Friday, October 12, 2012
Who won the vice presidential debate, Joe Biden or Paul Ryan?
Biden and Ryan clashed sharply on issues related to foreign policy, health care, and abortion.
The 2012 vice presidential candidates delivered an energetic, sparring match Thursday night during the second debate of the election season. Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan faced off under moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News. She was a controversial selection given her personal background with the Obama family.
In a debate “that’s important mostly to partisans,” said Ben Voth, chair of SMU’s communication studies department, the candidates did in fact appeal to their most prominent audience of the night.
“I think both sides gave their partisans something to be happy about,” Voth said.
After Romney’s triumph in the first presidential debate, Biden was expected to make up for lost ground in the second round.
“[The Democrats] wanted Biden to step up more than President Obama did, and I think he did that,” Voth said. “[He] was trying to be more aggressive and hit points Obama missed.”
Foreign policy and defense budgets dominated much of the debate. Accusing the Obama administration of having “no credibility” on foreign policy and handling Iran’s nuclear activity, Ryan asserted that the next president needed to take more direct action.
“They are not changing their mind. That is what we have to do — change their mind,” he said.
Biden, considered by many to hold his expertise in foreign policy, appeared confident in the foreign policy growth that has been facilitated over the past four years.
“This is a guy who has repaired our alliances so the rest of the world will follow us again,” Biden said.
When the question of defense cuts was posed, Biden made clear the Obama administration’s non-negotiable stance on ending the war in Afghanistan by 2014.
“Unless you set a timeline, [their government] will not step up. They are happy to let us do the job,” Biden said. “It is their responsibility to take on their own security.”
Ryan was sure to clarify that the Romney campaign does not “want to extend beyond 2014,” but that it also does not “want to embolden our enemies” by leaving behind a premature government.
Tensions flew again with the facilitation of economic discussion during which Raddatz confronted Ryan on evading tax cut logistics, saying he had “refused again to offer specifics.”
Ryan accused the Obama administration of getting “caught with their hand in the cookie jar” and trying to use Medicare money for Obamacare.
But Biden called the Romney campaign out on not following through on assertions and promises.
“Stop talking about how you care about people — show me,” Biden said.
When abortion was approached, Ryan articulated the Romney campaign’s official stance and leaded with the assertion that “our faith informs us in everything we do.”
“The policy is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother,” Ryan said.
Biden, a practicing Catholic, then took his turn on the issue.
“I accept my church’s position, but I refuse to impose that on others,” Biden said.
The next debate, which will be in the town hall format between the presidential candidates, will be October 16.
Pegasus News Content partner - The Daily Campus