(News Max) – A grinning Joe Biden became the overwhelming image of Thursday’s vice presidential debate as he made a conscious effort to undermine virtually every point his rival Paul Ryan made.
“Malarky,” “bunch of stuff,” “loose talk,” “not true,” “let me translate that” “not mathematically possible,” “this is amazing,” he said of various points Ryan made during the 90-minute debate.
But Ryan refused to be bowed by the older man’s attempts to talk down to him and belittle his points, hitting Biden with a torrent of detailed figures.
Biden came out on the offensive, clearly determined not to allow a repeat of last week’s presidential debate when his boss, President Barack Obama put in a lackluster performance.
Thursday’s debate in Centre College, Danville, Ky., — the only time the vice-presidential candidates would go head-to-head — was far more energetic than the first presidential debate.
And the spirited debate made for riveting television as the two men passionately made their points, attacking each other.
There was a clear difference in style as Ryan made serious points and Biden maintained his usual folksy image. “All you seniors out there…” he said as he looked straight into the camera on two separate occasions. ”Folks, use your common sense,” he said when talking about which side to trust with Medicare.
ABC’s Martha Raddatz, making her debut as a debate moderator, quickly seemed to lose control as the two candidates constantly interrupted and talked over each other. Biden started the tactic but the Wisconsin congressman soon joined in, giving as good as he got.
The audience — which had been asked not to cheer, clap or make any other noise — burst into laughter when Ryan referred to Romney’s infamous 47 percent speech. “The words don’t always come out the right way. You know how that is, Joe,” he said to the gaffe-prone vice president.
Biden responded, “If you heard that little soliloquy on 47 percent and think it was a mistake, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.”
Apart from their closing statements, the only time the two candidates sat and listened respectfully to each other was when Raddatz asked the two men — both Roman Catholics — how their faith affected their views on abortion.
Ryan’s main point was to attack Obama as a weak president. “We get speeches, we are not getting leadership,” he said.
Ryan made a strong point by asking Biden if he knew what the unemployment rate is in his home town of Scranton, Penn. “It’s 10 percent, he said. “It was 8.5 percent when you came into office.”
Tax policy was one of the most contentious issues with both Ryan and Biden talking over each other’s points in the lively debate. Ryan made it clear that if he and Romney are elected the priority would be to cut “loopholes for high income people.”
Ryan also hit Biden hard on Iran, making much of Obama’s decision not to meet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu when both men were in New York last month, “instead going on a television talk show.”
On Afghanistan, Biden made it clear that an Obama administration will pull out in 2014. Ryan said he agreed with the drawdown but did not want to broadcast the date to the enemy. “We don’t want them to put it on their calendar and come back,” he said.
“We want to see the 2014 transition be successful…so it does not become a launching pad for terrorists.”
Ryan called the administration’s muddled explanation of the killing of Chris Stephens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya “the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.”
But Biden insisted that the White House statements were made on the best intelligence at the time, but that changed as more information was known. Instead he attacked Romney for holding a press conference on the night of the killing. “That’s not presidential,” he said.
In his closing statement, Ryan said the Republican ticket would provide America with leaders “who, when they say they are going to do something, they go do it, when they see problems, they go to those problems.