DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that there is "no place in a civilized world" for violent attacks like the one at the U.S. Consulate in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
"Let me be clear: We are resolved to bring to justice their killers," Biden said Wednesday at the beginning of a campaign event for President Barack Obama in the battleground state of Ohio.
He referred to the attack as "senseless murder" and reinforced Obama's vow to punish those responsible.
Biden opened the campaign rally with a message of mourning for those killed at the consulate. He called the slain ambassador, former Senate aide Chris Stevens, "a really fine, fine man" and said he and other U.S. diplomats serving overseas were courageous.
He said the attack is a reminder of the "incredible price" sometimes paid by those in the diplomatic corps and said the victims are "mourned by the vast majority of the Libyan people" whose freedom they worked for.
Biden did not mention criticism by Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, who condemned the attack and criticized the Obama administration for its initial response to a separate incident Tuesday at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
But he want on to say a president's job is to defend U.S. interests and the cause of freedom abroad and to build a nation at home that can inspire the rest of the world.
"Whether we do that and how we do that, that is literally the essence of the choice we face in this presidential. It's really that basic," Biden said.
He added that the United States remains committed to its mission abroad.
"We never have been and we will not be run off. Period," Biden said.