The Debate Episode 2: The Laughing Man vs The Inaccurate Answerer

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan had their debate last night and it showed 2 major things to come of this. Paul Ryan is an absolute rookie and a rough half-ass debater at best. He was caught on several occasions dodging the questions asked by Martha Raddatz and also flipped his views on things several times over. Ryan looked like someone who stuck to his script, never deviating to answer questions that were asked. It showed that the partisan politics currently used by the Rovian GOP is difficult to push still. It is a vague and unsatisfying political move, one that kept George W. Bush within power in 2004.
On the other hand, Joe Biden startled even me. Biden came out fiery and factually. He gave numbers, he interrupted Paul Ryan (to the dismay of the right wing pundits who just last week LOVED Romney doing the exact same thing), and he questioned his facts/policies often. Biden dominated the debate and I find it funny that the pundits are now trying to find any scraps to hold upon to preserve that Ryan “won” by saying it was a tie. There was no tie, it was a full on verbal ass-whooping laid out by Biden on a raw piece of GOP meat, like it or not, Paul Ryan really sucked last night.

Paul Ryan’s talking points were as such:

  • Libya was badly handled. Obama bad BLARG!
  • The Affordable Care Act steals $716 Billion despite being disproved
  • Abortion is bad (somehow throw this in at random)
  • Mention Ronald Regan at least 3 times
  • Stay vague, simplistic and don’t engage Biden
  • Be smug

Add on, he used old news (ex: death panels) which again was drop kicked by Biden using numbers and thought. Look whether you like Ryan or not, he got schooled in this debate. You cannot circle your wagon and wonder why you aren’t getting anywhere in the race.

Biden consistently shot down each of Ryan’s plans and statements. He continued to interrupt him each time he side stepped a numbers based answer or explanation. Ryan continued to side step anything that could contradict their current obsession with “AMURICA AIN’T SORRY NEVER! BWAH BWAH!” and that includes this answer to Raddatz.

RADDATZ: Mr. Ryan, I want to ask you about — the Romney campaign talks a lot about no apologies. He has a book called called “No Apologies.” Should the U.S. have apologized for Americans burning Korans in Afghanistan? Should the U.S. apologize for U.S. Marines urinating on Taliban corpses?

REP. RYAN: Oh, gosh, yes. Urinating on Taliban corpses? What we should not apologize for…

RADDATZ: Burning Korans, immediately?

REP. RYAN: What — what we should not be apologizing for are standing up for our values. What we should not be doing is saying to the Egyptian people, while Mubarak is cracking down on them, that he’s a good guy and, in the next week, say he ought to go…”

There, that side step after Raddatz asks about burning Korans. Why is he unwilling to agree with that statement? It would take a simple, “yes” to agree with something most Americans agree with. Ryan however, had to stay hands off because of the ultra religious and conservative base he panders too. Add on that it was not his talking point. He instead, goes right to Mubarak and his talking points. Ryan then backs himself into a corner on defense and security again, trying to go to the Libyan conflict he screws himself against Biden.

REP. RYAN: On that same day, the Obama administration had the exact same position. Let’s recall that they disavowed their own statement that they had put out earlier in the day in Cairo.

So we had the same position, but we will — it’s never to early to speak out for our values. We should have spoken out right away when the Green Revolution was up and starting, when the mullahs in Iran were attacking their people. We should not have called Bashar Assad a reformer when he was turning his Russian-provided guns on his own people. We should always stand up for peace, for democracy, for individual rights, and we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts, because what that does when we equivocate on our values, when we show that we’re cutting our own defense —

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Am I going to get to say anything here?

REP. RYAN: — it makes us more weak. It projects weakness, and when we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us, they’re more brazen in their attacks, and our allies are less willing to —

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey. In fact —

MS. RADDATZ: And why is that so?

