At a Hillary Clinton rally in Ohio Thursday night, Vice President Joseph R. Biden was interrupted by a protester who yelled that “my friend died” in fighting in the Middle East.
“So did my son,” Mr. Biden shot back, referring to Iraq war veteran Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The heckler appeared to be referring to recent fighting near the town of Manbij in northern Syria, where the U.S. has deployed special forces to help pro-U.S. Syrian fighters this year against the Islamic State.
When the man pressed Mr. Biden a second time about his friend’s death, Mr. Biden replied, “Because the deal was to get them into Manbij, and to work, was they’d go back across the Euphrates [River] so we could have special forces moved in. That’s why.”
The crowd at the Clinton rally started to chant “Hillary!” but Mr. Biden quieted the audience.
“Come back after and talk to me about this, OK?” the vice president told the heckler. “You have my permission.”
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Campaigning for the first female major-party presidential nominee, Mr. Biden also told the crowd in Parma, Ohio, that “we need a guy” for president.
Mr. Biden started out the rally by tossing a barb at Republican nominee Donald Trump, saying “we need a president who knows that Russia has already invaded Ukraine.” He ridiculed Mr. Trump for saying that President Obama was a founder of the Islamic State terrorist group.
Then he went on, “We need a guy, we need a guy who understands, or a woman, who understands that they [the Islamic State] have already done significant damage to us before they ever got elected.”
Mr. Biden also blamed Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio for helping to create the recession of 2007-09 as budget director for President George W. Bush.
“Rob Portman was the architect of George W. Bush’s economic policy,” he said. “Why the hell did we end up in this great recession? How did that happen? Did it happen out of whole cloth? It happened because of a budget and a philosophy of the Republican Party.”