Liveblogging Biden-Ryan

Finale: Well, that should stop the bleeding, anyway.

Closing statements. Biden is emotional and effective. Ryan “President Obama has had his chance.” More lies about Obama’s record. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a job creator in the White House?” Sounds like a used-car salesman to me, but YMMV.

Character question. Ryan touts “honesty.” Biden wants to grow the country from the middle out, help the middle class.

10:22 Last question possibly the dumbest of all: a soldier complained about negative campaigning. What would you say to him. Biden decides to answer something else. 47% again. “Things have occurred that both of us regret having been said.” SuperPACs are an abomination. Who has the conviction to restore the middle class, asking the wealthy do their share? Do the slipshod comments made by Gov. Romney serve us well?

Ryan also ducks. String of broken promises. 21 tax increases in Obamacare. Deficit in half. Debt crisis is coming. Seems to me he’s illustrating the soldier’s complaint about tearing the country down. Launches into his prepared peroration. Biden lashes back at the Ryan budget.

10:15 Finally a domestic question, but asked in the dumbest possible way: how does your Catholic faith influence your views on abortion? Ryan: ultrasound. Life begins at conception. Oppose abortion except for rape, incest, and life of mother. Assault on freedom of religion. Claims Biden “sympathized” with China’s one-child policy.

Biden sounds choked up. Real or fake, it’s effective. Biden accepts the Church’s doctrine in private life, but “I refuse to impose it on others.” Ryan hedges; Biden pushes on Supreme Court nominees and Roe v. Wade.

10:06 Question to Biden: why not go into Syria? Astrounding! Still not a single domestic question other than budget in this debate or the last. No immigration, no shutting down Planned Parenthood, no nothing.

Biden gives a good, solid answer. Ryan accuses Obama of being soft on Assad and “outsourcing” foreign policy to the U.N. Ryan says no one wants U.S. forces in Syria, but we should have shipped arms to the rebels. Biden keeps laughing.

10:04 Biden makes it a question of toughness with Afghans: they won’t step up unless they know we’re leaving. Back and forth on substituting Afghans for Americans.

9:57 Afghanistan: “Why not leave now?” Ryan is pitching some version of “peace with honor.” Biden: we were going after al Quaeda, and we got them. Now it’s up to the Afghans. “We are leaving in 2014. Period.” Saving $800 billion.

Question to Ryan: what would justify staying? No answer. “Give our commanders what they need.” More “unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.”

9:55 Moderator want to know how to finance $2T in defense. Ryan says “peace through strength.”

9:49 Another good question, to Ryan: do you have the specifics, or not? Ryan says they’ll work it out with Congress: deny deductions to high-income individuals. Again with the “six studies.” Biden says “not mathematically possible. Ryan denies it.

9:45 Good question: If you’re elected, who pays more taxes, and who pays less? Biden: middle class pays less, rich pays more. Republicans are holding the middle class tax cut hostage to the tax cut for the rich. Extra Romney tax cut will give $500 billion to 120,000 families.

Ryan: “There aren’t enough small businesses to tax to pay for their spending.” “Fundamental tax reform.”

9:40 Biden is interrupting Ryan when he lies. I think it’s working. Hits hard, and keeps hitting, on Medicare vouchers and Social Security privatization.

9:34 Moderator starts as fact that “Social Security and Medicare are going broke.” Ryan repeats the $731 billion lie, tells the story about how he benefited from Social Security without acknowledging that he plans to wreck it.

Describes his own Medicare proposal without, of course, mentioning the price cap.

Biden defends taking money from insurance companies, then goes after the voucher. Sums up the Ryan plan: “Trust me.”

9:30 Biden hits hard: “If they’ll just get out of the way…” I don’t think Ryan’s response works: “$90 billion in green pork;” accusation of corruption. Biden hits back with Ryan’s requests for grants. “4% failure is a better record than investment banks.”

9:27 Ryan denies Romney said “let Detroit go bankrupt.” “Romney is a car guy.” Tells a story about how Romney helped a family in trouble.

9:23 Another stupid jobs question. She accuses the administration of failure because it didn’t get unemployment down to 6%. Biden hits Romney on “let Detroit go bankrupt” and “let the housing market hit bottom” and – at last! 47%.

