Decision 2012

Biden, Ryan trade blows in vice presidential debate

Biden, Ryan trade blows in vice presidential debate

POSTED: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 8:05pm

UPDATED: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 6:55pm

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan traded sharp barbs in their high-stakes vice presidential debate on Thursday, offering attacks aimed at lifting their respective campaigns less than a month before Election Day.

Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, sought to land some of the first blows. He criticized President Barack Obama's administration for its failure to protect four Americans killed last month in a terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission Benghazi, Libya, and for mixed messages about what transpired.

"This Benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself. But unfortunately it's indicative of a larger problem," Ryan said, adding that illustrated an unraveling of the administration's foreign policy.

Biden, the sitting vice president, responded sharply in a bid to counter the Republican's claim that the administration has looked weak and, in the process, has strengthened U.S. adversaries.

"With all due respect, that's a bunch of mularkey," he said, claiming the budget backed by Ryan would have cut funding for things like security at diplomatic posts. "Because not a single thing he said was accurate."

The candidates then moved onto other foreign policy topics, sparring on Iran.

Widebly backed international sanctions pushed by Obama have devastated Iran's economy, Biden said. He also beat back assertions that Obama wasn't working closely with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that the United States wasn't fully committed to making sure Iran doesn't require a nuclear weapon.

"This president doesn't bluff," Biden said.

Yet, Ryan insisted that Iran was closer now to having a nuclear weapon than it was four years ago, blaming the administration for allowing that to happen. He bluntly said that Tehran could not become a nuclear power.

"This is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism," he said. "And if they get nuclear weapons, other people in the neighborhood will pursue nuclear weapons as well. We can't live with that."

The debate then shifted to domestic issues, starting with the state of the economy.

Biden blasted remarks from Mitt Romney in which the Republican presidential nominee described 47% of Americans as Obama supporters who saw themselves as "victims" and dependent on government.

Ryan countered by citing the unemployment rate for Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania: 8.5% in January 2009 and 10% today. And he said that story is playing about nationwide.

"That's not how it's going," Biden jumped in, speaking of the national unemployment rate. "It's going down."

Twenty-seven years separated the contenders at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where Biden aimed to blunt the momentum of the Republican ticket following last week's presidential debate.

Ryan hoped to keep the pressure on the Democrats and demonstrate to the nation in the lone meeting with the more politically experienced Biden that he's fit to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Ryan, 42, has served seven terms in the House and is one of his party's most prominent figures as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Biden, 69, entered the showdown as the underdog, despite decades in Washington as a senator, where he chaired powerful committees. He also has experience as a presidential candidate and is a veteran debater.

Nevertheless, a recent CNN/ORC International poll showed 55% of voters expected Ryan to win the matchup compared to 39% for Biden. Some Democrats hoped low expectations would work to Biden's advantage.

The Delaware Democrat is hoping to inject new energy into his party's ticket following last week's presidential face off where Romney outperformed Obama.

Viewers and pundits from both parties hailed Romney's aggressiveness as the former Massachusetts governor tore into Obama on the sluggish economy and other issues, forcefully challenging the incumbent's policies.

Obama was chided for being passive. He said he was too polite. Polls conducted after the debate indicate the White House race is now extremely tight ahead of the November 6 election.

Key surveys indicate that Obama and Romney are knotted up in the battleground states of Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Colorado. Most experts believe that nine swing states will determine the next president.

Romney and Obama will face off twice more before the November 6 election.

The next meeting will be a "town hall" style debate on Tuesday and moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The final showdown -- focusing on foreign policy -- will be October 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

Ryan and Biden have been staples on the campaign trail this summer, attacking their opponent's policies and raising money for their campaigns.

™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Comments News Comments

paulie was Bidened last evenng! Every single lie the willard/paulie ticket has been sharing with their teavangelical right-of-right ultra-conservative repub followers was addressed, and paulie dribbled his answers and looked like a smirking puppet... Howdy Doody comes to mind! President Obama may have had a less than stunning debate last week, but you can be assured he will be more than ready next Tuesday...willard may think he's ahead, but get ready for round 2!! OBAMA 11/6/2012.

 I want to know why both parties are so interested in the Middle East and no one on either side even mentions what is happening at the US / Mexico borders where US civilians are being killed.

I found Vce President Biden to be rude and obnoxious, stepping on Ryan and never letting him finish a sentence. The sneering, laughter was so out of place. We have grave problems in this country now. Glad Biden finds it funny while we pay higher and higher prices at the pump and at home and the other necessities in life that are costing more and no pay increase in sight, that is if you are fortunate enough to have a job.

"Glad Biden finds it funny while we pay higher and higher prices at the pump and at home and the other necessities in life that are costing more and no pay increase in sight". THAT IS THE FREE MARKET WITHOUT THE NECESSARY REGULATIONS TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS THAT YOU IDIOTS LOVE SO MUCH SO STOP COMPLAINING YOU SUPPORT DEREGULATION AND THE FREE MARKET. STUPID IDIOTS!

Did you find Ryan to be rude and obnoxious, with his snirks or Romney as rude and obnoxious, when he did the same to the President as the VP did to Ryan? If you didn't then you are nothing more than a HYPOCRITE. Did you find it offensive when Ryan and Romney were telling the American People all of those LIES and ditching the questions and refusing to give us the details of their 5 TRILLION $ TAX CUT FOR THOSE EARNING 1 MILLION$ OR MORE? JUST DO A FACT CHECK WITH NONPARTISAN SOURCES.

Biden spanked Ryan with the facts.......Joe is the man

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