Who Won VP Debate: Joe Biden, Martha Raddatz Win Big at Vice Presidential Debate



2012 Vice-Presidential Debate is now over.

Moderator: Martha Raddatz

Democratic contender: VP Joe Biden

Republican VP nominee: Paul Ryan

Feel free to add thoughts below.

2230 EST

Ryan closing statement: Obama has failed and only expanded govt takeover. Purpose of R/R ticket is about gaining support - unique qualifications Romney has to create jobs, as an alternative to promoting govt dependency, while taking responsibility and reapplying the founding principles.


Biden closing statement: bringing the middle class back up, absolutism of the R/R ticket on takers and producers, we must give people and even shot, peace of mind and a level playing field - that is all what the Obama/Biden ticket is pursuing.


Ryan: we need people who will do, not just talk - bipartisanship, resolve, leadership

Biden: saying what I mean, levelling playing field for middle class, one measuring stick for everyone - bottom up growth.


Biden: Ryan budget only panders to the wealthy. Two wars on a credit card are not the way to go.

On to personal characteristics.


Martha: Should we be embarrassed by the electoral language, in light of those who sacrifice their lives or America and their disillusionment with the political climate?

Biden: we do have regrets, but vets must not be lumped in Romney's black and white categories. Ask rather, who has the ability to restore the Middle Class, or continue serving the wealthy? Has Obama asked wisely in the use of force - answer is yes. We do have regrets for some things said in the campaign.

Ryan: preventing military cuts. Obama ran on hope and change, but he is running on a string of broken promises and attacks against Romney. Obama's promises don;t add up to his practices on policy. We can't continue debt crisis, but Obama does not have a plan and has not addressed debt or deficit - no leadership, Romney has that ability.


Will those needing abortion fear that it will not be legal anymore?

Supreme court, Roe v Wade in jeopardy. We must pick open-minded people, says Biden.


Biden: Life begins at conception, like Ryan believes, but we should not impose that on other believers. Attack on Catholic church: no institution has to be a vehicle for contraception measures.

Ryan: Opposing abortion with some exceptions.


Ryan - pro-life. Religion and science. Personal story of Liza (aka Bean). On China - Obama supports forced abortions.


Religion and abortion!


Martha: why isn't Syria handled the same way as Libya?

Biden: Syria is a different country with explosive regional consequences. It inherently requires multilateral cooperation with Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UNSC to identify those who can form a post-Assad govt, not an Al-Qaeda govt. A military intervention requires 100s of thousands committed - preventing regional religious war is paramount.Humanitarian and logistical aid is already being provided to those identified as FSA. Russia has different interests in Syria than we do, and this is not related to the reset. Opposition is also being armed.

Ryan: Assad is not a reformer, he's a killer. Treat Putin as a haw. We needed a better plan, working through our allies - this is what we;re doing. RE: Russia already has veto power in the UNSC, we didn't give them anything. Iran keeps killed ally in the region and we lose credibility. R/R keeps chemical weapons redline, should've worked with dissidents from before. Criteria for intervention: national strategic interest justifies it. No humanitarian aspect. Diplomacy?

Ryan's foreing policy is too black and white. Don't go up against a pro, Paul.


Biden: troops being drawn out are filled in by newly trained Afghan troops. Withdrawals are compensated.

Ryan: not in the East?

Biden: Afghans must do the job and that's what we're doing.


Biden: the surge ended, because its temporary nature was negotiated and agreed before it even happened. Nothing surprising here. Takes months to draw down forces.

Ryan: he knows anything about fighting? Thank you for lecture, Paul.


Biden: 49 counties want out of 2014. No choice.

Ryan on GoB attacks: the Taliban will not step up to assist in development of security.


Martha: we've done our job and lost too many - time to go.

Ryan: we must protect gains made by marines. The 2014 transition must be successful and not be hampered by lack of operational capacity. No concrete plan, once more.

Biden: been everywhere. We went to kill those who perpetrated 9/11. Al Qaeda is decimated, bin Laden is dead, Afghan forces must take care of own security - point of mission with 49 countries. It does not depend from America's perspective. GoB attacks, issues of trust, but it will no longer be America's job past 2014.


On to defence cuts

Ryan: increasing expenses by cutting 100K soldiers and some equipment reductions. Current plans invite weakness.

Biden: we don't cut it. Cuts are part of an ageed debt deal on automatic cuts. (refer to Aug 11) Militay says leaner military with more special forces - joint chiefs of staff say so.

