Friday, October 12, 2012

Pundits on Biden-Ryan Debate

VP Debate 2012- Biden or Joker
John R. Houk
© October 12, 2012

Last night’s Biden/Ryan debate was a demonstration on how Democrats will shout down an opponent when confronted with the facts of fundamental failure of the Obama Administration.

Thus as the day and week moves forward I predict the Dems will say VP Biden won by virtue of blustering and not allowing Rep. Ryan to elaborate on the facts. If you are a Republican VP Biden’s performance was that of an insane person smiling like a creep sometimes and masking shock to condescend to the kid’s facts. Not that Ryan is a kid; he is a man in his forties. But old foot-in-mouth Biden would not give Ryan a chance to stick his foot in his mouth.

The Joker - Jack NicholsonI like what William L. Gensert wrote about Biden’s gyrations:

His smile was frightening.  For most of the night Joe Biden looked like the Joker -- Nicholson not Ledger.
Vice President Joe Biden is the Joker and the current person a heartbeat away from the Office of President.

The most even handed news report on the debate that I have found is from Richard Wolf which I found at Portland WCSH News.

JRH 10/12/12

Biden, Ryan clash over economy and terrorism

By Richard Wolf, USA Today
Oct 12, 2012 11:00 AM

DANVILLE, Ky. -- A virtually deadlocked race for the White House spreads out to six states over the next few days following a confrontational vice-presidential debate that highlighted huge differences over the economy and taxes, health care, terrorism and the threat of war.

Vice President Biden and his Republican challenger, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, quarreled Thursday night over the records of their running mates: President Obama's stewardship of the economy and foreign policy, and Mitt Romney's claim that he can do better on both fronts.

The debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., gave Biden a chance to stop Romney's momentum since his commanding performance in the first presidential debate in Denver last week. It gave Ryan the opportunity to define himself for the American people and continue that momentum as the race enters its final 26 days.

Both sides came away pleased. "I thought Joe Biden was terrific tonight," Obama told reporters after the 90-minute debate had concluded. A CNN poll of 381 registered voters who watched the debate showed Ryan the winner, 48%-44%.

Throughout the debate, Biden sought to do what Obama had not last week: fight back. He grinned and shook his head continually to show his disagreement with Ryan and interrupted the young congressman frequently. When Ryan accused the administration of "projecting weakness abroad" by not solving problems in Iran, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, Biden shot back, "The last thing we need now is another war."

And when Ryan berated Obama's economic policies, proposed tax increases and "devastating cuts to our military," Biden said, "I've never met two guys who are more down on America, across the board."

Ryan, new to the national stage and in his first televised debate, was unflappable. "What we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy," he said, criticizing in particular the assassination of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. "Problems are growing abroad, but jobs aren't growing here."

Unlike the more formal presidential debate last week in Denver, Biden and Ryan interrupted each other frequently as they sought to separate facts from fiction. When Biden referred to Romney's statement that 47% of Americans feel they are victims, Ryan quipped, "As the vice president knows, sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way."

The debate served different purposes for the two campaigns. Biden needed to help Democrats recover from Obama's lackadaisical performance last week; Ryan sought to continue the momentum that Romney's strong effort produced in national and swing state polls.

Before the next presidential debate Tuesday, the candidates and their wives were set to visit six of the nine states still very much in play: Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada. The others are Florida, Iowa and New Hampshire.

The debate offered a clear generational contrast between a nearly 70-year-old vice president who was elected to the Senate in 1972 and a 42-year-old challenger who was 2 years old at the time.

Vice presidential debates have not proven very important in the past -- not even in 1988, when Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen famously said of Republican Dan Quayle, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

At one point in Thursday's debate, Ryan said the tax cuts that Republicans want are reminiscent of President Kennedy's. "Oh, now you're Jack Kennedy!" Biden said.

Sharp barbs but no clear winner in testy Biden-Ryan vice presidential debate

By Amie Parnes and Justin Sink
10/11/12 11:10 PM ET

Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) traded furious blows Thursday night in a highly contentious vice presidential debate.

There was no clear winner in the first and only showdown between the vice presidential candidates, with both sides making strong cases for the running mate at the top of their respective ticket. But perhaps the most prominent feature of the debate in Danville, Ky., was Biden’s incredulous demeanor. The vice president repeatedly dismissed Ryan with laughter, eye-rolling and even an “Oh, god!” in an evening of quips and comebacks.

