The 2012 Vice-Presidential Debate

Overall:  On the style of the debate, I am not a big fan of the table style debates.  I prefer the podium.  The moderator,  Martha Raddatz from ABC News did a very poor job of preventing Joe Biden from interrupting Paul Ryan, and from preventing Biden from rambling.  Joe Biden was obviously a much more experienced debater.  Paul Ryan obviously had less debate experience.  However watching Joe Biden left a rotten taste in my mouth.  He was childish at times,  talked down to the audience at times.  He fabricated facts, and acted like what he said was the word of god.  I think Paul Ryan was a little too nice at times.  However if you listen to the facts being cited,  I think Paul Ryan held his own and demonstrated his abilities.

On the Various Issues in the Debate:

Afghanistan:  Paul Ran said that it was important not to loose the gains that have been achieved.  He also criticized the setting of a firm timeline on the pullout.  He said the Taliban was taking advantage of the timeline.    Joe Biden maintained that there was a firm date to withdraw in 2014.  He said that unless we put a firm deadline in place the local forces would not step up to the plate.  When asked about the military reason for pulling the surge troops before the “fighting season” begins.  Biden tried to claim that it was there was an agreement to pull the surge troops out before they ever went in.  I thought it was President Bush who ordered the surge.  Ryan had a good explanation of what “fighting season” was.

Benghazi Embassy Attack:  Joe Biden said that the intelligence community told the President that the attack was the result of the YouTube Video.  This is directly contradicted by the timeline published by the Heritage Foundation at:  Joe Biden then tried to say that the Paul Ryan’s budget was to blame.  Paul Ryan restated the the timeline of events and said that there should have been extra security.

Defense Spending:  Paul Ryan stated that they believe in peace through strength.  He favored keeping defense spending at current levels.  Joe Biden rambled.  Paul Ryan quoted Obama’s statement about painting your opponent as someone to run from.  He then quoted several Obama quotes from the 2008 election.  He hammered Obama for his failure to provide leadership and solve problems.

Income Tax Rates:  Joe Biden rambled with Class Warfare Rhetoric.  Paul Ryan responded with a good command of the facts.  He really demonstrated his command of the facts.  He cited 6 studies that support his claims that their tax reform would be revenue neutral.  The moderator hit about specifics on the loop holes, and refused to acknowledge that there could be changes due to their desire to be a bipartisan effort.  Joe got very testy.  When asked what he would do to raise revenue.  He said he that he would “let those taxes expire.”

Iran and the Nuclear Bomb:  Paul Ryan stated that the Obama administration attempted to block the implementation of sanctions against Iran.  Joe Biden said they were the toughest sanctions in history.  He further stated that if they had nuclear grade material they still did not have a bomb capable of putting it into. I do not buy it for a minute.  Making the actual bomb is not nearly as complicated as refining the uranium to weapons grade.  Paul Ryan criticized Obama for not meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel while he was in New York.  He also criticized Obama from granting over 20 waivers to the sanctions against Iran.

Medicare and Entitlements:  This is one of Paul Ryan’s strongest points.  He discussed his proposal.  Give younger people guaranteed minimum coverage.  He then attacked Obamacare for cutting Medicare over $750 Billion.  He then discussed Social Security and the need to reform in order to prevent benefit cuts.  Joe Biden said that they increased benefits to seniors.  He completely dogged the issue of needing reform.  He wrongly called guaranteed benefits vouchers.  Paul Ryan then discussed that 1 out of 6 hospitals will go out business due to Obamacare.  These facts are from the Obama administrations own actuarial office.  When asked about coverage seniors who cannot afford to pay,  Ryan responded that coverage would be guaranteed and the costs would be covered by reducing benefits for the wealthy.   Paul Ryan said that under his plan there would be no vouchers.  There will be no changes for those 55 or older.  For younger people the retirement age would be slowly raised.

Military Action in Syria:  Joe Biden said that Syria was 5 times larger that Libya, and that it was too dangerous.  Once again he got his facts wrong,  Libya is far larger than Syria, in fact it is almost 9 times larger than Syria.  He said that they were doing everything correct.  Paul Ryan criticized the Obama administration for deferring to the United Nations and Russia. He stated that Russia was supplying weapons and foreign fighters were flooding into Syria.  Joe Biden said that they working with all the other countries in the area. Paul Ryan said that they would not have called Assad a reformer.  He said that Iran was flying jets over Syria.  He said he would only put troops on the ground, it would only be for a national security interest.  He said there was other methods available involving sanctions and embargoes.

Negativity of the Campaign Ads:  Joe Biden said that the only sacred obligation was to take care of the military veterans.  He then babbled about 47% not paying their taxes.  He then said that PACs were an abomination.  He then talked about Obama’s economic leadership.  Basically he avoided answering the question.

Religion and Abortion:  Paul Ryan said that faith forms the basis of how he looks at the world on how help is given.  He said that he is pro-life and respects others opinions.  He believes that life begins at conception.  He said that he would oppose abortion unless there was a case of rape, incest, or the mother’s life was at risk.  Joe Biden said that he believed that they should take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.  He said he believes that life begins at conception,  but he would not impose his views on others.  When asked about if the Romney administration would restrict the ability to have an abortion,  Paul Ryan said that the issue should not be decided by unelected judges, and it should be decided by elected officials.

U.S. Unemployment:   The questions to Biden involved the Obama’s administration claim that the stimulus package would have the unemployment rate below by 6% by now.  Joe Biden went on a rant about Romney’s proposed policies.  He made false claims about Romney wanting to let the car makers go bankrupt, and that Mitt Romney doesn’t pay taxes.  He also misquoted Mitt Romney’s comments about 47% of the people. Later he went on a rant about the Republicans being obstructionist that were holding back the economy.   Paul Ryan hit back about this being the weakest post-war recover.  He then reiterated Romney’s 5 Point proposal to boost the economy.  He also talked about Mitt Romney donating 30% of income to charity. Paul Ryan later discussed the fact that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and had the ability to do what they wanted and they failed.  He accused the Vice-President of overseeing $90 billion in Green-Pork.  He said that the Department of Justice had over 100 investigations into fraud involving this stimulus spending.

Paul Ryan:  He had a very good command of the facts.  He quoted Barrack Obama in the 2008 election when he said that if you do not have a record then you criticize your opponent and create fear.  He was polite,  possibly a little too polite at times.  However, I think we was a little unprepared for Joe Biden’s ranting and partisan rhetoric.

Joe Biden:  Early on he was very smug in a condescending way that I found unbecoming a Vice-President.  He interrupted Paul Ryan a lot in an attempt to prevent the facts.  He continued to try to push the trust issue.  He behaved very childish at times.

Previous Debates:

Our comments on the 1st Romney – Obama Presidential Debate

Our comments on the CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate

Our comments on the CNN South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate

Our comments on the Fox News South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate

Our comments on the Republican Presidential Candidate National Security debate

Our comments on the CNBC – Republican Presidential Debate

Our comments on the CNN/Las Vegas – Republican Presidential Debate

Our comments on the Bloomberg News – Republican Presidential Debate

Our comments on the Fox News – Republican Presidential Debate

Our comments on the Republican CNN/Tea Party Debate

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