Vice Presidential Debate 2012: VP Joe Biden vs. Rep. Paul Ryan

Another crazy day at work. I ended up getting Japanese food for my partner who went home sick. Poor thing. Unagi makes her happy. 🙂 Traffic was a nightmare. One ounce of moisture, and people forget how to drive. It was sprinkling people, geez! I listened to the intro in the car. When I got home, I ran upstairs to catch up.

I was so amped, I ended up live Tweeting. My partner was downstairs screaming, “What the hell??” at the umpire’s terrible calls (Yankees vs. Orioles). And I was “screaming” on Twitter at some of Ryan’s terrible comments.

Now THAT was a debate! Gloves came off. Martha Raddatz asked tough questions. To those who watched the playoffs instead or did anything more interesting than watch dueling VPs, I give you the summary. It’s long, of course. But when I was watching it? Time flew:

I would like to begin with Libya. On a rather somber note, one month ago tonight, on the anniversary of 9/11, Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans were killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi. The State Department has now made clear, there were no protesters there. It was a pre-planned assault by heavily armed men. Wasn’t this a massive intelligence failure, Vice President Biden?

Biden
What it was, was a “tragedy.” We will find and bring to justice those who did this. We will get to the bottom of this. Wherever the facts lead us, we will make clear to the American people. Whatever mistakes were made won’t be repeated. And here are all the ways that Romney sucks at foreign policy.

Ryan
“We mourn the loss of these four Americans who were murdered.” Obama said this was a protest over a anti-Islam YouTube video. Call it for what it was a terrorist attack. First they blame this YouTube video, now they’re making us look like the bad guys for bringing it up. You suck at your job, Joe, because you couldn’t get a status of forces agreement for Iraq. And Afghanistan? No deadlines. “Transitioning” in 2014. Which means we’ll be there forever.

I just want to you about right in the middle of the crisis. Governor Romney, and you’re talking about this again tonight, talked about the weakness; talked about apologies from the Obama administration. Was that really appropriate right in the middle of the crisis?

Ryan
*Crap they said this would come up. OK focus* “It’s never too early to talk about our values.” We should have spoken out right away for the Iranians standing up to the Mullahs. We should have not called Assad a reformer. “We should always stand up for peace, for democracy, for individual rights.” And we shouldn’t impose these defense cuts because it “projects weakness.”

Biden
“With all due respect, this is a bunch of malarkey.” *Good job on not saying horseshit*

Why?

Biden
Because all of that was crap!

Be specific

Biden
You got it.
1. Junior’s lecture on security. He cut embassy security in his budget by “$300M below was asked for. So much for the embassy security piece.”
2. And Romney, before he knew the facts, politicizes the tragedy by issuing a statement knocking Obama for the world to see. And this weakness crap? I don’t know what the hell “my friend’s” babbling about here. “This is a president who’s gone out and done everything he has said he was going to do. This is a guy who’s repaired our alliances so the rest of the world follows us again.”

Can we talk — let me go back to Libya. What were you first told about the attack? Why — why were people talking about protests? When people in the consulate first saw armed men attacking with guns, there were no protesters.

Biden
“Because that was exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. The intelligence community told us that. As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment.”

And they wanted more security there.
“Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security again.” Look, Tom Pickering a diplomat when Reagan was president will be getting to the bottom of this. If we screwed up, you’ll know…because Romney and Ryan won’t let you forget it. So let me remind everyone that before we knew what happened to the Ambassador, Romney was holding a press conference. Amateur night all the way.

Mr. Ryan, I want to ask you about — the Romney campaign talks a lot about no apologies. He has a book called called “No Apologies.” Should the U.S. have apologized for Americans burning Korans in Afghanistan? Should the U.S. apologize for U.S. Marines urinating on Taliban corpses?

Ryan
“Oh, gosh, yes. Urinating on Taliban corpses? What we should not apologize for…”

Burning Korans, immediately?

Ryan
*crap don’t let her lead you down this Islamophobia road* “What — what we should not be apologizing for are standing up for our values. What we should not be doing is rejecting claims for — for calls for more security in our barracks” They knew it was the 9/11 anniversary and they didn’t get the guy more security? Let’s talk about Iran…

*thanks for the tip Junior* Let’s move to Iran. I’d actually like to move to Iran, because there’s really no bigger national security…this country is facing. Both President Obama and Governor Romney have said they will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, even if that means military action. Last week, former Defense Secretary Bob Gates said a strike on Iran’s facilities would not work and, quote, “could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations.” Can the two of you be absolutely clear and specific to the American people how effective would a military strike be? Congressman Ryan?

