decide in November whether a leader who is a gaffe machine with waning mental faculties is the right person to lead the free world.

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