Who won the debate seems to be the leading question as the head-to-head showdowns commence ahead of the election, and it seems Joe Biden burned up the state last night with his no-nonsense approach to many of the questions and statements made during the 90 minute showdown.
While Paul Ryan whipped out many of his common talking points, Biden (who is known for stumbling over words on occasion) managed to shoot them all down with a smile, holding firm in a way President Barack Obama seemed to struggle to do during last week’s tete-a-tete with GOP challenger and Paul Ryan running mate Mitt Romney.
Biden hammered Ryan back on relations with Iran, firmly and continually debunking insinuations made by the congressman, but some of his best riffing was on Mitt Romney’s damaging “47 percent” remarks, seen on a secretly-recorded video released last month.
During a segment about the economy, Biden fumed:
“I’ve had it up to here with this notion that 47 percent — it’s about time they take some responsibility here. And instead of signing pledges to Grover Norquist not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class we’re going to level the playing field; we’re going to give you a fair shot again; we are going to not repeat the mistakes we made in the past by having a different set of rules for Wall Street and Main Street, making sure that we continue to hemorrhage these tax cuts for the super wealthy.”
The veep continued, squeezing Ryan on middle-class taxes:
“They’re pushing the continuation of a tax cut that will give an additional $500 billion in tax cuts to 120,000 families. And they’re holding hostage the middle class tax cut because they say we won’t pass — we won’t continue the middle class tax cut unless you give the tax cut for the super wealthy.”
Biden also called Ryan out on his assertions that he and Romney look out for vulnerable segments of the population, saying:
“Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something. Show me a policy. Show me a policy where you take responsibility … And, by the way, they talk about this Great Recession if it fell out of the sky, like, ‘Oh, my goodness, where did it come from?’ It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, to at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for the very wealthy. I was there. I voted against them. I said, no, we can’t afford that … And now, all of a sudden, these guys are so seized with the concern about the debt that they created.”
As for who won the debate, organically, opinion seems to be divided based on which party any given commenter affiliates with: Republicans tended to find Biden off-putting and overly gregarious whereas Dems classified Ryan as somewhat petulant.
The Huffington Post, a noted left-leaning blog, conducted smartphone polling during the debate and said that voters across the spectrum tended to favor Biden’s performance over Ryan, perhaps gaining back some of the ground ceded during the first Presidential smackdown between Obama and Romney.
Who won the debate between Ryan and Biden last night in your opinion? Sound off in the comments!