Biden's words almost surely reflect what Democratic focus groups, pollsters, political analysts and pundits are advising the party to say and do: Play the peace card Monday night in Boca Raton, Fla., and tag Romney-Ryan as a trigger-happy ticket of the war party.
The charges Romney is likely to hear from the president and the questions he is likely to face from the moderator, pushing him toward bellicosity, are not that difficult to discern.
"Governor, President Obama has said Iran will not be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. You have said Iran will not be allowed to have a 'nuclear weapons capability.' What is the difference? Doesn't Iran already have the capability to produce a nuclear weapon? What will you do about it?"
"Governor, Paul Ryan said in his debate Iran 'is racing toward a nuclear weapon." But 16 U.S. intelligence agencies said in 2007 and reaffirmed in 2011 that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. What is your evidence that Iran is 'racing toward a nuclear weapon?'"
"Governor, you have said of America and Israel, 'The world must never see daylight between our two nations.' Does that mean if Israel attacks Iran, you would take us to war on Israel's side?"
"Governor, at VMI you said, 'In Syria, I will work ... to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad's tanks, helicopters and fighter jets.' Would you give surface-to-air missiles to the Syrian rebels?"
"Governor, Japan and China are at sword's point over the Senkaku Islands. If war breaks out, are we obligated by our alliance with Japan to come to her defense?"
The Republican peril in Boca Raton is that headlines the next day will have Romney, consciously or inadvertently, laying down some marker for a new war.
"Peace through strength," the Eisenhower-Reagan slogan, is the GOP slogan that still resonates with American voters.
Even in 1940, FDR, though plotting war, ran as a peace candidate:
"I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."
Hopefully, Gov. Romney will say something like this, and mean it.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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