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Because not a single thing he said is accurate. First of all —

MS. RADDATZ: Be specific.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I will be very specific. Number one, the — this lecture on embassy security — the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for, number one. So much for the embassy security piece…”

That to me at least, is devastating. HOW THE HELL DID BIDEN KNOW THAT?! Oh yeah he read it. He did his homework. Ryan lost a lot of credibility and seemed to think that Biden wouldn’t have read HIS budget report and called HIM out on calling the current administration out. It made Ryan look uneducated in his own policy ideas and very green when it comes to debates. Even those who spin for the GOP (Beck, Hannity, FOX in general) acknowledged that Ryan sucked.

REP. RYAN: And so in order solve this peacefully, which is everybody’s goal, you have to have the ayatollahs change their minds. Look at where they are. They’re moving faster toward a nuclear weapon. It’s because this administration has no credibility on this issue. It’s because this administration watered down sanctions, delayed sanctions, tried to stop us from putting the tough sanctions in place. Now we have them in place because of Congress. They say the military option’s on the table but it’s not being viewed as credible, and the key is to do this peacefully, is to make sure that we have credibility. Under a Romney administration, we will have credibility on this issue.

MS. RADDATZ: Vice President Biden.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Incredible. (Chuckles.)

Look, imagine had we let the Republican Congress work out the sanctions. You think there’s any possibility the entire world would have joined us, Russia and China, all of our allies? These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period, period.

When Governor Romney’s asked about it, he said, we got to keep these sanctions. When they said, well, you’re talking about doing more, what are you — are you — you’re going to go to war? Is that you want to do now?

REP. RYAN: We want to prevent war!”

Biden consistently did this to Ryan. He would take in what Ryan would say and then fired back using what Ryan and/or Romney had said in the past. In this instance he pointed out that Romney had backed these sanctions on Iran while Ryan is saying that these sanctions are a failure, thus contradicting his own running partner’s views and things he has said. That is a big issue and Ryan kept backing himself into these corners each time.

REP. RYAN: — let’s look at this from the view of the ayatollahs. What do they see? They see this administration trying to water down sanctions in Congress for over two years. They’re moving faster toward a nuclear weapon; they’re spinning the centrifuges faster. They see us saying, when we come into the administration, when they’re sworn in, we need more space with our ally Israel. They see President Obama in New York City the same day Bibi Netanyahu is, and he’s — instead of meeting with him goes on a — on a daily talk show. They see — when we say that these options are on the table, the secretary of defense walked them back. They are not changing their mind. That’s what we have to do, is change their mind so they stop pursuing nuclear weapons, and they’re going faster.

MS. RADDATZ: How will you do it so quickly? Look, you both saw Benjamin Netanyahu hold up that picture of a bomb with the red line and talking about the red line being in spring.

So can you solve this — if the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, can you solve this in two months before spring and avoid nuclear —

REP. RYAN: We — we can debate a timeline.

MS. RADDATZ: (Inaudible.)

REP. RYAN: We can debate the timeline, whether there’s — it’s that short a time or longer. I — I agree that it’s probably longer. Number two, it’s all about credibility.

MS. RADDATZ: You don’t agree with that bomb and what the Israelis —

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: No, look — (inaudible) —

REP. RYAN: (Inaudible) — look, we — we both — (inaudible) —

MS. RADDATZ: Vice President Biden.

REP. RYAN: I don’t want to go into classified stuff, but we both agree that to do this peacefully, you’ve got to get them to change their minds. They’re not changing their minds, and look at what this administration does —

MS. RADDATZ: But what do you do — (inaudible) —

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Let me tell you what the ayatollah sees.

REP. RYAN: You have to have credibility.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: The ayatollah sees his economy being crippled. The ayatollah sees that there are 50 percent fewer exports of oil. He sees the currency going into the tank. He sees the economy going into free fall, and he sees the world for the first time totally united in opposition to him getting a nuclear weapon.

