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March 5, 2015

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VP Debate: Biden, Ryan at each other’s throats on everything


Mary Altaffer / AP

Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., right, greets Vice President Joe Biden at the beginning of the vice presidential debate, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

Vice Presidential Debate: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012

Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Vice President Joe Biden pass each other after the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. Launch slideshow »

DANVILLE, Ky. — 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.

"Not a single thing he said is accurate," Democrat Biden declared after Ryan said 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.

Both men seemed primed for a showdown from their opening moments on stage, and neither seemed willing to let the other one have the final word.

"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 to his older rival at one point. But both continued to do so — and interrupted moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC as well.

The debate took place a little more than a week after President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt 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.

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."

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  1. I'm going to echo what almost everyone on CNN said, the debate was a draw on substance, with Ryan getting the edge on style. Overall a much better debate (and categorically better moderated one.)

  2. @thgirbla:

    How many "Absentee Ballots" are you going to mail in?

  3. HOW is the 20% tax cut to be funded? If the voucher is paid to the consumer what is the cap on it and who will make up the shortfall? Is this voucher also supposed to cover prescriptions? I want some real answers from them, if any of you followers know these answers please tell me. I don't want to hear stupid evasive bull crap like "we will work with Democrats" this says nothing!!! My life depends on this Medicare for my Heart Medication and doctors, I want answers!!

  4. Wouldn't it be magical if the two parties stopped acting like stubborn morons and actually cooperated with each other and worked toward a better America in a spirit of compromise and common sense. There is not one problem we have that cannot be fixed with some real bipartisan bills being submitted. Everything, from economics, taxes, and government spending, to abortion, gun rights, and drug abuse, can be fixed with some truly decent people in Washington. Sadly, we have almost none.