Peter Roff 10:11: I'll give Biden points for the late Afghanistan response. Congressman Ryan seemed to be a bit over his head—but recovered quickly in the discussion of what is happening in Syria.
Boris Epshteyn 10:10: On Afghanistan, Biden's points are hurt by the fact that American soldiers keep getting killed in Afghanistan; obviously Afghanis are not able to protect either Americans on the ground or prevent Taliban and terrorists from taking over. Biden still seems overly angry and has stumbled a few times, even on foreign policy. Is he nervous because Obama did so badly?
Robert Schlesinger 10:10: Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish): "Biden's affect is the most important thing tonight. He seems like the elder statesman but also a pitbull."
Robert Schlesinger 10:04: Heavy focus on foreign affairs/national security—Martha Raddatz's area of expertise.
Robert Schlesinger 10:01: It's clear that a big part of the Romney-Ryan debate prep was making sure to give specific real-person examples.
Peter Roff 10:11: Congressman Ryan misses an opportunity in his answer on Afghanistan talk about the continuing threat. He should have cited the brave 14-year-old young lady who, earlier in the week, was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban for daring to say she wanted and deserved to go to school. This is why America went to Afghanistan, to stop the Taliban and its campaign of terror in the first place, and why America matters. We defend the defenseless and the powerless. Vice President Biden apparently just concluded the country should turn its back on people like that young lady and pretend she doesn't exist.
Clark Judge 10:01: Biden way too hot. Mocking smiles and laughs same as Gore sighs in 2000.
Boris Epshteyn 9:58: This debate has gotten out of hand—this cannot be a positive with undecided voters. Not smart for Biden to go after Ryan on mathematics, Ryan obviously has a good grasp. Now the moderator is also condescending toward Paul Ryan, but he is looking strong by putting up with it from both.
Mary Kate Cary 9:57: Round 2: Biden did better on Medicare, Ryan better on the economy, but should have given just one example of a loophole he'd close. Biden's coming across as really rude, laughing weirdly. Maybe it's playing well in the debate hall, but his reaction is too hot for TV. Comes across as out of control. Martha Raddatz is doing very well.
Robert Schlesinger 9:57: Great point from The New Republic's Noam Scheiber (@noamscheiber): "Why would you be specific about lowering rates 20 percent but not offsets. Wouldn't the first part make bipartisan compromise harder too?"
Peter Roff 9:56: The Romney/Ryan team is busy circulating the following talking points:
- According To Ernst & Young, President Obama's Tax Hikes Would Subject Many Business Owners To Higher Taxes And Jeopardize 710,000 Jobs. "Researchers determined the plan would actually subject 2.1 million business owners to higher rates; specifically, those who pay pass-through taxes, like most partnerships, LLCs and S-Corporations. The result, less capital in the hands of business owners and diminished labor supply, would cost the United States an estimated $200 billion in economic output and 710,000 jobs." (The Washington Post, 7/17/12)
- President Obama's Tax Plan Will Increase Taxes On Small Businesses To As High As 41%. "But Mr. Obama is demanding tax increases, not tax cuts, and large increases at that. If the Bush tax rates expire as scheduled on December 31, rates on the top two income brackets will jump to 39.6% from 35%, and 36% from 33%. Add the scheduled return of income phaseouts for exemptions and deductions, and the rates go up another two-percentage points – to at least 41% and 35%." (The Wall Street Journal, 7/9/12)
- President Obama's Tax Plan "Would Hurt Small-Business Job Creators In Particular." "New research, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business, shows that allowing tax relief on the top individual rates to expire will hurt job creation and the economy. The report, published by top accounting firm Ernst & Young, shows raising top individual rates would hurt small-business job creators in particular." (NFIB, Press Release, 7/17/12)