Biden: I 'would have thrown my body in front of my son' to keep him from military service under Trump

Vice President Joe Biden said Monday he would have stopped his late son from serving in the military if Donald Trump was president and controlled deployments.

Appearing at a campaign event alongside Hillary Clinton, Biden praised former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden’s service in Iraq, but noted that he would have kept his son from serving if Trump dictated US foreign policy.

“If Donald Trump had been president I would have thrown my body in front of him to keep him from going if the judgment was based on Donald Trump’s decision,” Biden said of his late son, who died last year after a prolonged battle with cancer.

After reiterating his criticism of Trump’s appeal to middle class voters, the vice president specifically questioned Trump’s foreign policy proposals and credentials. Biden criticised Trump’s positive statements about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his advocacy for non-nuclear powers like Japan to acquire their own nuclear weapons.

“There’s a guy who follows me back there who has the nuclear codes if god forbid something happen to the president,” Biden said. “[Trump] is not qualified to know the code. He cannot be trusted.”

He added: “Don’t cheer, just listen. No candidate has known less or been less prepared than Donald Trump. What absolutely amazes me is he doesn’t seem to want to learn it.”

Biden heaped praise on Clinton, touting their shared working class roots and invoking the significance Clinton’s presidency will have on women and girls seeking higher office. The vice president also ruminated on his own family’s past financial struggles and the value of resilience in the face of economic hardship.

The speech came minutes before Trump delivered what his campaign has billed as a major address on his ideas for national security and foreign policy. Trump reiterated his plan to increase scrutiny of immigrants and ending what the campaign characterised as US “nation-building” abroad.

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