A smirking and sometimes condescending Vice President Joe Biden made up the ground lost by his boss, President Obama, by besting Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) with his own debate performance before a national television audience last night.
Biden accused his Republican opponent of wanting to kill Medicare and Social Security and of wanting to continue to commit troops to Afghanistan beyond their projected extraction date … and even accused the Wisconsin congressman and presidential candidate Mitt Romney of plotting war against Iran.
Biden continually interrupted his younger, less-experienced opponent and even laughed at points when Ryan spoke. And while his tactics could have been read as bullying, he scored points for his grasp of the issues and ability to offer specific facts and arguments on multiple issues.
Biden cut off Ryan when he chided the Obama Administration for failing to provide enough security at the U.S. consulate in Libya, where terrorists killed the ambassador and three other Americans.
“With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey,” Biden interrupted. “These guys bet against America all the time.”
Still, Ryan was able to hold his own, showing his own debating acumen in direct exchanges with the more seasoned V.P.
When Biden declared the Republicans’ were undermining Medicare, Ryan shot back, noting that ObamaCare raids Medicare of $716 billion. “They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning Medicare into a piggy bank for ObamaCare,” he said.
When Biden derided Romney’s recent comments about 47 percent of American population being “unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives,” Ryan fired back, saying Romney misspoke … something that Biden should be well acquainted with (referring to the Vice President’s numerous and well-publicized gaffes).
In the end, most observers declared Biden the winner, with Ryan giving a good accounting of himself under fire. Democratic pundits will expect a surge after this performance, but Republicans can’t be disappointed in their second candidate on the ticket.