Now, with regard to Bibi, he’s been my friend for 39 years. The president has met with Bibi a dozen times. He’s spoken to Bibi Netanyahu as much as he’s spoken to anybody. The idea that we’re not — I was in a — just before he went to the U.N., I was in a conference call with the — with the president, with him talking to Bibi, for well over an hour in — in — in — in — in stark relief and detail about what was going on. This is a bunch of stuff. Look, here’s the deal —…”

Again Ryan backs himself into a corner. Paul Ryan proves that he doesn’t know foreign policy very well. He stammered 3 times about answering Raddatz because he didn’t have an answer. He tried his, “don’t worry about it, we will figure it out later” crap, but Raddatz to her credit, stayed on both Ryan and Biden for direct answers. Biden happened to give more full answers with less basic bullshit and more in depth thought process. Raddatz continuously asks “what do you do about this issue” and to no avail and when Biden sees Ryan is unwilling to answer he jumps in and uses a simple little thing called facts. Facts are not disputable…they are facts.

MS. RADDATZ: What — let me ask you what’s worse: war in the Middle East, another war in the Middle East, or a nuclear-armed Iran?

REP. RYAN: I’ll tell you what’s worse. I’ll tell you what’s worse.

MS. RADDATZ: Quickly.

REP. RYAN: A nuclear-armed Iran, which triggers a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. This is the world’s largest sponsor of — of terrorism. They’ve dedicated themselves —

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: That’s the only thing my —

REP. RYAN: — to wiping an entire country off the map. They call us the Great Satan. And if they get nuclear weapons, other people in the neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons as well.

MS. RADDATZ: Vice President Biden.

REP. RYAN: We can’t live with that.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: War should always be the absolute last resort. That’s why these crippling sanctions, what Bibi Netanyahu says we should continue — which, if I’m not mistaken, Governor Romney says we — we should continue. If I — I may be mistaken; he changes his mind so often, I could be wrong. But the fact of the matter is, he says they’re working. And the fact is that they are being crippled by them. And we’ve made it clear, big nations can’t bluff. This president doesn’t bluff.

Ryan makes the point of, “other people in the neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons as well” which is a valid point…if the Middle East had countries that wanted to go to war. Despite his claim, Saudi Arabia houses the most terrorist activity, but they depend on us (America) monetarily because of the oil we purchase among other things. The last thing they want to do, is go to war with us (trust me, the 2nd largest share holder of FOX News is a Saudi Prince funny enough) when they invest in us and need our financial support as well as weapons we sell them (has been going on for decades).

The problem also goes as so, who else in the area has the capability of getting a weapon of mass destruction? Hussein didn’t have one (despite that being the lie used to invade) and he was the leader of one of the more developed Middle East despots. The only countries with the chance to obtain nukes are Iran (still many years away even if they wanted one), Israel (already has OUR nukes) and Saudi Arabia (not interested, don’t want to piss us off). Yes Mr. Ryan, they refer to us as “The Great Satan” but what about those who condemn the Muslim religion, spit on their book and burn the Koran in the name of their Savior? Are they NOT perpetrating that EXACT view? It’s not like Muslims are viewed very well in this country, the religism of them is extraordinary and to hear the religious right and the GOP cry wolf because they call us “The Great Satan” is not just hilarious, but selfish. Again, Ryan proves he doesn’t know a damn thing outside of the American boarders.

MS. RADDATZ: When could you get it below 6 percent?

REP. RYAN: That’s what our entire premise of our pro-growth plan for a stronger middle class is all about: getting the economy growing at 4 percent, creating 12 million jobs over the next four years. Look at just the $90 billion in stimulus, and — and the vice president was in charge of overseeing this, $90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups. There are just at the Department of Energy over 100 criminal investigations that have been launched into just how —


REP. RYAN: — stimulus — (inaudible) — are being spent —

MS. RADDATZ: Go ahead.

Go ahead, Vice —

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Martha, look. His colleague runs an investigative committee —

REP. RYAN: Crony capitalism — (inaudible).