Ryan
“We cannot allow Iran to gain a nuclear weapons capability. They’re four years closer toward a nuclear weapons capability.” Thanks to Obama. Now Romney and I are all about sanctions. The bestest way to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Every time we tried to impose more, the Muslim in Chief blocked our every move. He loves sending mixed messages. The US has no credibility because of him.

Vice President Biden?

Biden
“Look, imagine had we let the Republican Congress work out the sanctions. You think there’s any possibility the entire world would have joined us, Russia and China, all of our allies? These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period. Period.” Romney talks about keeping these sanctions and doing more. What is this more stuff? Do you want a war, Junior?

Ryan
“We want to prevent war.”

Biden
How are they going to do that – especially when start talking this more stuff? More stuff thatn we’ve already done. And when it comes to our military capability against Iran? I’m not going to go all WikiLeaks, so let’s just we can take Iran no problem. That’s why I don’t get this more stuff. What more can the President do than saying they won’t be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons unless these two want us to go to war?

Ryan
“Let’s look at this from the view of the ayatollahs. What do they see? They see this administration trying to water down sanctions in Congress for over two years. They’re moving faster toward a nuclear weapon. They’re spinning the centrifuges faster.”

How do you do it so quickly? Look, you — you both saw Benjamin Netanyahu hold up that picture of a bomb with a red line and talking about the red line being in spring. So can you solve this, if the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, can you solve this in two months before spring and avoid nuclear — nuclear…

Ryan
OK, OK it’s longer. We all know Iran is not that far along. “I don’t want to go into classified stuff.” *God why won’t she drop it?? Please let’s talk about the economy and budgets. I know about that stuff. Not this foreign policy crap*

Biden
Let me tell you what the Ayatollah sees. His economy is tanking because 50% less oil is being exported and the entire universe is united against him getting a nuclear weapon. And Bibi? please. I’ve known him for 39 years. That would put you at about two years old, Junior. So you don’t know crap since you were crapping in potty chairs when I got to know him. Ugh. “This is a bunch of stuff. Look, here’s the deal.”

What does that mean, a bunch of stuff?

Ryan
“It’s Irish.”

Biden
Haha good one Junior. “It is. We Irish call it Malarkey.”

Thanks for the translation. OK.

Biden
They are not far enough along to have nuclear weapons and they’re more isolated today than when we first took office.

Congressman Ryan?

Ryan
“Thank heavens we had these sanctions in place. It’s in spite of their opposition.”

Biden
“Oh God. They’re not four years closer to a nuclear weapon. They’re closer to being able to get enough fissile material to put in a weapon if they had a weapon.”

You are acting a little bit like they don’t want one.

Biden
You did not just go there. *OK, calm down Joe* “You’re a foreign policy expert, Martha. Facts matter. All this loose talk about them ‘All they have to do is get to enrich uranium in a certain amount and they have a weapon,’ – not true. Not true. They are more — and if we ever have to take action, unlike when we took office, we will have the world behind us, and that matters. That matters.”

Well, let me ask you what’s worse, war in the Middle East, another war in the Middle East, or a nuclear-armed Iran? *hurry we gotta get to the economy*

Ryan
“A nuclear-armed Iran which triggers a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. This is the world’s largest sponsor of — of terrorism. They’ve dedicated themselves…to wiping an entire country off the map. They call us the Great Satan. And if they get nuclear weapons, other people in the neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons, as well. We can’t live with that.”

Biden
“War should always be the absolute last resort. That’s why these crippling sanctions, which Bibi Netanyahu says we should continue, which — if I’m not mistaken — Governor Romney says we — we should continue. I may be mistaken. He changes his mind so often, I could be wrong. But the fact of the matter is, he says they’re working. And the fact is that they are being crippled by them. And we’ve made it clear, big nations can’t bluff. This president doesn’t bluff.”

