Vice President Joe Biden won a decisive victory on Thursday night’s Vice Presidential debate. Whereas Paul Ryan brought empty promises and a total disregard for facts and details to Danville, KY, the Vice President brought authenticity and forthright facts and details.
The debate exposed the extreme risk that Romney/Ryan economics pose for the middle class, showed their weakness on foreign policy issues and revealed the disdain they have for the rights of American women.
When asked about the vital issue of the economy, Ryan couldn’t explain how the Romney/Ryan tax plan wouldn’t hurt the middle class—because it would. It is mathematically impossible to pay for their $5 trillion tax plan favoring the wealthiest without raising taxes on middle-class families.
He also couldn’t explain how their double-down on trickle-down economics would create jobs—because it wouldn’t. Independent economists say their plans could actually slow America’s economic recovery and eliminate existing jobs.
Further, Ryan claimed, falsely, that Romney wouldn’t increase defense funding by $2 trillion. Independent fact-checkers, however, say that he would.
Ryan tried to criticize the President’s policy toward Iran, but couldn’t explain what the Romney/Ryan ticket would do differently. The President has already put unprecedented pressure on the Iranian regime by means of crippling sanctions—ones that even Romney admits are working.
All that Ryan offered was bluster about recklessly taking us to war; Vice President Biden was right to condemn such “loose talk.” When asked about their plans for our troops in Afghanistan, Ryan could not give a comprehensible answer. Romney has been all over the map on this subject, whereas the President has a clear and decisive plan to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops back home.
When the topic of women’s health was brought up, Ryan refused to ensure women their right to choose what’s right for their own bodies.
Romney has said he would defund Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court Justices to overturn Roe v. Wade. Ryan worked in the house with Todd Akin to try to narrow the definition of rape and to outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
Both candidates’ debate styles were illustrative of what really matters in this campaign: their grasp of the facts, plan for the next four years and commitment to the American people. Vice President Biden’s conviction and grasp of the facts and details was reflected in his confidence and relaxed speaking style.
Ryan’s false assertions, scare tactics and glib lines were a desperate attempt to mislead the American people—but it didn’t work. A CBS News Instant Poll showed that 50% of undecided voters called the victory for Biden, while only 31% favored Ryan. John Heilemann of New York magazine called Biden a “human Politifact.”
So what’s the takeaway from Thursday night’s debate? While Romney and Ryan are trying to trick the American people with empty promises, a lack of concrete policies and plans and false information, President Obama and Vice President Biden have made tremendous strides over the last four years and have a solid plan to continue moving our country forward over the next four. The choice we have to make on Nov. 6 is clear.
Editor’s note: Both student political groups were contacted for a review of the debate. At the time of publication, the Rollins Republicans did not submit their opinion.