Joe Biden’s foreign policy inexperience knocks back nomination

Image caption Is Joe Biden the ideal Vice President?

Image caption Let’s just rephrase this: can Joe Biden handle a VP presidency?

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Image caption Joe Biden’s lack of foreign affairs experience could be a liability if Trump is impeached

Joe Biden has won over critics with his measured performance in the domestic and foreign policy debates. But his main hurdle is his lack of experience in navigating international relations, by the polls’ reckoning.

Who’s the latest Donald Trump critic?

A top Arizona Republican political figure – the state’s Governor Doug Ducey – seems to disagree, and has seemingly doubled down on that opinion.

After a speech at the Brookings Institution at the John F Kennedy Center for Public Policy in Washington on Thursday night, Governor Ducey said he does not believe Mr Biden’s international experience will be an advantage, but added that he’s not interested in the job of vice president.

I know I said I’m not interested, but a lot of people here can’t see me not being interested – they’re damn smart. In the event Joe Biden enters the presidential race this summer, will Arizona’s governor, former congressman, US Naval Academy wrestling champion and businessman be interested in serving as Donald Trump’s veep?

“Here’s my bottom line on Biden: Unless he’s going to be a guy that runs his campaign from Washington and wins the presidency – which is highly unlikely – he’s never going to be a good VP for this president or any other,” the Arizona Republican told an audience at Brookings, the think-tank founded by JFK.

A day earlier, Governor Ducey told another audience that he found Mr Biden’s presidential ambitions “unfortunate” in light of the “non-responsive” White House.

“Biden is the only person who has the understanding of US foreign policy that is deficient in the White House right now,” he said at an Arizona Republic-sponsored event in Phoenix.

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“He’s the only person who can help Donald Trump understand the national security needs of the United States for the next four years, and we believe that he’s the most qualified person to do that job.”

He added: “If he is inclined to run, we need him to come to us and make our case – that’s my position and I take it extremely seriously. But at this point I can’t see him coming to us.”

So would that position be to refuse the post altogether?

“The role of vice president is secondary to the president as the commander-in-chief,” he told CBS affiliate KPNX.

“So, I think the primary role of the vice president is the president’s right-hand man and it’s not one that I envision seeing Joe Biden play.”

Would he, for example, sideline Donald Trump from an international crisis?

“I am not interested in attempting to maneuver into the middle of the biggest domestic and international crises for this president.

“I would just say this: I just don’t see him in that kind of role.”

As for how to get past his foreign policy inexperience, Governor Ducey said: “The last thing America needs is the guy in the White House who’s watching his doctor’s appointments, given the inordinate amount of time he spends on political television, and there’s nobody, by the way, who has figured out this better than Biden.”

You can listen to the BBC World Service interview in full by clicking here.

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