Gentlemen, I want to bring the conversation to a different kind of national security issue, the state of our economy. The number-one issue here at home is jobs. The percentage of unemployed just fell below 8 percent for the first time in 43 months. The Obama administration had projected that it would fall below 6 percent now after the addition of close to a trillion dollars in stimulus money. So will both of you level with the American people: Can you get unemployment to under 6 percent and how long will it take?

Biden
“I don’t know how long it will take. We can and we will get it under 6 percent. Let’s look at — let’s take a look at the facts. Let’s look at where we were when we came to office. The economy was in free fall. We had — the great recession hit; 9 million people lost their job; $1.7 — $1.6 trillion in wealth lost in equity in your homes, in retirement accounts for the middle class. We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued General Motors. We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class” Romney said let GM go bankrupt. Let foreclosures hit bottom. That’s not surprising coming from someone who said that 47% of people do not take responsibility for their lives. And “my friend” said recently in a speech in Washington that “30% of Americans are takers.” These people are my mom and dad, my neighbors. They’re elderly people who are living off of Social Security. They’re Veterans and those fighting in Afghanistan “who don’t pay taxes.” And I’m sick of them saying that.

Ryan
*OK this is your game. The economy and budgets. You got this baby. You got this.* Joe and I come from similar towns. Scranton and Janesville. Scranton has 10% unemployment. It was 8.5% when they took office. They got dealt a really crappy hand, but “we’re going in the wrong direction.” It’s growing at 1.3% Too slow. 23 million out of work, 15% are living in poverty. “This is not what a real recovery looks like.” Here’s our 5 point plan to save America from imploding. He talks about Detroit. Romney is a car guy.”

Biden
*Yeah his wife owns “a couple Cadillacs” Do NOT bring that up. Or laugh like you want to. If you have to, just smile.*

Ryan
Insert feel good story about Romney visiting fellow Mormons who were in a car wreck, showering them with gifts, and paying for their kids’ education. “This is a man who gave 30 percent of his income to charity, more than the two of us combined. Mitt Romney’s a good man. He cares about 100 percent of Americans in this country. And with respect to that quote, I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way.”

Biden
*Very nice Junior. Been practicing that one, huh?* “But I always say what I mean. And so does Romney.”

Vice president? I have a feeling you have a few things to say here.

Biden
“If you heard that — that little soliloquy on 47 percent and you think he just made a mistake…I got a bridge to sell you. Look, I don’t doubt his personal generosity…I don’t doubt his personal commitment to individuals.” I know he had no commitment to the auto industry and said to let it go bankrupt. We saved a million jobs. “And I’ve never met two guys who’re more down on America across the board.” There are 5.2 million NEW private sector jobs. You don’t hear that from Candidates Doom and Gloom. We need more. If they would just get out of the way of us trying to get the middle income tax cut permanent, pass the jobs bill, keep people in danger of losing their homes…just get out of the way of us doing that.”Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something. Show me a policy. Show me a policy where you take responsibility.” Oh and this whole Great Recession thing didn’t just fall out of the sky. Two wars and a prescription drug benefit put on a credit card. A trillion dollar tax cut on the wealthy. I voted against all that. “And now, all of a sudden these guys are so seized with the concern about the debt that they created.

Congressman Ryan?

Ryan
They had one party control coming in. And they passed that stimulus. And look where we are now?

When could you get it below 6 percent?

Ryan
“That’s what our entire premise of our pro-growth plan for a stronger middle class is all about: getting the economy growing at 4 percent, creating 12 million jobs over the next four years.” And let’s talk about Crony capitalism and corporate welfare.

Biden
Yes let’s. Your colleague the Inspector General, spends months and months investigating it and found no evidence of cronyism. And this guy talks about how much the stimulus sucked, but I got letters from asking for stimulus money!

You did ask for stimulus money, correct?

Biden
You bet your sweet ass he did.

Ryan
*Crap this is so not going as planned. OK just fess up since he’s got proof.* “On two occasions we — we — we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants. That’s what we do. We do that for all constituents who are…”

Let’s talk about Medicare and entitlements. Both Medicare and Social Security are going broke and taking a larger share of the budget in the process. Will benefits for Americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive?

