Live Blog 2: Laughing Joe and Smirking Paul Veep Show

Well, they are really going at it.

Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin each went immediately on the attack at the opening of their debate on Thursday night, sparring over Libya, Iraq and terrorism.

Responding to a question on the fatal attack last month on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Biden assailed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on a range of national security matters.

“Whatever mistakes were made will not be made again,” Biden said of the attack in Libya before pivoting to Romney’s support of the war in Iraq.

Biden credited President Obama for ending the Iraq war, saying Romney thought “we should have left 30,000 troops there.” He faulted Romney for objecting early on to Obama’s setting a 2014 deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and for saying he “wouldn’t move heaven and Earth” to capture Osama bin Laden.

Ryan, the Republican nominee for vice president, said he mourned the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevensand three other Americans in the Libya attack, then criticized Obama’s response to the attack.

“It took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack,” the Wisconsin congressman said.

Ryan said a Romney administration would provide Marines protecting an outpost like the one in Benghazi.

“If we’re hit by terrorists, we’re going to call it for what it is — a terrorist attack,” he said.

Ryan also castigated Obama’s administration for its evolving accounts of the Libya attack. “This is becoming more troubling by the day,” he said.

WAPO says they have “different styles”.

The first 45 minutes showed two men with widely divergent styles: Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, was precise and self-contained, marshalling numbers and policy issues.

Biden was looser and more familiar, chuckling in seeming exasperation several times at Ryan’s arguments, and interrupting the Republican in mid-argument. Eventually, Ryan seemed frustrated with a debate in which the two talked over each other.

“Mr. Vice President, I know you’re under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground,” Ryan said. “But I think people would be better served if we didn’t keep interrupting each other.”

One of Ryan’s best early moments came in response to the debate’s first question, about the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three others. Ryan recounted how the White House’s account of the attack had shifted, and cast it as a signal of a broader problem.

“What we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy, which is making…us less safe,” Ryan said.

For Biden, the sharpest moment may have been when he picked up on the theme that President Obama did not touch in the first presidential debate. He recalled a Romney speech that was secretly recorded, in which the Republican candidate described 47 percent of Americans as people who considered themselves primarily victims.

“I’ve had it up to here with this notion that, ‘Forty-seven percent, it’s about time they take some sort of responsibility here,’” Biden said.

What do you think about this assessment?

The Fix ‏@TheFix

For political junkies and decided voters, this is a great debate. For the rest, it’s everything they hate about politics #vpdebate

84 Comments on “Live Blog 2: Laughing Joe and Smirking Paul Veep Show”

  1. neither of these tickets has any vision.

    • dakinikat says:

      It reminds me of a congressional briefing to the press on foreign policy mostly. Probably because of the moderator.

      • dakinikat says:

        Steve Clemons ‏@SCClemons
        Biden mentions Allies and their positions on #Afghanistan. Ryan celebrating unilateralism but doesn’t want to raise taxes to pay for wars.

  2. dakinikat says:

    When do I get to here about women’s issues?

  3. Fannie says:

    Ryan doesn’t seem to think, we will have fewer troops there next year…………….damn.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Wow, am I glad I got vodka for martinis tonight!

  5. Fannie says:

    Ryan, tell us what you would do about Syria? Yes, Biden, he never answers the questions.

  6. Fannie says:

    What would you do now, and Ryan says draw the red line, and turn on the green light………hahaha, Biden bite him.

  7. dakinikat says:

    YES!!!!!!!!! She asks about ABORTION!!!

  8. I purposely have avoided watching the debate…but my dad is watching it. He told me they were really going at it, like they were going to start fighting each other. He said he thought the old guy could take the young one.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Okay, now we’re trying to out-Catholic each other … wonder what JFK would say?

  10. dakinikat says:

    Joe is somber and Paul is blinking and smirking

  11. Fannie says:

    Fuck Ryan……………

  12. Silent Kate says:

    I think Ryan needs to stop masturbating because he’s killing all of those unborn children!

  13. RalphB says:

    HuffPo poll at 1 hour mark. Biden winning 65 – 35

  14. pdgrey says:

    Ryan just answered Honesty. I think I’m going to faint.

  15. RalphB says:

    Did anyone else notice that Ryan apparently thinks Kofi Annan is still Sec Gen of the UN? They are a few years behind.

  16. Beata says:

    Good heartfelt closing statement by Biden. Finally brought up the 47%. What took him so long?

  17. Fannie says:

    Beata I think he did bring it up before his closing statement………..I like the “leveling of the playing field”………………..and he knocked it out of the ballpark.

  18. ANonOMouse says:

    Biden KICKED RYAN’S ASS!!! That says it all.

  19. pdgrey says:

    Thank you Lawrence O’Donnell, for calling out that stupid Catholic question.

  20. mablue2 says:

    I think Joe did really well. I didn’t expect that from him.

    Martha did a good job moderating, she was able to push the candidates and that always helps to expose the bullshitter.

  21. Fannie says:

    Yeah there was fire tonight, and that’s what I wanted starting out. I think the moderator was good, but she injected here and there and that bothered me on occasion. Listen, if somebody comes up to me tomorrow and ask what Biden said about this or that, I can honestly answer, if they asked by what Ryan said, I’d have to say he had no specifics, so I still don’t know, except he doesn’t believe in the seperation of church and state.

  22. pdgrey says:

    My husband, who does not watch TV, or is very political. Just came in from the garage, and said, “I’ve never seen that guy before, I didn’t know Eddie Munster was running”.

  23. pdgrey says:

    Front Page of Huffingfton

    • Beata says:

      I think the debate as a whole was a draw. Obama supporters will think Biden won and Romney people will believe Ryan did, Meh. I doubt it will be a game-changer.