From the outset of the 90-minute debate, Biden sought to portray Mitt Romney and Ryan’s ideas as “malarkey” and depicted his opponent as evasive and untruthful, a theme the Obama campaign has pushed aggressively in recent days.

"With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey," Biden said. "Not a single thing he said is accurate."

Biden, clearly looking to rebound from President Obama's sluggish and subdued performance in last week's presidential debate, presented a sharp contrast in demeanor and tone from his opponent as they debated topics ranging from Libya to the economy and abortion. The vice president frequently laughed and interrupted his rival as Ryan lobbed criticisms, appearing both confident and dismissive of the Republican nominee.

The Wisconsin congressman battled back with varied success, landing some counterpunches and living up to the earnest and wonky image he has carefully cultivated during his time in Congress. But at other points, Ryan seemed frustrated by Biden's frequent interruptions.

"I know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but people would be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other," Ryan said during a discussion of Medicare.

Biden ran a risk with voters, appearing at times condescending and overly aggressive. His dismissive tone drew fire from many Republicans, who suggested the vice president was being rude to his opponent.

“It’s pretty clear who the grown-up onstage is,” Brendan Buck, Ryan’s spokesman, wrote on Twitter halfway through the debate. “Biden bordering on unhinged,” Tim Miller, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, wrote.

But Biden’s aggressive stance pleased some Democrats who felt the Obama campaign couldn’t afford to lose this debate.

Democratic strategist Paul Begala tweeted, “34 minutes into the VP debate, this is the debate Dems needed. God Bless Joe Biden."

Obama himself was pleased with his running mate, saying he "could not be prouder" of Biden as Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland after the president's trip to Florida.

"I'm going to make a special point of saying that I thought Joe Biden was terrific tonight," Obama said. "I could not be prouder of him. I thought he made a very strong case. I really think that his passion for making sure that the economy grows for the middle class came through. So I'm very proud of him."

He called Biden to congratulate him, according to a White House pool report. Romney also called Ryan to congratulate his running mate.

The tone of the evening was set from the opening question, an inquiry into the recent attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Ryan argued the Obama administration had dropped the ball there, providing inadequate security for the foreign service officers who lost their lives.

"Our ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment guarding him," Ryan said. "Shouldn't we have a Marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi, a place we knew there was an al Qaeda cell with arms?"

Biden fired back, saying the congressman's characterization of the administration's response to a terrorist attack was "malarkey" and that "nothing he said was accurate."

The vice president went on to cite congressional Republicans' vote to cut embassy security budgets.

"This lecture on embassy security — the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for ... So much for the embassy security piece."

As the debate transitioned to the deficit and debt, it stayed personal, with Ryan pointing out that the unemployment rate in Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pa., had increased under the Obama administration.

Biden shot back by bringing up the "47 percent" comment that Romney made at a private fundraiser, saying the Republican nominee believed half of Americans were "unwilling to take responsibility of their lives."

Ryan responded by pointing out Biden's Achilles' heel: gaffes.

"I think the VP very well knows the words sometimes don't come out of your mouth the right way," Ryan said.

"But I always say what I mean," Biden retorted.

In fact, the famously gaffe-prone vice president was mistake-free during the 90-minute debate.

Later, Biden was able to put Ryan on his heels by highlighting the fact that the congressman had requested stimulus dollars for his home district despite criticizing the spending.

"I love that," Biden said. "This is such a bad program and he writes me a letter saying, 'The reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs.' His words."

But Ryan seemed to pick up momentum later in the debate as it turned to economic questions. Clearly prepared for a tangle on Medicare, Ryan said Republicans would "honor the promises" to seniors on Medicare.

"We would rather have 50 million future seniors determine how their Medicare is delivered to them, instead of 15 bureaucrats deciding what, when, if and where they get it," Ryan said.

Biden struck back, equating Ryan's argument to the "death panel" claims made by former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

The conversation was dotted with folksy colloquialisms as Biden sought the upper hand, frequently referring to Ryan as "my friend" and joking that if voters believed that Romney truly supported the auto bailout, "I've got a bridge to sell you."