Ryan
“Absolutely. Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt. These are indisputable facts. You see, if you reform these programs for my generation, people 54 and below, you can guarantee they don’t change for people in or near retirement.” Old people you don’t have to worry if we’re in office. But Obama and Joey here? “Obamacare takes $716 billion from Medicare to spend on Obamacare.” And don’t forget about those death panels. And your social security? That’s gone too if we don’t “shore it up.” Vote for Obama, and you’ll be broke if you’re not already dead from the sentence the death panel gave you. “They haven’t put a credible solution on the table.” So they’ll scare you with talk of vouchers. Don’t buy it.

Biden
“You know, I heard that death panel argument from Sarah Palin.” And you’re no Sarah Palin. “We cut the cost of Medicare. We stopped overpaying insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. The AMA supported what we did. AARP endorsed what we did. And it extends the life of Medicare to 2024. They want to wipe this all out. Who will you believe, the AMA, me, a guy who’s fought his whole life for this, or somebody who would actually put in motion a plan that knowingly cut — added $6,400 a year more to the cost of Medicare? Now they got a new plan: “Trust me, it’s not going to cost you any more.” Folks, follow your instincts on this one.”

Ryan
“Here’s the problem. They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning Medicare into a piggybank for Obamacare…Mr. Vice President, I know you’re under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don’t keep interrupting each other. *Gotcha old man. I was saving that one*

Biden
“Well, don’t take all the four minutes then.” *Snot-nosed punk.*

Vice President Biden, let me ask you, if it could help solve the problem, why not very slowly raise the Medicare eligibility age by two years, as Congressman Ryan suggests?

Biden
“Look, I was there when we did that with Social Security in 1983. I was one of eight people sitting in the room that included Tip O’Neill negotiating with President Reagan. We all got together and everybody said, as long as everybody’s in the deal, everybody’s in the deal, and everybody is making some sacrifice, we can find a way. We made the system solvent to 2033.” Been there, done that, and all before Junior here started high school.

Ryan
“If you don’t have a good record to run on, paint your opponent as someone people should run from…Make a big election about small ideas.”

You were one of the few lawmakers to stand with President Bush when he was seeking to partially privatize Social Security.

Ryan
Yeah. “For younger people.” Not the old ones who vote.

Gentlemen, I would like to move on to a very simple question for both of you, and something tells me I won’t get a very simple answer, but let me ask you this…If your ticket is elected, who will pay more in taxes? Who will pay less? And we’re starting with Vice President Biden for two minutes.

Biden
“The middle class will pay less and people making $1 million or more will begin to contribute slightly more. Let me give you one concrete example. The continuation of the Bush tax cuts — we are arguing that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. Of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, $800 million — billion of that goes to people making a minimum of $1 million.We want to extend permanently the middle-class tax cut for — permanently, from the Bush middle-class tax cut. These guys won’t allow us to. They’re saying no…They’re holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy. And on top of that, they’ve got another tax cut coming that’s $5 trillion that all of the studies point out will in fact give another $250 million — yeah, $250,000 a year to those 120,000 families and raise taxes for people who are middle income with a child by $2,000 a year. This is unconscionable. There is no need for this. The middle class got knocked on their heels. The great recession crushed them. They need some help now. The last people who need help are 120,000 families for another — another $500 billion tax cut over the next 10 years.”

Ryan
“Our entire premise of these tax reform plans is to grow the economy and create jobs. It’s a plan that’s estimated to create 7 million jobs. Now, we think that government taking 28 percent of a family and business’s income is enough. President Obama thinks that the government ought to be able to take as much as 44.8 percent of a small business’s income. Look, if you taxed every person and successful business making over $250,000 at 100 percent, it would only run the government for 98 days. If everybody who paid income taxes last year, including successful small businesses, doubled their income taxes this year, we’d still have a $300 billion deficit. You see? There aren’t enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending…What we are saying is, lower tax rates across the board and close loopholes, primarily to the higher-income people. We have three bottom lines: Don’t raise the deficit, don’t raise taxes on the middle class, and don’t lower the share of income that is borne by the high-income earners.”

Well, let’s talk about this 20 percent. You have refused — and, again — to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics? Or are you still working on it, and that’s why you won’t tell voters?

Ryan
*The coaches didn’t say she would be asking for specifics. OMG. OK deep breath. Stay vague* “Different than this administration, we actually want to have big bipartisan agreements.”

Biden
“That would be a first for the Republican Congress.”