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — spent months and months and months going into this —

REP. RYAN: This is the — this is the inspector general.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — months and months. They found no evidence of cronyism. And I love my friend here. I — I’m not allowed to show letters, but go on our website: He sent me two letters saying, by the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of Wisconsin? We sent millions of dollars. You know why he said he needed —

MS. RADDATZ: You did ask for stimulus money, correct?

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Sure he did. By the way — (inaudible) —

REP. RYAN: On two occasions, we — we — we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants.


REP. RYAN: That’s what we do. We do that for all constituents who are — (inaudible) — for grants.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I love that. I love that. This is such a bad program, and he writes me a letter saying — writes the Department of Energy a letter saying, the reason we need this stimulus — it will create growth and jobs. He — his words. And now he’s sitting here looking at me — and by the way, that program — again, investigated — what the Congress said was, it was a model: less than four-tenths of 1 percent waste or fraud in the program. And all this talk about cronyism — they investigated, investigated; did not find one single piece of evidence. I wish he would just tell — be a little more candid.

Regardless of how you feel about the Stimulus, Ryan contradicts himself here. He could have easily said, “I don’t agree how it was handled and I feel like it should have been regulated better and dispersed with more accuracy.” Unfortunately the word “regulate” is not allowed in their dictionary. Continuing on, Ryan admits to taking it…oh but just for grants! Even though that is a lie he sticks to it. It will take you 1.8 seconds on Google to find out how much they took of the stimulus money and for what.

He didn’t HAVE to take the stimulus money at all, many GOP Governors and Reps refused it even when their constituents showed support for it. Ryan however, had no choice in a generally blue state like Wisconsin. He had high unemployment to deal with and needed to at least seem like he was trying to do something about it. If Obama (or an incumbent Dem) was a representative from a district with 8%-10%  unemployment, the GOP would size it and blame the absolute hell out of him for it. So in that regard, that unemployment is Ryan’s fault…partially due to him letting that car manufacturing plant leave, his district, his fault. Right?

This next one is long, but it is a solid read and involves Medicare and Social Security. So here is something entertaining to look at while you read:

REP. RYAN: Absolutely. Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt. These are indisputable facts.

Look, when I look at these programs, we’ve all had tragedies in our lives. I think about what they’ve done for my own family. My mom and I had my grandmother move in with us who was facing Alzheimer’s. Medicare was there for her, just like it’s there for my mom right now who’s a Florida senior. After my dad died, my mom and I got Social Security survivors benefits. Helped me pay for college. It helped her go back to college in her 50s, where she started a small business because of the new skills she got. She paid all of her taxes on the promise that these programs would be there for her. We will honor this promise.

And the best way to do it is reform it for my generation. You see, if you reform these programs for my generation, people 54 and below, you can guarantee they don’t change for people in or near retirement, which is precisely what Mitt Romney and I are proposing.

Look at what — look what “Obamacare” does. “Obamacare” takes $716 billion from Medicare to spend on “Obamacare.” Even their own chief actuary at Medicare backs this up. He says you can’t spend the same dollar twice. You can’t claim that this money goes to Medicare and “Obamacare.”

And then they put this new “Obamacare” board in charge of cutting Medicare each and every year in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors. This board, by the way, it’s 15 people. The president’s supposed to appoint them next year. And not one of them even has to have medical training.

And Social Security, if we don’t shore up Social Security, when we run out of the IOUs, when the program goes bankrupt, a 25 percent across-the-board benefit cut kicks in on current seniors in the middle of their retirement. We’re going to stop that from happening.

They haven’t put a credible solution on the table. He’ll tell you about vouchers. He’ll say all these things to try and scare people.

Here’s what we’re saying: Give younger people, when they become Medicare-eligible, guaranteed coverage options that you can’t be denied, including traditional Medicare.

Choose your plan, and then Medicare subsidizes your premiums, not as much for the wealthy people, more coverage for middle-income people and total out-of-pocket coverage for the poor and the sick. Choice and competition — we would rather have 50 million future seniors determine how their Medicare is delivered to them instead of 15 bureaucrats deciding what — if, where, when they get it.