Martha: on Afghanistan. She's great.

2155 EST

Biden: let tax cuts expire, because we can no longer affod them.

Ryan: close loopholes for wealthy people

Biden: that would not be effective, because the overall share is neglegible compared to the needs.

2150 EST

Martha: Specifics please?

Ryan: close loopholes and deductions via batisanship to lower tax rates 20% from current levels.

Biden: 98% of businesses make less than 250,000. Hedge funds? 800 million is not a small business. Average person pays bigger share than Romney in taxes. Ryan is not being specific enough, at all. Doing the math on the loopholes, the savings are insufficient. Simple as that.

Doing it with Reagan was actually possible.


Ryan: basically, too much government, math shows govt can't run on ideal 100% taxing of busiensses.

Canada's brand of conservatism? Let's not go there.


Biden: Bush tax cut are for people who do not need them. Extending Bush middle class tax cut must be permanent. Reps oppose that...instead supporting tax cust ot the rich and still raising costs to the middle class. 120,000 families saving 500 billion over 10 years is a disaster.


Ryan: Obama wanted new and fresh ideas from every colour. Mitt Romney's idea - no changes, slowly increase retirement age, slowly increase benefits for wealthy.

Biden: Cutting benefits without compensation is a bad move. Issue of trust - passing a cost-increase bill by Ryan or common sense? Must reinforce social floor.

Martha, like boss: Who wil pay more and less in taxes?


Solid plan? Income readjustment by Ryan (ooh, is he backing the other kind of red, now?)

Senior's choices - apparently not lost.

Martha: slowly raising eligible age? Biden agrees...system apparently solvent until 2033. Firmly opposed to voucher plan, however.


Medicare and social care going bankrupt - we must reform  then, says Ryan, but not how Obama is doing it by spending the same dollar twice. No credible solution, voucher fearmongering.

Young people cannot be denied through choice and competition  - how, Ryan? That's only possible via state policy, not the market.

Biden: cutting cost of Medicare and cut overspending on insurance companies. The results of Obam's measures - sustainability until 2024. Voucher program costs more for every senior 6000 more per year (CBO); Ryan knew that and still supported it. (Being big business' calling lady on demand not a winning choice, Paul). Ideas are old, bad, and eliminate access to healthcare.

Ryan: Obamacare dips in medicare. 


Obama's 800bn bailout is a pork-barrel lobbyism corruption scheme for Ryan.

Biden: stimulus created jobs and growth, including support by Ryan at the time of application. No evidence of cronyism, waste was eliminated.

Ryan: was it a good idea?

Biden: unclear.

Here comes Ryan's attack.


Biden: 47% is not a mistake. Personal generosity is admirable for any politician, including Romney, but he had no committment to the auto industry, whereas Obama saved those jobs. Working against policies that will help policies. Get out of the way, Romney, talk isn't enough - it's about policy, and he has none.

No admittance to causes of recession by financial sector.


Ryan: He knows Romney, resorting to personal stories to paint St. Mitt Romney. Really, Paul?



Unemployment below 8% for first time.

Biden: Obama saved economy from downfall, Romney - let free market fall and hit bottom. Romney is fundamentally out of touch with economic reality. 47% of Americans are not slackers. How about levelling the playing field? Double standards benefiting wall st? Continuing the same old failures Obama is trying to prevent - that's Romney.

the man has a point.


War will be catastrophic - Biden.

Ryan - Iran is encouraged by aparent US/Israeli disgreements and Russian support.

Triggering a nuclear arms race in the Mideast.

War should be the last resort - Biden; Bibi supports continuing sanctions, reminds us of Romney's flip flops.

Ryan, lying through your teeth about mistranslated Ahmadinejad's words is NOT an argument.

Biden wins this round.

2115 EST

War with Iran - how effective is a military strike?

Ryan: not allowing Iran to gain nuclear capability; enough fissile material for nuke. Russia playing protectionism for Iran's central bank - Romney apparently fighting for them since 07, inspite of administration. Iran is stepping up terrorist attacks, trying to blow up Saudi ambassador in DC, but Obama isn't clear on what he wants to do with Iran. Must change Ayatollah's mind, and they're moving to nuclear weapons. Military option isn't viewed as credible.

Biden: A Rep congress would not have created sanctions that the world would like. Fact - these sanctions are the most intense on record. What else should we do? US is able to take Iran militarily, but Israeli and US intelligence agree Iran is far away from a nuke. Techologically, Iran is really far from a weapon and it will be known if and when they do start developing it. What is credible? Obama already said we're not going to allow it.

