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.