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VP Debate: Biden, Ryan at each other on everything

Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) At odds early and often, Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan squabbled over the economy, taxes, Medicare and more Thursday night in a contentious, interruption-filled debate. "That is a bunch of malarkey," the vice president retorted after a particularly tough Ryan attack on the administration's foreign policy."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 interrupt each other," Ryan said later to his rival, referring to Democratic pressure on Biden to make up for President Barack Obama's listless performance in last week's debate with Mitt Romney.

There was nothing listless this time as the 69-year-old Biden sat next to the 42-year old Wisconsin congressman on a stage at Centre College in Kentucky.

Ninety minutes after the initial disagreement over foreign policy, the two men clashed sharply over steps to reduce federal deficits.

"The president likes to say he has a plan," Ryan said, but in fact "he gave a speech" and never backed it up with details.

Biden conceded Republicans indeed have a plan, but he said if it were enacted, it would have "eviscerated all the things the middle class care about."

The debate took place a little more than a week after Obama and Romney met in the first of their three debates an encounter that has fueled a Republican comeback in opinion polls.

With Democrats eager for Biden to show the spark the president lacked, he did so.

Unprompted, he brought up the video in which Romney had said 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax, view themselves as victims and do not take responsibility for their own lives.

"It's about time they take responsibility" instead of signing pledges to avoid raising taxes, Biden said of Romney, Ryan and the Republicans.

The serial disagreements started immediately after the smiles and handshakes of the opening.

Ryan said in the debate's opening moments that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens had been denied sufficient security by administration officials. Stevens died in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

"Not a single thing he said is accurate," Democrat Biden shot back.

Republicans and Democrats alike have said in recent days the presidential race now approximates the competitive situation in place before the two political conventions. The two men are generally separated by a point or two in national public opinion polls and in several battleground states, with Obama holding a slender lead in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Both the president and Romney campaigned in battleground states during the day before ceding the spotlight to their political partners for the evening.

In Kentucky, Biden and Ryan seemed primed for a showdown from their opening moments on stage, and neither seemed willing to let the other have the final word. They interrupted each other repeatedly and moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC as well.

With Democrats eager for Biden to show the spark the president lacked, he did so.

But Ryan quickly turned to dreary economic statistics 23 million are struggling to work, he said, and 15 percent of the country is living in poverty. "This is not what a real recovery looks like."

Medicare was a flashpoint, as well. Ryan said Obama's health care plan had diverted $716 billion from the program for seniors and created a new board that could deny care to patients who need it.

Democrats "haven't put a credible solution on the table," he said. "They'll tell you about vouchers. They'll say all these things to try to scare people."

Biden quickly said that Ryan had authored not one but two proposals in which seniors would be given government payments that might not cover the entirety of their care. Otherwise, he said, the Romney-Ryan approach wouldn't achieve the savings they claimed.

Unlike Obama, Biden had no qualms about launching a personal attack on Romney.

After Ryan argued that Romney's plan would pay for reduced tax rates by eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthy, Biden noted that on a recent interview on CBS' "60 Minutes," Romney defended the 14 percent tax rate he pays on his $20 million income as fair, even though it's a lower rate than some lower income taxpayers pay.

"You think these guys are going to go out there and cut those loopholes," Biden asked, addressing the national TV audience.

Across 90 minutes, the two men agreed precisely once.

That was when Ryan, referring to the war in Afghanistan, said the calendar was the same each year. Biden agreed to that, but not to the underlying point, which was that it was a mistake for Obama to have announced a date for the withdrawal of the remainder of the U.S. combat troops.

The fiercest clash over foreign policy came in the debate's opening moments, when Ryan cited events across the Middle East as well as Stevens' death in Libya as evidence that the administration's foreign policy was unraveling. The Republican also said the administration had failed to give Stevens the same level of protection as the U.S. ambassador in Paris receives.

Biden rebutted by saying that the budget that Ryan authored as chairman of the House Budget Committee had cut the administration's funding request for diplomatic security by $300 million.

On the nation's economy, both men were asked directly when his side could reduce unemployment to 6 percent from the current 7.8 percent. Both men sidestepped.

Biden repeated the president's contention that the nation is moving in the right direction, while Ryan stated the Republican view that economic struggle persists even though Democrats had control of both houses of Congress during the first two years of Obama's term.

"Where are the 5 million green jobs" we were told would be created? Ryan said to Biden.

Obama campaigned in Florida during the day. Mocking recent changes in Romney's rhetoric, he told a rally in Miami rally, "After running for more than a year in which he called himself severely conservative, Mitt Romney is trying to convince you that he was severely kidding."

