Ryan’s closing statement was stronger and more lucid than Biden’s. [Video: Youtube]
THE DEBATE between sitting vice president Joe Biden and GOP nominee Paul Ryan didn’t contain the knockout factor GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney dealt President Barack Obama in the first presidential debate.
Both Ryan and Biden, however, got what they came for.
The day after the Ryan-Biden clash in Kentucky, pundits on the Left cheered Biden’s theatrics and those on the Right commended Ryan for his steadiness and substance in a debate that often felt more like an investigative interview of the Republican.
Moderator Martha Raddatz, in the opinion of many Republicans and conservatives in general, leaned Left. Raddatz interrupted Ryan frequently amid Biden’s own intrusions marked by smirks and comments to the audience even when Ryan was speaking.
Biden is known for exaggerating and he did quite a bit of that during the debate.
Out of left field, he brought up death panels—Ryan never mentioned them. That is in fact what the Independent Payment Advisory Board will grow into once the ObamaCare Tax Bill is fully implemented. The IPAB will determine what treatments will be paid for. A doctor is not going to give you a hip replacement for free. That board is probably the most worrisome aspect of the OTB, aside from the numerous taxes contained in the bill.
Biden also gave false information about claims Republicans cut embassy security budgets. In an earlier column, The US Report pointed to an official report by the Government Accountability Office.
The report, Foreign Service Midlevel Staffing Gaps Persist Despite Significant Increases in Hiring was issued in June, 2012.
That report details the difficulty in finding employees willing to take hardship assignments, but there’s also an indication embassy staffing levels are a direct result of Obama’s policies.
Via presidential directive, Obama allocated resources to “a small number of countries where State has high levels of engagement.”
Approximately 40 percent of all new positions went to AIP countries—Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
Obama also added positions in Brazil and China. State officials told the GAO, “[T]he department has also created positions to address emerging diplomatic priorities such as climate change and global health.”
The shortfall in Libya resulted in part from an unplanned war the president did not consult Congress on before engaging. Libya is an unbudgeted war, to borrow a Democrat talking point.
Although Raddatz peppered Ryan with questions about specifics, she avoided doing that to Biden. The ObamaCare Tax Bill is a perfect example. It may be that Raddatz, like most media, haven’t read the bill that transforms U.S. healthcare into a de facto socialized system.
Raddatz completely dropped the ball on the most obvious questions. If ObamaCare is so great, why did the administration grant more than 1,000 waivers mostly to labor union allies who actually lobbied for the bill? If you take more than $700 billion from Medicare, how will that affect care?
The CEO of the third-largest healthcare staffing company in the U.S. has assessed Obama’s health tax bill as a jobs killer.
Pundits on both sides of the aisle were pleased with their own candidates, but Main Street is likely to view the debate differently.
The US Report kept abreast of reactions on Twitter during the debate, and a general consensus seemed to be confusion and annoyance over Biden’s constant smirks and interruptions. This was more obvious on networks that showed the candidates in a split screen format.
One independent voter told TUSR, “Biden came off as a jerk. The moderator almost attacked Ryan.”
A Democrat told TUSR, “I didn’t like the way Biden kept grinning. Does he have false teeth?”
By evening’s end, the only rational conclusion was that both candidates got what they came for.
Biden energized the base that has been filled with angst since his ticket’s loss in the Romney-Obama debate.
Ryan satisfied his base by remaining steady and doing no harm as the Republican ticket continues to expand its lead. Ryan definitely had the stronger closing statement.
If the debate were judged on likability, however, Ryan won by a sizable margin. That factor may be the greatest determinant in whether the needle moves among undecided voters in days to come.
Fact checkers will be busy checking both candidates’ claims. Based purely on observation, TUSR believes Biden made more erroneous statements than Ryan.
By Tuesday, Biden’s antics and Ryan’s steadfastness will be subordinated because Romney will engage with Obama on foreign and domestic policy in a town hall at Hofstra University in New York.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Oct. 12, 2012)