Political News

Biden warns: 'We have to resist the siren song of populism and phony nationalism'

Posted July 17, 2018 10:04 a.m. EDT
Updated July 17, 2018 2:06 p.m. EDT

— Former Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that democratic ideals are "under attack" and warned, "we have to resist the siren song of populism."

"We have to resist the siren song of populism and phony nationalism that threatens the north and south, including my home country. In fact, this is a global challenge," Biden said in Bogotá, Colombia, at the 2018 Concordia Americas Summit.

The remarks came one day after President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and stunned the world by declining to endorse the US intelligence community's assessment that Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"This is a moment where repressive regimes from Russia to China to Iran to Venezuela are weakening democratic forces in their societies and strengthening their grip on power," Biden said. "

"We're seeing democratic ideals that are the core of our identity, our regional identity, we see them under attack," he added. "If we fail to meet these challenges and defend our most basic ideals. If we fail to provide the leadership, the opportunities we've worked so hard to cultivate could slip away much more rapidly than we think."

Biden blames Trump immigration policy for 'chaos and pain'

In the same speech, Biden also blamed the Trump administration's immigration policy for causing "heartbreaking chaos and pain," and criticized the separation of undocumented immigrant families.

"The abrupt policy changes at the US southern border last month, they didn't make us safer. They delivered heartbreaking chaos and pain," Biden said. He added, "Breaking up families isn't the answer and a border wall isn't the answer either."

After facing intense backlash over the administration's separation of migrant families at the border, Trump abruptly reversed course last month and signed an executive order to halt family separations.

Not long after, a federal judge ordered the US government to reunify separated families. The government has begun the process of reunification, but it is still ongoing. CNN has previously reported that the government hasn't been able to find the parents of 71 children who were likely separated from their families.

On Tuesday, Biden said, "the real key to solving this problem lies in addressing the root causes of migration that push people to leave behind everything they know and they love and undertake a dangerous journey for a chance at a better life."

"The answer is not to lose or put aside our values, our principles and our humanity," Biden said.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a CNN request for comment on his remarks.