9:21 Biden is starting to lose patience. Good.

9:13 Q about Iran. How about military action? Ryan ducks the question, lies about sanctions. Biden laughs. “Incredible!” But just like last week, Ryan is lying and attacking, and Biden is explaining and defending. There ought to be a price for the lying. But there isn’t. Biden keeps laughing, which is probably the best tactic if he’s not going to blow up at Ryan.

9:12 Ryan accuses Biden of “apologizing for our values.” Biden not given a chance to reply.

9:08 Moderator hits Ryan on the ghoulishness. Biden is smiling and shaking his head. “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.” Hits Ryan on cutting embassy security. “These guys bet against America all the time.”

“Usually when there is a crisis, the country pulls together.”

9:05 Ryan continues his ticket’s ghoulish attempt to profit by American deaths, and lies about what Romney said about Iraq.

9pm Ryan reaches out to shake hands with the woman his flaks have been slagging for a week. And she reciprocates by asking a loaded question about Libya to Biden. I guess working the refs works, if the refs have no pride and no courage.

Biden turns the question to killing bin Laden. Good move!8:57 Watching CNN again. Mostly Republican spin, and mega-stupid. An extra $2T on defense is “small government”? And that’s from Anderson Cooper, not an official spinmeister.

My willingness to suffer for RBC readers is truly breathtaking.

I just hope that Biden remembers what Cheney knew and Lieberman didn’t: in a VP debate, you’re not trying to score off the guy on the stage with you; you’re trying to use him (or anything else) to score off the Presidential candidate. Ryan is the most extreme candidate ever nominated for Vice-President and Romney picked him. Ryan’s budget is a piece of plutocratic insanity and Romney chose its author to be a heartbeat from the Presidency. Ryan has difficulty remaining with the truth, just like the guy he’s running with. And if Biden’s popularity goes down in the process, that’s acceptable.

The good thing about Biden is that he probably feels the same way. Ryan, by contrast, has to figure that he may need to wash off the stench of Romney the next time he runs for national office.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

40 thoughts on “Liveblogging Biden-Ryan”

  1. Joe Lieberman was once a Democrat?
    The only thing I remember about Holy Joe was that he killed the public option and then the Medicare buy-in because the hippies liked it.

    And the only thing I want anyone to remember after tonight’s debate is that Paul Ryan is…

    • The guy who wanted to privatize social security as recently as 2010.

    • The guy who wanted to send our social security funds to the Wall Street casino.

    • Here’s some brass for you: Ryan went to college on social security money he got from the government for his deceased dad. And now he wants to cut the benefits, raise the age, and send the fund to Wall Street. How’s that for “paying it forward”?

    That’s all I want anyone to learn tonight. Biden needs to get it out there at least 6 times. This is an easy snake to nail to the wall.
    If the takeaway from tonight’s debate isn’t: “Ryan wants/wanted to/still wants to privatize Social Security”…
    Then we’ve “lost” another one.

  2. Yes, Mr Kleiman! It’s not about tying Romney to Ryan, it’s about tying Ryan to Romney.

    “Paul Ryan and I have both spent most of our adult lives in politics, but I spent that time working for the little guy while Ryan’s worked for Mitt and his friends.” How about contrasting Obama’s work as a community organizer with Romney’s Bain stint as a community disorganizer, there might be some juicy zingers in there.

  3. I’m guessing Obama has already warned Biden off pointing out that Ryan’s budget would cut Mitt’s taxes to less than 1%. That would be too un-gentlemanly-or-something.
    But Biden has been known to go off-script.

  4. “Ryan is the most extreme candidate ever nominated for Vice-President and Romney picked him.”

    Hmmm … by what definition of “extreme candidate” does Romney’s pick fall more standard deviations from the bullseye than McCain’s choice?

  5. Oh, Jesus Raddatz– “there was no protest”? Where did you get that, Drudge?

  6. Oh wow, a big broad eyeroll from Joe. He can get away with that – he knows he can do it where the Prez couldn’t do that to Ridiculous Romney.

  7. Geez, did Roger Ailes write that completely misleading “stimulus failed, 6% unemployment” question personally?

  8. Love how Ryan can pull numbers out of his ass — if January’s doesn’t look good,the use september’s — just throw a bunch of unrelated numbers out — it’s the Gish Gallop.