Do you have the specifics? Do you know exactly what you’re doing?

Ryan
“What we’re saying is, here’s our framework. Lower tax rates 20 percent. We raised about $1.2 trillion through income taxes. We forego about $1.1 trillion in loopholes and deductions. And so what we’re saying is, deny those loopholes and deductions to higher-income taxpayers so that more of their income is taxed, which has a broader base of taxation…We want to work with Congress — we want to work with the Congress on how best to achieve this.” *OK I think this will do. Maybe she’ll back off.*

No specifics, again.

Ryan
*Son of a…will you stop hounding me?* “Look. Mitt — what we’re saying is, lower tax rates 20 percent, start with the wealthy, work with Congress to do it…”

And you guarantee this math will add up?
*Just say yes so you can get her off your back.* “Absolutely. Six studies have guaranteed — six studies have verified that this math adds up.”

Biden
“Governor Romney on “60 Minutes” — I guess it was about 10 days ago — was asked, “Governor, you pay 14 percent on $20 million. Someone making $50,000 pays more than that. Do you think that’s fair?” He said, “Oh, yes, that’s fair. That’s fair.” This is — and they’re going to talk — you think these guys are going to go out there and cut those loopholes? The loophole — the biggest loophole they take advantage of is the carried interest loophole and — and capital gains loophole. They exempt that. Now, there’s not enough — the reason why the AEI study, the American Enterprise Institute study, the Tax Policy Center study, the reason they all say it’s going — taxes go up on the middle class, the only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for middle-class people, cut the health care deduction, middle-class people, take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college. That’s why they arrive at it.”

Mr. Vice President, what would you suggest — what would you suggest beyond raising taxes on the wealthy, that would substantially reduce the long-term deficit?

Biden
“Just let the taxes expire like they’re supposed to on those millionaires. We don’t — we can’t afford $800 billion going to people making a minimum of $1 million. They do not need it, Martha. Those 120,000 families make $8 million a year. Middle-class people need the help. Why does my friend cut out the tuition tax credit for them? Why does he go after the childcare…”

Can you declare anything off-limits?

Ryan
“Yeah, we’re saying close loopholes… on high-interest people.”

Home mortgage deduction?

Biden
“Can you guarantee that no one making less than $100,000 will have a mortgage — their mortgage deduction impacted? Guarantee?” Answer it. So I can have your snot nose ass on record.

Ryan
*Oh hell no. Don’t even repeat mortgage deduction. Pretend you didn’t hear it.* “This taxes a million small businesses. He keeps trying to make you think that it’s just some movie star or hedge fund guy or an actor…”

I’d like to move on to Afghanistan please. And that’s one of the biggest expenditures this country has made, in dollars, and more importantly in lives.We just passed the sad milestone of losing 2,000 U.S. troops there in this war. More than 50 of them were killed this year by the very Afghan forces we are trying to help. Now, we’ve reached the recruiting goal for Afghan forces, we’ve degraded Al Qaida. So tell me, why not leave now? What more can we really accomplish? Is it worth more American lives?

Ryan
We don’t want to lose the gains we’ve gotten. We want to make sure that the Taliban does not come back in and give Al Qaida a safe haven…we want to see the 2014 transition be successful, and that means we want to make sure our commanders have what they need to make sure that it is successful so that this does not once again become a launching pad for terrorists.

Biden
“The fact is, we went there for one reason: to get those people who killed Americans, Al Qaida. We’ve decimated Al Qaida central. We have eliminated Osama bin Laden. That was our purpose. And, in fact, in the meantime, what we said we would do, we would help train the Afghan military. It’s their responsibility to take over their own security…We are leaving in 2014. Period. And in the process, we’re going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion. We’ve been in this war for over a decade. The primary objective is almost completed. Now, all we’re doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It’s their responsibility, not America’s.”

Let’s move to another war, the civil war in Syria, where there are estimates that more — estimates that more than 25,000, 30,000 people have now been killed. In March of last year, President Obama explained the military action taken in Libya by saying it was in the national interest to go in and prevent further massacres from occurring there. So why doesn’t the same logic apply in Syria? Vice President Biden?

