Friday, October 12, 2012

Biden Wins Debate, Hands Down.

On Fridays, we usually like to focus on something positive outside of politics - a school event, have a cookout, support a worthy cause like a friend with cancer, something like that. Today, we can enjoy ourselves and focus on politics too.

From the very beginning of last night's debate, it was clear that Vice President Biden wasn't going to put up with any of the "malarky" that characterized the performance of Ryan's running mate in the first debate.

It was also clear that moderator Martha Raddatz wasn't going to put up with malarky or a lack of specifics either. Raddatz had a fantastic night as a moderator. She was crisp, she managed time well, and, unlike the first debate moderator, Jim Lerher, Ms. Raddatz called out both candidates on specifics and facts.

Diving into the issue of the terrorist attack on Libya and the deaths of four Americans - an issue the Romney/Ryan campaign has recently been politicizing in a macabre way - Raddatz went after Biden on specifics right out of the gate.

Biden delivered strongly on Libya, as he did all night long, on every topic.

On the other side of the table, Paul Ryan's inexperience on foreign policy was exposed from the very beginning. Ryan stumbled on the Libya issue, delivering a proven lie. He was all over the place on Iran and Israel, making a mess of the Iranian sanctions issue - which is working - as well as Israel's support of the Obama Adminstration.

Biden responded with laughter - and the truth.

The debate moved to the economy and taxes - and Ryan simply had no facts or details.

Raddatz pushed very hard for specifics from Mr. Ryan - and Ryan evaded Raddatz's every question about specifics and gave her none. Ryan kept throwing out numbers - but couldn't actually explain the Romney/Ryan tax plan specifically, with legitimate math. Ryan also kept insisting he had six studies that backed him up - a claim which was already previously debunked. Ryan also kept saying he and the Republicans wanted to be bipartisan - but then he'd push ideas that Democrats would never vote for.

Vice President Biden just laughed at Ryan's ridiculousness - literally.

Biden knew all the facts on the economy, on the auto industry, and on the stimulus too. Biden even made the point that Ryan had requested stimulus money for his constituents - a fact that made Ryan visibly squirm.

When it came to healthcare, Ryan's lack of facts and details ran smack into the tough moderation of Raddatz, and the facts that Biden provided, as multiple fact checks proved.

On defense, Ryan didn't even know his own campaign's position on the defense budgets. Biden knew exactly what was going on with Afghanistan. The Vice President did not equivocate - and he made it clear: America is leaving Afghanistan no later than 2014. In a confusing turn, Ryan seemed to be both for extending the war indefinitely and for ending the war, saying the Romney/Ryan ticket agreed with the Obama/Biden timeline and transition - but then wanted the right to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely. As with everything else, Ryan simply didn't give any specifics.

Ryan also seemed to be on both sides of the question on Syria, seemingly dinging the UN for moving too slow, while saying the Obama/Biden administration should have used the UN more - or implying the U.S. should have taken action on its own. Not surprisingly, when Biden pressed Ryan to outright say he would have taken the U.S. to war in Syria, Ryan evaded the question.

Thankfully, Raddatz made sure both men addressed social policy, specifically through their shared Catholic faith. Biden made it clear that he sided with the social justice wing of the Church, as we said he would. Biden also made it clear that he has no interest in forcing other Americans to abide by the tenants of his faith.

Ryan attempted to weasel out of siding with the positions of the culture warrior side of the Church - and ended up dropping a bombshell. In a brief but telling section of the debate, Ryan all but said a Romney/Ryan adminstration wouldn't use legislation to outlaw abortion, but clearly implyed they would do everything they could to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

In the end, the Vice President had the facts, he had the details, he had the energy - and most of the snap polls we saw coming down after the debates agreed Biden was the overwhelming winner.

The polls say Biden won. The facts say Biden won.

Vice President Biden obviously won this debate. Congressman Ryan lost. Badly.

What a way to start the weekend.

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