The debate again got feisty as the candidates engaged on their tax plans, with the two men frequently shouting over one another while discussing who would be most affected by allowing the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans to expire.

"Jack Kennedy lowered tax rates and increased growth," Ryan said, arguing for the Romney tax plan.

"Now you're Jack Kennedy?" Biden asked incredulously. "This is amazing."

"Republicans and Democrats have worked together on this," Ryan said. "I understand you guys aren't used to bipartisan deals."

As the debate moved back to foreign policy, Ryan accused Biden of empowering the Syrian government's violent response to rebels by negotiating through the United Nations.

"Where are we?" Ryan asked. "After international pressure, then President Obama said [Syrian President] Bashar Assad should go. It's been over a year. He has slaughtered tens of thousands of his own people."

Biden countered, asking, "What would my friend do differently?

"You notice he never answers the question," the vice president said.

Toward the conclusion of the debate, the candidates were pressed on their stances on abortion. Both Roman Catholics, Ryan and Biden differed on how their faith and public policy should be interwoven.

"I don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life. My faith informs me how to take care of the vulnerable, how to make sure that people have a chance in life," Ryan said.

Biden said he accepted his church's position on abortion "as what we call a de fide doctrine."

"I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and I just refuse to impose that on others," Biden said. "Unlike my friend here, the congressman, I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people, women, they can't control their body."

In the debate's concluding moments, the candidates were asked to comment on the tenor of the presidential contest so far — an apt question, considering the night's testy proceedings. Debate moderator Martha Raddatz, who was noticeably more firm in shaping the debate than moderator Jim Lehrer a week ago in Denver with the presidential candidates, asked the question in the context of a soldier who had expressed dismay over the political atmosphere.

Biden pivoted into a discussion of the "sacred obligation" of the government to honor the soldier's service — and hit Ryan again on his running mate's "47 percent" comment.

"He shouldn't be thrown into a category of 47 percent who don't pay their taxes while he was out there fighting," Biden said.

Ryan similarly turned the question into an attack on his opponent, arguing that "we're not getting leadership" under Obama.

"What do we have from the president?" Ryan asked. "He broke his big promise to bring people together to solve the country's biggest problem. I would tell him we don't have to settle for this; we can do better than this."
Joe Was the Only One Laughing

Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
October 12, 2012

"If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet." --Proverbs 29:9

Conventional wisdom says that vice presidential debates don't move the needle in elections, and last night's debate was probably no exception. That said, Thursday night's debate couldn't have contrasted two more different candidates. Paul Ryan, the respectful, serious and earnest policy wonk, against Joe Biden, who behaved like a drunken clown and a jerk and paid due homage to the mascot of the Democrat Party -- the Jackass. (SlantRight Editor: Highlight emphasis mine)

VP Debate 2012- Biden-Clown vs Ryan toon

On substance, Ryan held his own against Vice President Chuckles, despite having to face a second debate opponent in "moderator" Martha Raddatz of ABC News. Yet on style, whether the subject was the terrorist attack on our Libyan embassy, the ailing economy or abortion, Biden smiled, laughed, sneered, rolled his eyes and strategically interrupted Ryan every time the congressman hit his stride on an answer. And if it wasn't Biden interrupting, it was Raddatz.

Biden is obviously a disciple of Saul Alinksy (sic), who in his "Rules for Radicals," Rule No. 5, said, "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage." Clearly, the Obama team decided that the president's failure last week was that he was "too polite," and that Biden had to use ridicule to shore up their anxious base. The result was appalling, but then again, Biden has been rehearsing his socialist obfuscation and diversion in Washington for 40 years.

With that, here are a few high- and lowlights.

Libya: Biden blamed the intelligence community for the ever-changing story coming from the White House, and flat out lied when he claimed ignorance as a defense. "[W]e weren't told they wanted more security" at the embassy, he said.. But the bottom line is READ THE REST
Pundits on Biden-Ryan Debate
John R. Houk
© October 12, 2012
Biden, Ryan clash over economy and terrorism

Copyright ©2012 Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.. All rights reserved.
Sharp barbs but no clear winner in testy Biden-Ryan vice presidential debate

© 2012 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.
Joe Was the Only One Laughing

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