Ryan: Impression? Iran is advancing technolgically. Coolness of Obama-Bibi relationship in NYC - it is a nonissue, Ryan, get over it. Where it counts, Obama is behind Israel. Changing ayatollah's minds?

Biden: The ayatollah sees crippled economy, destroyed currency and drop in exports, along with a united front against Iran globally. Personal relationships between Biden, Obama and Bibi are not a problem. Bibi's graph is a long-term prospect. Iran is totally isolated.

Ryan: what results? 4 years closer to a nuke.

Biden: totally owning Ryan. Facts matter - loose talk is bad. Iran does NOT have a weapon.

2114 EST

Ryan: USA should apologize for sacrileges against Quran and soldies urinating on Taliban in Afghanistan.

Should not apologize for values.

Where is the disconnect between values and practice, Ryan and Biden?


Biden describes fluid intelligence info provided in the events leading up to Stevens' death. It is an admission to the imperfections of FP practice


Biden: Ryan cut embassy security in his budget

Weakness? Pres Obama has repaired links, improved relations with Russia, brought wars to end. Comment, Ryan?

Handling Iran - sanctions are biting hard enough to keep resolute diplomatic course.


Ryan slams Obama on youtube video and not calling it a terrorist attack

Security failure - marine guarding unit? Not R/R ticket fault.

Protecting Iraq gains - what gains, Ryan?

Paying respects to vets..well done.

Afghanistan - agreeing with NATO deadline, but what is the weakness and how is it unraveling, exactly? No vision for post-2014 Afghanistan.

Political correctness on attacking Obama - principled stance against reduced FP committments. Impression of weakness?


Libya is the opening salvo on Chris Stevens' death. Intelligence failure? Biden affirms.

Committment to justice, rectifying the mistakes and the pres' responsibility for caring for national security. Obama ends wars, Romney prolongs them.

Iraq and Afghanistan are covered, Bin Laden is a met campaign promise. Kudos to Obama for that. Moving heaven and earth for it.

Obama's clear vision against Romney's wars.


Domestic/foreign policy, rules laid out, thank you, Martha! VP Biden is first to answer opening question!


I hope Martha doesn't pull a Clint Eastwood and debate two chairs, instead.

Tension is palpable. Take a bathroom break, hydrate, now's your chance!


Technology is not my friend tonight:

WaPo live stream for those who lost it: CLICK HERE

20:50 EST

Apologies, Martha Raddatz

Here we go, the standard debate bad jokes! We're honoured to be here too and thank you for presenting!

20:47 EST

Once again, link to live coverage: CLICK HERE

Welcoming VP's spouses to the stage. Martha Roush will be moderating the debate. Don't even think about photos, people!! Politicians are instinctively attracted.

20:46 EST

Sponsors and organizers thank you's all around - and off we go.

20:44 EST

Students are our future. Kudos to that - live, learn and preparing for extraordinary lives!

20:41 EST

Welcoming President of the Centre College, John Rousha, and his welcoming address is now happening.

20:40 EST

The commission on presidential debates - recognizing the amazing job they do for bringing the politicians to the people. List of sponsors now being announced, along with the networks covering the debate. Kudos to C-SPAN!

20:37 EST

Format of debate will follow the first presidential debate, but this time Ryan and Biden will indeed focus on domestic and foreign policy.

American democracy in action, again - the debate traition continues.

20:34 EST

Covering LIVE from Canada, this is YOUR night to ask the questions and demand change! And we're off!

20:29 EST

Last chance to fix ties, jackets and acheve Paul Ryan-standards of good looking.

20:27 EST

Moments ago, Brad Pitt's audience look-alike was deep in conversation about the outcome of the debate. The audience is as tense as PolicyMic'ers about this.

20:22 EST

The economy is going to be the hot-button issue, as the last jobs report boosted Obama, but the increase in those disillusioned and dropping out of the workforce is still going to weigh heavily on Biden, as Ryan would probably seek an all-out economic assault to seal Romney's momentum.

20:20 EST

The hall is packed and expectations are high!

20:16 EST

What are your expectations of the debate tonight? Comment below.

20:12 EST

Still waiting for the contenders and the moderator to come out on stage - once more, a link to the live coverage:

Click here

19:50 EST

Euronews is also staying up late across the pond to cover the proceedings, and they recognize Romney's performance is still weighing heavy on Obama.

It looks like Joe will be rolling out the heavy foreign policy artillery against Paul'a abs.

