Live Blog!!: The Vice Presidential Debate 9pm – 10.30pm ET
Obama has already ripped Romney over his tenure at Bain, accusing him of making money through bankrupting people and running away with the cash.
Joe Biden says Romney and Ryan are talking about his mother and father when they talk about the 47% of Americans who supposedly don’t take responsibility for themselves. That’s a serious, serious blow.
Stylistically, Ryan closes quite well as he draws a clear contrast between the two candidates for Presidency and argues Obama’s policies have failed.
Not much in it here as both sides deliver statements designed to appeal to their base, but Biden pips it again with a more forceful defense of their policies and attack on Republican economics.
ABC News decides the use of the word ‘Malarky’ was the most important part of the debate – then the analysts go into highly important topics like whether Biden over corrected Ryan…..good Lord… no wonder the mainstream media is losing relevancy by the week.
At the end of it, it was a very, very resounding victory for the Democrats tonight. Biden used effective aggression all night long forcing Ryan to defend the indefensible. Over and over again Biden refused to accept Ryan’s math or absurd policy proposals, and pummeled him on issues that matter to regular Americans. It was a direct appeal to the middle classes who will decide this election, and he gave them a clear choice – a government that works in their interest or a government that works in the interests of millionaires. It looked like a man vs a boy in many spots with Ryan unsure of how to hit back effectively. Biden did not let Ryan get away with anything, countering the incessant stream of nonsense with facts and logic. Ryan, to his credit, did not fold and did his best to hold ground against the clearly angered Biden, but he simply could not argue his way out of the ridiculous claims and faulty policies he and Romney have been campaigning on for the past year.
We’ll see how this plays out in the polls and whether the performance has helped regain lost ground after the President’s performance last week, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the Obama campaign team is breathing a lot easier.
Onto being Catholicism and religion. I don’t have much to say on this to be honest – in terms of political points, each candidate is playing to their base so I’m sure this is an equal round. I agree with Biden on abortion, but I certainly respect Ryan’s position as well (not popular in liberal circles I know). I think Ryan is genuinely pro life, whereas Romney isn’t – he’s whatever the polls tell him he should be. Pretty heartfelt from both candidates to be honest – a much more civil tone.
“The last thing America needs is to get into another ground war in the Middle East” says Biden on Romney and Ryan’s rhetoric on Syria. Again, this is solid tactical maneuvering from Biden – he is consistently painting the Republican Party as being dangerously pro war.
Ryan has clearly done his homework for this debate as he’s giving a decent amount of detail – particularly on foreign policy and Afghanistan. He’s just not as sure footed as Biden, so regardless of the substance, Biden is winning this handily. I don’t agree with either candidate on foreign policy, but Biden at least lives in the real world. Ryan just wants more war and more money for war.
Onto foreign policy now. “We are leaving. We are leaving in 2014. Period,” says Biden. Ryan is dithering on the Romney plan for getting out of Afghanistan as he won’t commit to a timeline. This feels like Bush-Kerry all over again.
They are getting to the specifics of Romney and Ryan’s tax plans. Given there aren’t any, this should be easy game for Biden. Biden reels off actual studies instead of Ryan’s fictional ones. Ryan brings up Jack Kennedy as a Democrat who cut taxes and created growth. Biden says “Now you are Jack Kennedy?” This is awesome. Haven’t enjoyed a debate like this in years.
Taxes – this should be a massive opportunity to smash Romney and Ryan. Biden launches into it straight away and accuses the Republicans of holding the middle class hostage to the wants and needs of millionaires. Ryan looks shaky here. He’s going into some very misleading numbers here, exaggerating Obama’s tax plans and understating their own. Here’s the truth – from James Kwak:
Mitt Romney wants to lower the top individual tax rate to 28 percent; Obama wants to let it increase to 39.6 percent. When you add in the Medicare payroll tax, Romney’s rate increases to 30.9 percent, while Obama’s increases to 43.4 percent. (Romney wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would mean repealing the 0.9 percent Medicare surcharge on high-income households.) That means Obama’s tax rate would be 40 percent higher than Romney’s.
Ryan brings up a medicare plan he call bipartisan. Biden points out no Democrats support it. Not sure how this is bipartisan.
Ryan does not look confident reeling off the numbers. Why? Because Romney and Ryan haven’t thought them through and can’t make a substantive argument.
Onto medicare. This is going to get wonky. Biden boils it down and looks at the camera: “Any senior out there – do you have more benefits today? Yes you do.” This is effective. Biden is literally ridiculing Ryan and Romney’s plan: “Their ideas are old, their ideas are bad”.
Ok, Biden completely smashed Ryan on the economy. That was a pretty epic smackdown and Ryan is on the backfoot here.
Biden nails Ryan for writing to him to ask for stimulus money. Wow. Big gotcha moment here. Ryan looks completely out of sorts here.
Biden is on fire here: “5.2 million jobs [that Obama has created] – if they would get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people to stay in their homes. Just get out of the way….Show me a policy….” fiery stuff.
Ryan puts forward a 5 point plan to put America back on track after slamming Obama’s record on the economy. This has got to be the thinnest set of policy proposals I have ever seen – “Get America energy independent”. Er…anything else?
Economy talk now – Biden brings up the 47% remark!!! Yes!!!! He’s getting angry now and this is very encouraging.
Joe Biden is making a forceful defense of being careful when hyping the threat from Iran. It’s not much to get excited about given Iran poses literally no threat to anyone (Biden is right – they are nowhere near getting a weapon), but again, this goes to the point that Obama and Biden are the last figures left in American politics to prevent the Republicans getting us into deep, deep trouble.
Andrew Sullivan on Biden smiling:
Biden should not smile condescendingly when Ryan lies. But he’s calm, clear and forceful. And seems much more authoritative than Ryan. But Ryan gets his points in. And the CNN approval line gives Ryan an advantage. That surprises me so far.
Joe Biden is laughing his way through Ryan’s tantrum over Iran – I’m not sure whether this is a good strategy, but he’s coming back and countering Ryan point by point. This is a far stronger performance than Obama. “There is no weapon that the Iranians have” says Biden. He’s telling Ryan to stop fear mongering.
Ok, Iran fear mongering here we go…. Paul Ryan will use this mercilessly to hammer Obama who refuses to tow the Israeli line 100%.
Ryan: “We should not apologize for our values” – what exactly does this mean? I still don’t know.
Joe Biden really is fired up for this. He calls Romney’s ludicrous press conference where he undermined the President during the Libya crisis ‘un-Presidential’.
Ok, superficial image point here – Ryan really does look like a school kid up there on the stage.
Ok, the tone of this debate is totally different from the Obama/Romney one last week. Ryan is countering with an attack on Libya and attempting to hold his ground from the get go. Expect a tense night….
Ok, we’re ready to go. Live blogging begins now!
We will be providing LIVE “up to the minute” updates on the Vice Presidential debate tonight between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan in what could be a defining moment in the race for the White House. Check the posts here!