Romney visited with 93-year-old Billy Graham in North Carolina before speaking to an evening rally in Asheville, N.C. "Prayer is the most helpful thing you can do for me," he told the evangelist.

For Biden, Thursday night's debate was his first since the 2008 campaign, when he shared a stage with Sarah Palin, then John McCain's running mate.

Ryan spars frequently with Democrats during debates on legislation on the House floor and in the House Budget Committee, which he chairs, but not in a one-on-one encounter covering 90 minutes and a virtually unlimited range of topics.

For all their differences, the two men shared a common objective, to advance the cause of their tickets in a close race for the presidency and avoid a gaffe that might forever seal their place in the history of debates.

Romney's choice of Ryan as running mate over the summer cheered conservatives in the House, many of whom regard him as their leader on budget and economic issues. The seven-term lawmaker has authored a pair of deficit-reducing budgets in the past two years that call for spending cuts and changes in Medicare, blueprints that Republicans passed through the House and Obama and his allies in Congress frequently criticize. He also champions a no-tax increase approach to economic policy.

As a senator before becoming vice president, Biden was chairman of the Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees, and he has long experience in national security issues. More recently, he was Obama's point man in arduous, ultimately unsuccessful negotiations with Republicans on steps to cut the deficit.

Both Ryan and Biden held extensive rehearsals, with stand-ins for their opponents.

Biden turned to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who is well-versed in Ryan's policy views from his tenure as senior Democrat on the Budget Committee.

Ryan's foil in rehearsal was former Solicitor General Ted Olson, a skillful courtroom advocate.

Associated Press writers Philip Elliott in Kentucky, Ken Thomas in Florida and Kasie Hunt in North Carolina contributed. Espo reported from Washington.

Comments

kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

Biden sure made a fool of himself!! He reacted like a grade school child. I sure hope he pays for his laughable 1 1/2 hrs on TV. He tried his best to twist and lie in front of the camera. It was also very obvious how desperate the Liberals are to continue their takeover of this country and to destroy our Constitution to fit their agenda. I do not know what is stopping the Congress from impeaching them all for lying on the Bible when they took office. Biden's take on abortion should be enough to excommunicate him from the Catholic Church. Since where does our Constitution allow the government to force Christians to pay for other people's abortions? I know when. When Obama & Biden are in the oval office. Abortion is just another adjective for "murder." Has anyone one ever looked up the definition of murder?

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

According to the Department of Health and Human Service: "by law, Title X(government funding of Planned Parenthood) funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning."

Your tax dollars are not used to fund something against your beliefs. And if they were, Obama didn't make that decision. Title X has been in place since 1970 - during a Republican presidency.

Now let's talk about my tax dollars being used to fund a couple wars I didn't believe in a few years ago. And apparently being fired up to fund a war with Iran that Romney/Ryan just seem to be itching for.

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NewsReader 1 year, 11 months ago

You know what? On one hand, I detest the idea that I should have to pay for somebody else's birth control. But because we are responsible for ourselves, we don't expect somebody to pay for our birth control. We take care of that ourselves. On the other hand, I don't mind providing free birth control. You know why? It is simply because the cost of not doing so is far more expensive to those of us who do take responsibility for ourselves than it is to allow those of you that spend too much time breeding and not enough time reading the opportunity to download another baby you have neither the means, nor the intention, of caring for. In other words, the sooner and more thorough we slow down the gene pool of the moocher class, the sooner we can improve everyone's standard of living for the country as a whole.

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

Well then, I imagine I'll hear no further objection from you on it? Great.

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

what the law says and what they do are two different things. Get your head out the sand buddy.

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

My apologies. I had no idea we had to evaluate legislation based on your suspicions, rather than what the law actually says.

Being belligerent doesn't make you right. You may be able to bully your way into winning an argument with your friends and family, but you're going to have to come to the discussion here with a little bit more than some impotent rage.

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HonestIngine 1 year, 11 months ago

Was it me or Was Biden just a A___ hole, showing no respect for anyone. A conceited "fool" that reminded me of Sandusky, with his arrogant attitude... 69 years old and in no touch with the middle class like he says he's trying to help..How come I'm in worst shape now than I was 4 yrs. ago?

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm a big fan of the way your side of the aisle handles success and failure. If you succeed: You built this entirely on your own, without any help. If you fail: The government is keeping you down.