  9. Joe grins and agrees that the words don’t always come out of his mouth the right way — then declares “but at least I always say what I mean.” Ouch

  10. So far, so good. Biden is hitting the all points that Pres. Numbnuts forgot or thought unworthy to mention.

  11. I’ll bet you an apple the pundits will never shut up for the next three or four days, at least, about how Joel’s facial expressions “lost” him the debate — when any normal human can see what a complete puppy Ryan is, and contemptible his “ideas ” are.

  12. The caribou Barbie reference just came in. Joe’s seen worse puppies than Lyin Ryan, he will point out …

  13. The US Navy is something like eighty percent of the world’s naval tonnage. Our very closest allies are another ten to fifteen percent. God forbid our navy shouldn’t get bigger.

  14. OK: it’s an ass-kicking. And I don’t need to tell anyone who’s on the receiving end.

  15. There you go, Mark! A question about a social issue!

    It might be the worst question we’ll get all debate season, though. Raddatz used to be good– not any more.

      1. I have to completely disagree with you and Mark here, with a slightly
        long explanation.

        Maybe five times during this debate, I had the sense that Raddatz’s
        questions were going to be harder for Ryan to answer than Biden. Of
        course, a large part of that is that the facts have a well-known
        liberal bias.

        Lehrer took the coward’s way out of this dilemma, asking the
        tautologically evenhanded question “What’s the difference between the
        two of you?” thus being unable to be accused of unfairness.

        Raddatz asked Ryan the question she wanted to: if you come to power,
        should we expect that you’ll make abortion illegal? and Ryan cowered
        and didn’t answer, because he knows he must not.

        The fair-sounding “you’re both Irish Catholics, how does that affect
        your stance” question was just a fig leaf, a setup for the
        unanswerable question that followed. Masterfully done.

        1. I was struck that Raddatz did not do any of the duller stuff that a “moderator” is supposed to do – e.g. enforce time limits etc. I was reasonably impressed that neither debater whined about that but I have not decided whether I think she did right. It certainly made things lively.

  16. If Obama wins this…
    And I still think he will…
    It’s because Bill Clinton and Joe Biden knew how to step in the ring and throw some hand.

    1. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.

      A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs.

      How do you have a “managed bankruptcy” when none of the financiers will step forward to offer the bridge financing necessary to manage the bankruptcy. The alternative is Chapter 7: liquidation. GM and Chrysler owned by the Chinese.

  17. Biden’s smiles looked forced and inauthentic. This will hurt him. Overall, it looked to me like neither of them did badly for his candidate.

  18. I thought Biden struck the right tone: “Can you believe this guy? Doe he believe this stuff he’s shoveling?”

    And I think Mark’s right: that should stop the bleeding. Now we need Obama to hold Rmoney’s feet to the fire until he screams for mercy on Tuesday night.

  19. Well, thanks to Mssrs. Clinton and Biden, President Obama got some wind under his wings – the old pros with an emergency infusion of kickass. It’s good to have good friends. All right, Barack – Joe and Bill showed you how it’s done, made it okay for you to do what you gotta do. They cleared the field, laid down covering fire, covered your ass – which is what you needed. That’s okay. Now be a man and put Romney back on the mat. All it’ll take is sustained, implacable pushback against and marginalization of Romney’s tissue paper ego and policies. No knockout blows necessary. Project absolute confidence and determination, especially when you don’t feel it. Use understated ridicule, biting humor, and low key but decisive takedown of ideas, like you do on the stump. Treat Romney as though he doesn’t count, like he isn’t there, like he’s in way over his head (which, of course, he is). Do not stammer – stop and gather yourself. Do not lecture – state your main point in ten words or less; then repeat, and repeat again. And remember that Romney didn’t go after that kid in prep school by himself – he rounded up a posse. If you steel yourself and go for the kill, Mr. Obama, Romney WILL crumble, like the weak, scared little boy he really is.

    1. That’s right! Take the salesman/bully (his only two skill sets) and show the audience the salesman — show the audience the bully.

  20. Let’s also give some credit to Martha Raddatz who, unlike Leher, at least asked some substantive questions and pushed back on weasly answers.