Biden
“We are working hand and glove..with all the people in the region attempting to identify the people who deserve the help so that when Assad goes — and he will go — there will be a legitimate government that follows on, not an Al Qaida-sponsored government that follows on. And all this loose talk of my friend, Governor Romney, and the congressman, about how we’re going to do, we could do so much more in there, what more would they do other than put American boots on the ground? The last thing America needs is to get in another ground war in the Middle East, requiring tens of thousands, if not well over 100,000 American forces. That — they are the facts. They are the facts.”

Congressman Ryan?

Ryan
“Now, let me say it this way. How would we do things differently? We wouldn’t refer to Bashar Assad as a reformer when he’s killing his own civilians with his Russian-provided weapons. We wouldn’t be outsourcing our foreign policy to the United Nations giving Vladimir Putin veto power over our efforts to try and deal with this issue. He’s vetoed three of them…We would not be going through the U.N. in all of these things.”

Biden
“You don’t go through the U.N. We’ve been in the process of providing aid to those we, the Turks, Saudis and Jordanians believe are the free forces inside of Syria. That is underway. Our allies were all on the same page, NATO, as well as our Arab allies, in terms of trying to get a settlement. That was their idea. We’re the ones that said, “Enough.” With regard to the reset not working, the fact of the matter is that Russia has a different interest in Syria than we do, and that’s not in our interest.”

I want to move on, and I want to return home for these last few questions. This debate is, indeed, historic. We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. Please talk about how you came to that decision. Talk about how your religion played a part in that. And, please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country…

Ryan
*OMG she went there. They told me this could happen. OK, OK calm down. Talk about how we saw the ultrasound and got that awww moment. Then segue gently* “Now I believe that life begins at conception. I understand this is a difficult issue, and I respect people who don’t agree with me on this, but the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortions with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. What troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. Look at what they’re doing through Obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They’re infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. Our church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain their religious liberties. And with respect to abortion, the Democratic Party used to say they wanted it to be safe, legal and rare. Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding. Taxpayer funding in Obamacare, taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized and wouldn’t second guess their one child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That to me is pretty extreme.”

Vice President Biden?

Biden
“My religion defines who I am, and I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And has particularly informed my social doctrine. The Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who — who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help. With regard to — with regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as a — what we call a de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception in the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the — the congressman. I — I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that — women they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor. In my view and the Supreme Court, I’m not going to interfere with that. With regard to the assault on the Catholic church, let me make it absolutely clear, no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. Now with regard to the way in which the — we differ, my friend says that he — well I guess he accepts Governor Romney’s position now, because in the past he has argued that there was — there’s rape and forcible rape. He’s argued that in the case of rape or incest, it was still — it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. I just fundamentally disagree with my friend.”

I want to go back to the abortion question here. If the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?

Ryan
“We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination.”

Biden
“The court — the next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That’s how close Roe v. Wade is. Just ask yourself, with Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for — for Mr. Romney, who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen. I guarantee you, that will not happen. We picked two people. We pick people who are open-minded. They’ve been good justices. So keep an eye on the Supreme Court…”

I’m going to move on to this closing question because we are running out of time. The two of you respect our troops enormously. Your son has served and perhaps someday your children will serve as well. I recently spoke to a highly decorated soldier who said that this presidential campaign has left him dismayed. He told me, quote, “the ads are so negative and they are all tearing down each other rather than building up the country.” What would you say to that American hero about this campaign? And at the end of the day, are you ever embarrassed by the tone?

Biden
“There are things that have occurred in this campaign and occur in every campaign that I’m sure both of us regret anyone having said, particularly in these — these special new groups that can go out there, raise all the money they want, not have to identify themselves, who say the most scurrilous things about the other candidate. It’s — it’s an abomination.”

Ryan
*Remember what the coaches said. Admit nothing. Or you’ll get in trouble* “I would say, you have a president who ran for president four years ago promising hope and change, who has now turned his campaign into attack, blame and defame. You see, if you don’t have a good record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone to run from. That was what President Obama said in 2008. It’s what he’s doing right now.”

Let me calm down things here just for a minute. And I want to talk to you very briefly before we go to closing statements about your own personal character. If you are elected, what could you both give to this country as a man, as a human being, that no one else could?