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NewsReader 1 year, 11 months ago

...and I am a big fan of how your side of the aisle is so entitled, so irresponsible, and so hypocritical. I have concluded that your side of the aisle is just beyond stupid, and no amount of discussion will influence anyone on your side to take personal responsibility for themself and improve.

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

I see. I'm a home owner, a tax payer, gainfully employed and college-educated off my own dime. Outside of being able to deduct my mortgage interest from my income taxes(which I will point our Ryan dodged the accusation that Romney would remove my ability to do so last night), I receive zero entitlements.

I just have a nose for bullsh*t is all, and don't believe my personal beliefs should be enforced on everyone else. You used to be the party of personal freedom, now you're just the party of freedom for everyone that agrees with you.

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NewsReader 1 year, 11 months ago

You should have a nose for bullsh*t! You're constantly wading in it with all of your liberally biased comments. The abortion debate on either side is as significant as a gnat on a dinosaur's behind. At the end of the day, it is so inconsequential compared to the priorities either side should be concerned about.

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

That I agree with you on. As a country we have much bigger problems to address.

But just for fun, let's see which party keeps bringing it up in the coming weeks, yeah?

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NewsReader 1 year, 11 months ago

Nah, I'd rather not. That is one subject the Republicans tend to PI$$ me off on on a very regular basis. They just need to leave it alone and don't go down that path.

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

Did you read the paper this morning BurritoJones? Your guys planted CIA people in the building where 4 Americans were beaten and killed. Are you satisfied yet that the government jerks you voted for are not lying and covering up all their mistakes? No wonder we are in such a mess. People have become so blind and stupid. Must have gotten your high school diploma from a WalMart.

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

Oh snap. Sick burn.

I'm thrilled you're reading, but so far the bickering about the CIA plants has revealed little more than the location of the CIA safehouse(thanks to a few loudmouths that started showing satellite photos of the compound on C-SPAN). I'm sure Glenn Beck has plenty of "credible" theories of evil and wrongdoing that all points back to a cackling Obama, but you're going to have to come up with a little thing called evidence.

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news2me 1 year, 11 months ago

I find it disgraceful how the media is not focused on Biden's overall performance last night. His laughing, facial expressions, etc. were unacceptable given the seriousness of the state of affairs going on in our country and around the world. It is one thing trying to shrug off Ryan during this debate, but I know he turned off alot of people last night.

Obamacare that no one wants, the dismal state of our economy and unemployment, POTUS ignoring the nukes in the Middle East, LIBYA - when is the media going to dig deep and give the public what it deserves?

The media is so desperate to overlook Biden's horrific presense last night that this will come back to haunt them. Ironic how the media is not helping, but actually hurting Obama. At this point, the media is going to screw Obama whichever road they take.

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news2me 1 year, 11 months ago

Your source / link is making me smile. You want to talk about Libya? Just wait, the press can only coverup so much for Obama in the next few weeks.

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

Fox News is far and away the biggest entity in the media. Their ratings and total viewers are unparalleled. Are you suggesting that Fox News is suddenly in Obama's pocket, or that the Main Stream Media(TM) somehow does not include the largest media outlet in the world? Or is Fox News somehow incapable of breaking a story on governmental wrong-doing?

As far as Libya goes: Can I assume you agree with Romney? If so, which stance? He's had a couple. Last year he told Hugh Hewitt that he was all for boots on the ground. A few months later he criticized Obama in the National Review for being too aggressive with efforts to remove Gadahfi, and said setting up the no-fly zone was 'under deliberated and ad hoc'.

Now that the president has authorized drone strikes in Libya Romney's saying it wasn't fast enough, which I thought was odd, given that the drones were deployed three days after the attack.

Or are you JUST harping on the Benghazi embassy attack? Because while absolutely tragic, so far the reports are all pointing at an intel failure. And I'm going to wager that Obama wasn't the one writing the intel report.

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news2me 1 year, 11 months ago

Burrito, your gushing over Fox News is a keeper. Congratulate yourself for being part of their success. You do understand that if Fox were to go after the Obama regime / Libya coverup, then you'd be crying Faux? Cherrypicking your facts if classic Obama worshiping.

According to your glowing remarks, Fox has enough success under their belt to sit back and let the underdogs uncover the details of this tragic event. I find CNN's attempt to go after the Obama regime quite refreshing.

Even the WH felt the need to "clarify" Biden's fake deer in headlights response on not protecting our own surrounded by terrorists.

Attacking Romney and praising / protecting Obama is not working. The buck stops with the man you worship. His failures are on him.