    And to Mr. Biden: F*ckin’ A!!

  21. Joe says,, what you want another war??.. I’m smiling.. and laughing at him saying that.. all my democratic friends always and only can come up with this as the fighting back words to defend their race to retain the White House. Yet, WWI, WWII, KOREA, VIETNAM were all Democratic Presidents. So wars were started up with a Democrat and how many people died in those wars (MILLIONS) and now it’s 2,000 for the Post 911 War which spans over 10 years now.. a loss of a life is tragic enough but when the wars were fought before… the country was being run by a Democratic President. Only that of WWI, WWII, KOREA and Desert Storm (republican in the beginning of the “modern” war concept where the troops are not landing on the beach and running up being shot at by machine gun units like on D DAY.. yet they are being flow in .. and or dropped in.. but no massive “Normandy Like”.. attacks. I was in a combat zone with the Desert Storm War and the military ran the war and not the politicians.. which at this stage none have ever served in combat our current 2012 participants…, having a son in is not serving in combat, unless you were there you don’t know a thing about it.. watching TV and going there being protected in an array of armored vehicles to show your support is not the same thing at all.. Biden has an opinion like a bellybutton.. we all have one.. but as if his 20 trips staying in luxury hotels eating fine foods and sleeping at night without a doubt that he’ll wake up the next morning rested and alive.. another “song and dance routine” by the Speech Party.. that’s all that was said.. talk.. there has been improvement with this current President.. however, 1 step forward 50 steps backwards.. doesn’t do a thing positive for our country. Does Romney have the answers.. like Pre Obama days, nobody knows until after the fact.. 4 years is enough of the continuous pain and suffering, it’s not rocket science here.. it’s a debt.. stop making it bigger.. unlike the years before with former Generals in office we now need not a Professional Speech Expert, but that of a Professional Business Man that has the factual evidence on how to make it and not break it.. but since this country thinks the best talent in the country is a Dog Show Act.. and passing up quality singers and musicians.. you will probably vote for the Current Dog Show act for a Encore, GOD HELP US..
    My comments are based on factual evidence of the current USA situation. Not who I think should be president.. the VP debate was a joke.. A man who is losing will interrupt, laugh and do whatever is needed to draw the attention of the person stating facts, another song and dance routine.. Just because he’s been doing it longer doesn’t mean he’s doing it right. If Biden was so great, then why did he become the VP and not the President in the first place??? Why didn’t he get into office before? Why is he taking the backseat in all this? If he did what President Obama didn’t do before (as stated here by someone) then why is he the VP?? Like the way they the country going now which is downhill faster than any administration before them which is backwards.. is identical to the current arrangement they have in the current administration.
    4 years was enough.. time to let someone else solve the problems.. not continue and make the current ones worse. You may have a comment back.. based on no knowledge of any common sense whatsoever.. based on feelings or what you “think” is really going on.. in the county.. when you probably never speak about this unless there is some threat that a Romney and Ryan come along and will probably win this race.. if they don’t I’ll be surprised.. but probably because all the people who voted on America’s Got Talent will think the present doggie trick show in the White House is “good enough”.. when in fact.. .. fact.. fact.. IT’S NOT!

  22. … great job, I’d highlight that RC East bit a bit more though…

    RYAN: Spring, summer, fall. It’s warm, or it’s not. They’re still fighting us. They’re still coming over the passes. They’re still coming into Zabul, to Kunar, to all of these areas, but we are sending fewer people to the front to fight them. And that’s…


    BIDEN: That’s right, because that’s the Afghan responsibility. We’ve trained them.

    RYAN: Not in the east.

    RADDATZ: Let’s move — let’s move to another war.

    BIDEN: Not in the east?

    RYAN: R.C. East — R.C. East…

    BIDEN: R.C. East is the most dangerous place in the world.

    RYAN: That’s right. That’s why we don’t want to send fewer people to the…

    BIDEN: That’s — that’s why we should send Americans in to do the job, instead of the — you’d rather Americans be going in doing the job instead of the trainees?

    RYAN: No. We are already sending Americans to do the job, but fewer of them. That’s the whole problem.

    BIDEN: That’s right. We’re sending in more Afghans to do the job, Afghans to do the job.

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