Ryan
“What you need are people who, when they say they’re going to do something, they go do it. What you need are, when people see problems, they offer solutions to fix those problems. We’re not getting that. Look, we can grow this economy faster. That’s what our five- point plan for a stronger middle class is all about. It’s about getting 12 million jobs, higher take-home pay, getting people out of poverty into the middle class. That means going with proven, pro- growth policies that we know works to get people back to work.”

Biden
“My record stands for itself. I never say anything I don’t mean. Everybody knows, whatever I say, I do. And my whole life has been devoted to leveling the playing field for middle-class people, giving them an even break, treating Main Street and Wall Street the same, hold them to the same responsibility. Look at my record. It’s been all about the middle class. They’re the people who grow this country. We think you grow this country from the middle out, not from the top down.”

OK, we now turn to the candidates for their closing statements. Thank you, gentlemen. And that coin toss, again, has Vice President Biden starting with the closing statement.

Biden
“Let me say at the outset that I want to thank you, Martha, for doing this, and Centre College. The fact is that we’re in a situation where we inherited a god-awful circumstance. People are in real trouble. We acted to move to bring relief to the people who need the most help now. And — and in the process, we — in case you haven’t noticed, we have strong disagreements, but I — you probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the American people. My friend says that 30 percent of the American people are takers. Romney points out 47 percent of the people won’t take responsibility. He’s talking about my mother and father. He’s talking about the places I grew up in, my neighbors in Scranton and Claymont, and he’s talking about — he’s talking about the people that have built this country. All they’re looking for, Martha, all they’re looking for is an even shot. Whenever you give them the shot, they’ve done it. They’ve done it. Whenever you’ve leveled the playing field, they’ve been able to move. And they want a little bit of peace of mind. And the president and I are not going to rest until that playing field is leveled, they, in fact, have a clear shot, and they have peace of mind, until they can turn to their kid and say with a degree of confidence, “Honey, it’s going to be OK. It’s going to be OK.” That’s what this is all about.”

*OMG I so rocked this debate. Joementum is back baby. Beer’s on me.*

Ryan
“I want to thank you, as well, Martha, Danville, Kentucky, Centre College, and I want to thank you, Joe. It’s been an honor to engage in this critical debate. We face a very big choice. What kind of country are we going to be? What kind of country are we going to give our kids? President Obama, he had his chance. He made his choices. His economic agenda, more spending, more borrowing, higher taxes, a government takeover of health care. It’s not working. It’s failed to create the jobs we need. Twenty-three million Americans are struggling for work today. Fifteen percent of Americans are in poverty. This is not what a real recovery looks like. You deserve better. Mitt Romney and I want to earn your support. We’re offering real reforms for a real recovery for every American. Mitt Romney — his experience, his ideas, his solutions — is uniquely qualified to get this job done. At a time when we have a jobs crisis in America, wouldn’t it be nice to have a job-creator in the White House? The choice is clear: a stagnant economy that promotes more government dependency or a dynamic, growing economy that promotes opportunity and jobs. Mitt Romney and I will not duck the tough issues, and we will not blame others for the next four years. We will take responsibility. And we will not try to replace our founding principles. We will reapply our founding principles. The choice is clear, and the choice rests with you. And we ask you for your vote. Thank you.”

*I’m sure more people were tuned into the games. Nobody really remembers VP debates, anyway, right? It’s OK. I don’t think I stopped the bounce from Mitt’s debate, right? Why is Janna giving me that “Aww, it’s OK” look? I couldn’t have been that bad. Um, was I? I’m not really feeling all that well. Maybe it was something I ate. I could tell people that. No, it’s all good. We’re still good. Right? I think I need to lie down.*


4 responses to “Vice Presidential Debate 2012: VP Joe Biden vs. Rep. Paul Ryan

  • lbwoodgate

    Joe did good. He did real good.

    • Sedate Me

      Right, as usual, Woodgate.

      You know, it’s really refreshing to see an actual human being still in politics and doing well at it.

      Not to knock Ryan, but he is of the new generation of politicos. Every single thing he says or does comes across as cold, calculated, rehearsed, focus group tested and is about as passionate and personable as a rectal exam in a doctor’s office. I don’t much like guys like him, even when they agree with me.

      Biden is Biden. He screws up sometimes, but the guy is who he is and probably couldn’t keep a secret agenda secret for 15 minutes. That’s a good thing in my books.

    • Spinny Liberal

      Yes he did. I was very impressed.

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