19:40 EST

Ria Novosti is getting in on the action with a commentary on the key differences between Biden and Ryan. Slightly comical, semi-serious, you be the judge. Full article here, below is the transcription of the most relevant part:

"Here are ten quick comparisons between Biden and Ryan:


Biden: 69

Ryan: 42

Middle name

Biden: Robinette

Ryan: Davis

Secret Service codename

Biden: Celtic

Ryan: Bowhunter


Biden: Roman Catholic

Ryan: Roman Catholic

Favorability rating

Biden: 39 percent

Ryan: 44 percent

(Source: Pew Research Center Oct. 10)

Recent notable gaffes

Biden: Speaking to a diverse audience, which included many African-Americans, Biden said that Romney’s economic policies would “put you all back in chains.” (Aug. 14)

Ryan: In a TV interview, Ryan grew frustrated when a reporter asked him for specific details about the Romney/Ryan economic plan. Ryan responded with: “I don’t have the -- It would take me too long to go through all of the math.” (Sept. 30)

Congressional credentials

Biden: Senator from Delaware for 36 years

Ryan: Representative from Wisconsin for 14 years

Age when first elected to Congress

Biden: 29

Ryan: 28

National TV debate experience

Biden: Multiple debates as a Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, and one as the vice presidential nominee against Sarah Palin the same year.

Ryan: None.

Recent late-night jokes about the candidates

On Biden: "The vice presidential debate is just three days away. Republican candidate Paul Ryan says he expects Joe Biden to come at him 'like a cannonball.' In response, Biden was like, 'There's gonna be a pool there?'" (Jimmy Fallon, Oct. 8)

On Ryan: "There seems to still be sexism in politics. You still see candidates objectified. I'm talking about you, Paul Ryan—with your great abs and suspiciously good marathon times." (Craig Ferguson, Oct. 2)"

19:24 EST

Live link to the stage, here.

The atmosphere, suspensful and charged, is broken by the odd whisphes from the arriving audience. Behind the curtains, Biden is practicing last-minute gaffe prevention, while on the ohter side, even the mirror can't handle Ryan's good looks. They can hear the hubbub of the crowd growing, as the clock shows just over a half hour to the gong...

19:08 EST

WIth less than an hour on the clock to the debate, the expectations are high on Joe Biden to do better than his boss and on Paul Ryan to keep the campaign steam Mitt Romney gained, going.

Some of the main issues we should see the right-hand men talk about:

1. Economy - where are we going job-wise, what are we doing about the deficit, the high federal debt and the lack-lustre recovery that has accompanied the president's term.

2. Political reform - bipartisanship is dead in the water and Washington isn't working. What are we going to do about it?

2. Middle East - Afghanistan is the elephant in the room for both camps, and neither has spent a lot of time talking about it. Iran is the other unresolved question, loaded with America's support for Israel, and the chances of war with the Persians. In a word, the future of American foreign policy in the Middle East is under question

3. China - being frenemies with Beijing is an interesting give and take relationship. What are the implications of a slowing Chinese economy for America? How long can the symbiotic creditor-export market arrangement keep going before it falters and breaks? 

It's gonna get hairy!

Oct 10

It’s only weeks before the presidential elections and it’s time for the second big debate of the month. This time, the spotlight falls on President Obama’s right hand man, Joe Biden, and Mitt Romney’s running mate, the man with two first names, Paul Ryan. 

Mitt Romney was uplifted in the polls following his victory over Obama in the first debate, and all eyes are on Ryan to keep the momentum going – if he does, the victory for the Republican ticket in November could be very well sealed. 

The odds are about even: Biden’s strength is in foreign policy and Ryan’s in the economy. While the economy is the main issue for the voters, America’s foreign policy is of an approximately equal priority – the world’s economic health depends on what happens in the USA. President Obama’s campaign is focused on painting Romney as a flip-flopping liar, while Romney’s campaign is saying that the Obama administration has accomplished a whole lot of nothing in the last 4 years, and even making things worse. 

Considering that structurally, America has pursued the same policies under both parties over the last 40 years, this will be a chance to really see where the clash of values is and where the two campaigns differ. Whether you’re pro-Obama or pro-Romney, America’s future is in your hands come November.

The debate is scheduled to take place in the small town of Danville, Kentucky on October 11, Thursday evening.

Stayed tuned to PolicyMic for all the latest news, updates, analyses, gaffes, jokes, and quotes. Bookmark and refresh this page for the most recent updates.