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

BurritoJones: Did you happen to read the editorial page this morning, if you can? The killing of 4 Americans at the Consulate was a coverup & your friends in Washington have eaten crow over this. It was also brought to light the fact that the CIA was based there also and left. The Obama bunch got caught in anther lie and coverups. They didn't want this to leak out but it did. No wonder this country is in such shape it is in. They have voters like you who like money from those that work. You reap what you sow sucker! I am also disappointed that you prefer a country that is divided, like the one you came from.

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BurritoJones 1 year, 11 months ago

Do you know what an editorial is? It's an opinion piece. Do you know what you have to have in order to write an editorial? An opinion. That's it. Not facts, not evidence, just a rant.

Forgive me if I don't start blowing the whistle on your favorite paper's paranoid opinion column.

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news2me 1 year, 11 months ago

Most of your sources are opinion pieces. Americans increasing distrust the media in the country, and protecting Obama's dying legacy is part of the problem.

Most people blow gas after eating burritos. No nutritional value and cheap.

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toby 1 year, 11 months ago

Career politicians just can't stand someone talking bad about them. They have had their butts kissed for so long that when they're little ego's gets hurt they blow up. Term limits I say. Enjoy an altered scene from a 1975 classic....................

King obama: I am your king. American: Well I didn't vote for you. King obama: You don't vote for kings. American: Well how'd you become king then? King obama: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, obama, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king. American: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. American: Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you. American: Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away. American: Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I'm being repressed! King obama: Bloody peasant! American: Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw him, Didn't you?

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Say_that_again 1 year, 11 months ago

Is anyone that gullible? Ryan/Romney promise a cross the board tax cut of 20%, lowering of the capital gains tax, thus insuring everyone pays less. Then promises this tax cut to still bring in as much revenue by cutting deductions, but they won't touch the biggest deductions, medical expenses, mortgage interest, charitable donations. This is such an obvious scam, why would anyone believe anything this pair says? For a better discourse on this. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/the-vice-presidential-debate-joe-biden-was-right-to-laugh-20121012 Noticed this pair dodge any specifics on this (or Romney's tax returns) because they know it doesn't add up and think voters are gullible. Judging from a lot of the comments I have read, it seems they are right about voter gullibility, just wrong on everything else.

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Sthrnldy 1 year, 11 months ago

Bless your Heart, Know_it_All. Rolling Stone Magazine is NOT a reliable source for facts. Most entertainers are limo liberals and worship at the alter of your American Idol Obama. Stop embarassing yourself, or yet please continue! The voter gullibility is speaking directly to you, but you are to starry eyed over your American Idol Obama to see reality. Virtually everytime you post you show your stupidity, lacks of facts and worship of your American Idol Obama.

Know_it_All is a source of entertainment, much like Biden was for Intelligent voters on Thursday night.

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Say_that_again 1 year, 11 months ago

"Republicans and conservatives have an annoying habit of not believing reality. They don’t believe in climate change or evolution, but they do believe that tax cuts magically create growth, that there was a relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, and that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Recovery ActThey believe these things often out of self-delusion and wanting conservative leaders to be right in the face of “liberal” facts, but also because they surround themselves by conservative media – tv, radio, print, and online – that repeats these untruths to them in a 24-7 drumbeat of mendacity." ----Oliver Willis It does not bother me that this group feels that the only way to "prove" that they are right on the issues is to ridicule sources which give information contrary to their own narrow minded beliefs and insult anyone that brings forth facts. I encourage everyone to research the facts through legitimate fact checking sites (which do not always get it right but they ususally remain non-partisan with their response and give sources), then researching their sources and other non-partisan sources. For charts on the economy, here is a link to a pdf document Looking forward to more ridiculous insults and comments from the right! that prove the lack of facts.

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news2me 1 year, 11 months ago

Liberal: a power worshipper without power. - George Orwell

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Sthrnldy 1 year, 11 months ago

Bless Your Heart, Your Royal Highness Know_It_All. Let us all bow down to the Queen of Facts and Self Rightousness, for thou are so Holier Than The Rest of Us.

Know_It_All, that worships her American Idol Obama God, provides us with only Liberal Factoids that the rest of us should see as Truth, or we are wrong. Example from her quote above, where Oliver Willis (obviously D) trashes everything Republican. These are the Facts as Her Royal Highness sees it. Trash (with narrow minded insults and beliefs) all Republicans. This is the Law in the land of her American Idol Obama!

I encourage everyone who posts to bow down to Say_That_Again, because it is she who Knows_It_All.

Hail ! .... Say_That_Again aka Know_It_All ... Hail !!!

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