A CBS News/GFK poll of 500 uncommitted voters gives Biden 50% edge to Ryan’s 31% [CBS News]
AT THE start Vice President Joe Biden was shaky, smiling nervously, which was distracting. Once the stimulus conversation was engaged he became grounded and took charge of the time and the issues.
Paul Ryan seemed to have Sarah Palin’s old note cards and was struggling to deliver his lines.
Raddatz came out from the top on Libya, which served Paul Ryan well. Biden contradicted the State Department testimony given just this week.
“We weren’t told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there.” – Joe Biden [h/t Josh Rogin]
As I reported during the House hearing this week, both Lt. Col. Wood and Eric Nordstrom testified they’d requested more security.
Ryan also took a shot at Stephanie Cutter, who today said Benghazi was being discussed because of the Romney campaign’s actions.
But Biden hung the privatization of Medicare around Ryan, who froze for a moment when the comment landed.
BIDEN: We made the system solvent to 2033. We will not, though, be part of any voucher plan eliminating — the voucher says, “Mom, when you’re — when you’re 65, go out there, shop for the best insurance you can get. You’re out of Medicare.” You can buy back in if you want with this voucher, which will not keep pace — will not keep pace with health care costs. Because if it did keep pace with health care costs, there would be no savings. That’s why they go the voucher. They — we will be no part of a voucher program or the privatization of Social Security.
Biden on unemployment:
RADDATZ: Gentlemen, I want to bring the conversation to a different kind of national security issue, the state of our economy. The number-one issue here at home is jobs. The percentage of unemployed just fell below 8 percent for the first time in 43 months. The Obama administration had projected that it would fall below 6 percent now after the addition of close to a trillion dollars in stimulus money.
So will both of you level with the American people: Can you get unemployment to under 6 percent and how long will it take?
BIDEN: I don’t know how long it will take. We can and we will get it under 6 percent. Let’s look at — let’s take a look at the facts. Let’s look at where we were when we came to office. The economy was in free fall. We had — the great recession hit; 9 million people lost their job; $1.7 — $1.6 trillion in wealth lost in equity in your homes, in retirement accounts for the middle class.
We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued General Motors. We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class. And in addition to that, when that — when that occurred, what did Romney do? Romney said, “No, let Detroit go bankrupt.” We moved in and helped people refinance their homes. Governor Romney said, “No, let foreclosures hit the bottom.”
But it shouldn’t be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. My friend recently in a speech in Washington said “30 percent of the American people are takers.”
These people are my mom and dad — the people I grew up with, my neighbors. They pay more effective tax than Governor Romney pays in his federal income tax. They are elderly people who in fact are living off of Social Security. They are veterans and people fighting in Afghanistan right now who are, quote, “not paying any tax.”
I’ve had it up to here with this notion that 47 percent — it’s about time they take some responsibility here. And instead of signing pledges to Grover Norquist not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class we’re going to level the playing field; we’re going to give you a fair shot again; we are going to not repeat the mistakes we made in the past by having a different set of rules for Wall Street and Main Street, making sure that we continue to hemorrhage these tax cuts for the super wealthy.
Biden versus Ryan on Medicare:
RYAN: Let me just — let me just say this. We are not — we’re saying don’t change benefits for people 55 and above. They already organized their retirement around these promises.
RYAN: … programs for those of us.
RADDATZ: But let — let me ask you this. What — what is your specific plan for seniors who really can’t afford to make up the difference in the value of what you call a premium support plan and others call a voucher?
RYAN: Hundred percent coverage…
RADDATZ: And what…
RYAN: That’s what we’re saying. So we’re saying…
RADDATZ: How do you make that up?
RYAN: … income adjusts (inaudible) these premium support payments by taking down the subsidies for wealthy people.
Look, this is a plan — by the way, that $6,400 number, it was misleading then, it’s totally inaccurate now. This is a plan that’s bipartisan. It’s a plan I put together with a prominent Democrat senator from Oregon.
BIDEN: There’s not one Democrat who endorses it.
RYAN: It’s a plan…
BIDEN: Not one Democrat who (inaudible).
RYAN: Our partner is a Democrat from Oregon.
BIDEN: And he said he does no longer support (inaudible).
RYAN: We — we — we put it — we put it together with the former Clinton budget director.
BIDEN: Who disavows it.
RYAN: This idea — this idea came from the Clinton commission to save Medicare chaired by Senator John Breaux.
Here’s the point, Martha.
BIDEN: Which was rejected.
Martha Raddatz was a terrific moderator, but the question on abortion specifically stated to be directed at two Catholic men, predicated on their religion, was offensive and has no place in a presidential debate.
RADDATZ: I want to move on, and I want to return home for these last few questions. This debate is, indeed, historic. We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion.
Please talk about how you came to that decision. Talk about how your religion played a part in that. And, please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country…
The last question was odd and jarring, something about character they uniquely possess or something, but those are just two mistakes out of a terrific night for Raddatz.
As for Ryan, on the debt he is just wrong.
someone has to tell represenative Ryan that the interest rate on government bonds is 1.7 percent — his debt crisis is entirely an illusion.
— Dean Baker (@DeanBaker13) October 12, 2012
Paul Ryan was confounded many times by Joe Biden, which is revealed in the Tweet pic at the top. But he survived.
The real issue, however, was whether Joe Biden gave some relief to the Democratic base. The answer unequivocally is yes, which was job one.