      • RalphB says:

        Frankly, Romney people will know damn well Ryan got his ass handed to him but they won’t be foolish or honest enough to admit it. They and their media hacks will spin like crazy.

      • Fannie says:

        In all fairness, Biden won, he set Ryan straight a time or two. One of my favorite points was all the loopholes Ryan was talking about, sure enough Biden came back in the bout and nearly took his ass apart, and that was pure pleasure for me to see.

      • pdgrey says:

        I think Biden won, I’m a democrat and I don’t think the republicans would ever say Biden won. Even if Ryan wakes up with two black eyes.

      • Beata says:

        I’m not talking about what supporters of either candidate will say in public. But Biden’s answers, even though they were factual, were often rambling, while Ryan, even though he was bullshitting, talked in simple sound bites. Also Ryan was used the Romney playbook – just lie without shame. A lot of people won’t be able to see through that.

      • Beata says:

        Wonk, I certainly wanted Biden to hit it out of the ballpark. I thought he would, but he didn’t, imo.

      • RalphB says:

        Republicans are saying the debate was a draw and Democrats are saying Biden won. That tells you all you need to know.

      • Beata says:

        Does that make me a Republican, Ralph? Have I been outed? 😯 😆

      • bostonboomer says:

        If you’re a Republican, you do a good job of disguising it, Beata! I thought Biden won, because Ryan was on the defensive the whole night and he came across as a callow youth. He sounded like he was running for student council president. JMO, though.

      • RalphB says:

        Beata, OMG No!!!!! That’s just a general comment.

  24. List of X says:

    I think the best part was Biden quoting Ryan on how the stimulus would help Ryan’s WI constituents.

  25. Fannie says:

    Here’s my question………..was Ryan running for 2016 tonight, for himself, and not running for Ryan?

  26. Fannie says:

    I’m listening to Chris ask Blondie about Ryan……….she says women are more worried about jobs than abortion, or their health care. I can tell you down at my hair salon the women were all talking about women’s rights, and not about jobs.

  27. pdgrey says:

    Ryan’s Mom Praises His Medicare Answer

    The first press release to come from the Mitt Romney campaign after the vice presidential debate was from Paul Ryan’s mother, praising his answer on Medicare.

    “Tonight’s debate showed seniors across the country that we have a very clear choice between the current administration, which has already cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare, and Mitt Romney and Paul who will protect Medicare for retirees like me and strengthen it for my grandchildren’s generation and generations thereafter,” said Betty Douglas in the press release.

    The Romney campaign has used Douglas as a validater for its Medicare policy before. But in the wake of the debate, when the predominant theme coming from conservatives is that Joe Biden was mean and condescending to Ryan, it strikes an odd note to have his mom be the first to defend him.

    — Sam Stein

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s real mother love. She’s supporting him against her own best interest.

      • pdgrey says:

        Yep, that’s a mother’s love. here’s a tweet for c. Pierce
        Charles P. Pierce ‏@ESQPolitics

        Here it comes. Papist on Papist crime! Defining Catholicism through abortion is insulting, though. #VPdebate

    • NW Luna says:

      Leave my baby alone!

      Reminds me of the parents who are shocked, shocked, that their precious darling could have cheated on a test or raped a classmate, and instead attack the teacher or the victimized young girl.

      Ryan’s mother doesn’t appear to have done her math about her precious son’s Medicare budget.

  28. pdgrey says:

    Charles P. Pierce ‏@ESQPolitics

    Paul Ryan has a friend in Afghanistan! What a guy

  29. RalphB says:

    “tbogg Joe Biden is currently en route to Andrew Sullivan’s house to softly rock him to sleep. ”

    That may win the internet for this evening 🙂

    • RalphB says:

      a few more …

      tbogg David Gregory watched Martha Raddatz ask knowledgeable follow-up questions tonight and asked a friend “Is that legal? Really?”

      tbogg Republican Marsha Blackburn thinks America is most concerned with Benghazi, Fast & Furious, and fake BLS numbers. Is she Tucker’s mom?

      tbogg Never tire of longtime beltway pundits making six figures a year telling me how “middle America” is going to react to something.

      and a retweet of Hindrocket for the clencher 🙂

      tbogg John Hinderaker: “Sarah Palin did a much better job against Joe Biden in 2008 than Paul Ryan did tonight.” ||| That’s gonna leave a mark

      • pdgrey says:

        tbogg Paul Ryan wants to keep his friend in Afghanistan for awhile longer. Doesn’t want to return lawn mower.
        tbogg Ryan is going to run offstage and take a three minute pee.
        tbogg I want the SS money back that was wasted on giving Paul Ryan a college education.
        tbogg Never tire of longtime beltway pundits making six figures a year telling me how “middle America” is going to react to something.
        I liked these too, Ralph

    • pdgrey says:

      You’re right Ralph, tbogg just said Luke Russert was as dumb as a box of hair!

  30. RalphB says:

    Scott Lemieux at LG&M: In Case You Missed Tonight’s Beatdown

    Shorter Paul Ryan: “Lie. Evasion. Non-sequitur. Anecdote about someone from middle America substantially less coherent and relevant than Abraham Simpson at his most rambling. Overrule Roe v. Wade.”

    Shorter Joe Biden: “Every obvious rejoinder Barack Obama inexplicably failed to make, in addition to some additional good lines.”

    In an ideal universe, some journalists might figure out that International Man of Ideas Paul Ryan — who embarrassed himself in a way even Palin didn’t — is not particularly bright or well-informed.

  31. bostonboomer says:

    I started a new thread up above, because this one is getting really long. Come on up and join me. I’m wide awake!