It was a night when Democrats needed a morale boost, and Vice President Joe Biden delivered with a dominating performance over Paul Ryan in the vice presidential debate.
The first question of the debate went to Joe Biden on Libya, and the vice president both touted Obama’s record on terrorism and promised that those who carried out the attack will be brought to justice. Ryan responded by painting Libya as a failed leadership moment. Ryan threw in all the red meat buzzwords about the Obama foreign policy unraveling. Biden called out Ryan for giving a lecture that wasn’t accurate. Biden then hammered Ryan for voting to cut embassy security by $300 million. Biden called Ryan’s right wing red meat a bunch of malarkey. Biden called out Romney and Ryan for, “betting against America all of the time.”
Ryan was asked about Romney’s no apologies line and whether that applies to burning Qurans and urinating on dead Taliban, and he said yes we should apologize. Paul Ryan has just stated that the Romney/Ryan platform is to apologize for America, except when it involves our “values.” Ryan then claimed that under Obama, Iran is racing towards a nuclear weapon. The topic turned to Iran, and Ryan claimed that the administration has been weak on sanctions, but Biden was there to knock Ryan’s talking points down, and ask him, “What are they talking about?” Ryan avoided the question, and when asked if he could avoid the two month red line before attacking Iran, Ryan fumbled and bumbled. Biden jumped in and talked about how the Iranian economy is going into free fall. Biden also said that Obama has met with Netanyahu 29 times. Biden said this is simply a bunch of stuff. Ryan responded by repeating his malarkey. Biden came back at Ryan by saying facts matter and explained how close Iran really is to a nuclear weapon.
The topic then turned to the economy. Biden was asked can unemployment be lowered to below 6% and how long will it take? He answered I don’t know how long it will take and detailed Obama’s economic achievements, and threw out let Detroit die, and let foreclosure take it’s course. Biden scored big points by laying into Romney and Ryan for the 47% remarks. Biden said it was about time to that the wealthy took some personal responsibility. Ryan warped the statistics and used the unemployment in Scranton, PA to claim that the jobs numbers are going in the wrong direction. Ryan then launched into Romney’s 5 point plan that won’t create jobs. Biden literally laughed out loud as Ryan was spinning his bull.
Ryan tried to explain away the 47% remarks by pointing to Romney’s personal generosity. Biden responded by saying if you believe what Ryan was pushing I have a bridge to sell you. Biden then hit Romney/Ryan again on wanting to let Detroit die. Biden talked about how Republicans need to just get out of the way and stop talking about how much they care about people, and do something. Biden also pointed out that Republicans ran up the debt. Ryan claimed that Obama came in with one party control. Ryan was asked again when he could get unemployment down to 6%, and he wouldn’t answer. Biden then hit Ryan on asking for stimulus money.
Ryan floundered on Social Security and Medicare, while Biden continued to hammer away at him. Ryan once again refused to name what specific deductions he would eliminate. One of Biden’s strongest lines of the night was telling the American people to use their common sense when they hear Romney and Ryan talking about Medicare and Social Security. Biden flat out dominated this debate. He wasn’t afraid to hit Romney, the Republicans in Congress, and Paul Ryan’s votes in the House.
Towards the end of the debate Ryan got totally desperate and repeated the right wing slur that Obama supports China’s one child policy. Biden talked with sincerity on abortion, a woman’s right to choose, and debunked the religious freedom anti-contraception talking point. Biden even put Ryan on the defensive on abortion. Ryan also lied and claimed the Romney policy supports the exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.
In closing statements, Biden made a plea to the middle class, while Paul Ryan repeated his stump talking points and tried to sell Mitt Romney as an economic savior.
Ryan looked way, way, way in over his head in foreign policy, and he wasn’t helped by the fact that foreign policy is a Biden specialty. In fact, every time the topic turned to foreign policy, Paul Ryan completely vanished for minutes on end. The difference between the two men was the Joe Biden looked like a Senate veteran and a sitting vice president, while Paul Ryan looked like a middling member of the House.
If this was the debut of the new Obama strategy for handling the Romney/Ryan pathological lying express, it was a resounding success. Biden called out every single Ryan lie, and gave him no wiggle room. Vice President Biden wasn’t abrasive or angry. He was solid, steady, and confident. Much like when he debated Sarah Palin in 2008, Biden owned the room.
On the last question of the night about a member of our military who is dejected about the tone of the campaign, Paul Ryan couldn’t resist whining about the Obama campaign and then launched into a talking point anti-Obama barrage that verified exactly who and why this campaign is so negative.
Biden hit all the points that Obama didn’t touch in the first debate, and he hit them hard.
Democrats needed a morale boost and their momentum back. Vice President Joe Biden gave them both tonight.