The title of this post (tweeted by Dan Froomkin) sums up the VP debate perfectly. Every Ryan lie, distortion and evasive response was immediately pounced upon by Joe Biden and logically ripped to shreds. Ryan quickly discovered that he wasn’t at a Fox interview where conservative BS routinely goes unchallenged.
Ryan got killed on Afghanistan, Iran and foreign policy where he was in way over his head trying to get Romney’s know-nothing policy ideas (or lack of ideas) passed Biden. Thirty years in Congress counts for something.
Ryan got killed on tax cuts for the wealthy where his lack of specificity on how it would not increase the debt opened the door for Biden to simply say, “Not mathematically possible.”
Ryan got killed on Medicare where he could not effectively sell the notion that Republicans would better protect Medicare and Social Security than Democrats. Ryan’s promise to turn Medicare into a voucher program and decades of Republicans trying to poke holes in the social safety net makes it a hard sell for anyone on the right to claim that they’re actually concerned about seniors’ needs.
But most of all, Ryan got killed on the abortion issue. When Martha Raddatz (who put in a solid performance as moderator), asked Ryan if he could guarantee that abortion rights would not be infringed upon during a Romney presidency, Little Eddie hesitated and then hemmed and hawed his way through a response that basically said he could not give that guarantee.
Biden’s response on abortion was perfect in tone and content. As a practicing Catholic, he said, he believes that life begins at conception but that he also believes that every woman should be free to make that decision on her own without government interference. Furthermore, Biden pointed out that the person who sits in the White House for the next four years gets to choose the next Supreme Court justice. Perhaps the next two. When you know that Robert Bork is advising Romney on judicial matters, the fate of Roe v. Wade really does hinge on who wins the presidential election.
If the VP debate was a 10 round championship fight, I’d give the victory to Biden on points. There was no TKO but Joe definitely won at least seven of the ten rounds. We’ll get the Ryan lie count tomorrow but it won’t be easy beating Romney’s 27 lies in the first presidential debate last week. If you care to hear them again, here they are.
The Paul Ryan source photograph is a Creative Commons licensed image from photographer Gage Skidmore.