MS. RADDATZ: Vice President Biden, two minutes.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: You know, I heard that death panel argument from Sarah Palin. It seems that every vice presidential debate, I hear this kind of stuff about panels. But let’s talk about Medicare.

What we did is we saved $716 billion and put it back — applied it to Medicare. We cut the cost of Medicare. We stopped overpaying insurance companies when doctors and hospitals — the AMA supported what we did. AARP endorsed what we did. And it extends the life of Medicare to 2024. They want to wipe this all out. It also gave more benefits. Any senior out there, ask yourself: Do you have more benefits today? You do. If you’re near the doughnut hole, you have $600 more to help your prescription drug costs. You get wellness visits without copays. They wipe all of this out, and Medicare goes — becomes insolvent in 2016, number one.

Number two, guaranteed benefit — it’s a voucher. When they first proposed — when the congressman had his first voucher program, the CBO said it would cost $6,400 a year, Martha, more for every senior 55 and below when they got there. He knew that, yet he got it — all the guys in Congress, and women in the Republican party to vote for it. Governor Romney, knowing that, said, I — I — I would sign it were I there. Who you believe, the AMA? Me? A guy who’s fought his whole life for this? Or somebody who had actually put in motion a plan that knowingly cut — added $6,400 a year more to the cost of Medicare?

Now they got a new plan. Trust me, it’s not going to cost you any more. Folks, follow your instincts on this one.

And with regard to Social Security, we will not — we will not privatize it. If we had listened to Romney, to Governor Romney and the congressman during the Bush years, imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market. Their ideas are old, and their ideas are bad, and they eliminate the guarantee of Medicare.

Again Ryan uses old talking points that have been recycled by FOX News so much that America has become numb to it. When Ryan talks he just reiterates his same point over and over again. It confuses me to no end. He says this Medicare system is corrupt and needs fixed, but oh we will definitely give you guaranteed Medicare coverage just the same…that doesn’t add up even to the dumbest of people. Biden kills it all right at the end and tells you to think if we had gone with the “invest SS and Medicare in the market” idea which now if you look at it, would have required a nearly $5 Trillion bailout in comparison to the current one. The whole point is some things are supposed to be guaranteed and in a market (which is volatile) nothing is guaranteed. Even millionaires lose money in the market. Free trade and enterprise is fantastic, I am all for it, but it doesn’t fix everything. The government has to intervene when necessary to protect the people, that is their job, to protect and serve the people, not bet and screw the people.

In the end, this writer was given 2 new views of these men. Joe Biden was always thought to gaff and say stupid things, he was on fire and in command of this debate. Biden regularly called Ryan out to show his work and how he plans on answering the problem. Ryan seemed dismayed, confused and unable to figure out how to attack Biden and Obama. He tried and was rejected like Mike Bibby trying to drive the lane on Shaq in the early 2000’s. Ryan showed that he doesn’t know a damn thing about foreign policy besides what FOX News reports on. Ryan could not or would not, show how he plans on cutting taxes 20% for the middle class and then covering those tax cuts in order to recover the debt.

It was the same rhetoric from 08′, lower taxes, increase defense spending and balance the budget…how you do all 3 of those is beyond me and apparently beyond Paul Ryan because for a financial “extraordinaire” as he is touted, he treats us like we don’t understand basic math? We understand if you take $1 Trillion away from your wallet, you need to replenish that and increase the revenue in fact, in order to break even your debt as the Romney/Ryan ticket promises. They say they will close loop holes, that’s great, which ones? They seem to not want to tell you, or maybe they don’t know? Hell I have no idea and neither do they. Paul Ryan was an abysmal failure last night and Biden schooled him with the simple use of this amazing super power the GOP still doesn’t understand fully called facts. Maybe Paul Ryan was better served working on his information and talking points instead of doing whatever the hell this is…

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