Peter Roff 9:32: Vice President Joe Biden just distorted badly what the federal government did with General Motors. The fact is, as the Government Accountability Office has made clear, what got bailed out was the United Auto Workers union. General Motors is still in jeopardy. Talk to the people who used to work for Delphi who weren't in the union about what the Obama administration did. Not to mention all the hard-working people at the auto dealerships they closed, all the mechanics, car salesmen. Ryan scores points when he schools Biden on what the unemployment rate is in Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania now—10 percent—and what it was when Obama and Biden came into office—8.5 percent. Ryan, now that he is on domestic policies and the economy, is sounding as strong as the data he is offering. Biden is still talking around the issues in platitudes and economic homilies.
Peter Roff 9:30: Vice President Joe Biden has not exceeded the bad behavior Vice President Al Gore exhibited in his final debate with Gov. George W. Bush in 2000. His clowning, his snickering, his buffoonery are undermining every point he might possible have to make. Congressman Ryan is strong on the argument of the dangers of the spread of nuclear weapons in the region. If the Iranians are being crippled by the sanctions as Biden said, why didn't the Obama administration come to the aid of the Iranian people when they were in the streets two years ago like they did for the Libyans and the Egyptians and the Yemenis and others?
Mary Kate Cary 9:30: Round 1 on foreign policy: Ryan comes across better on the substance. Biden's inappropriate laughing/smiling/body language during discussions about nuclear war, murdered ambassadors, and war in the Middle East is deeply unsettling. [See a collection of political cartoons on Paul Ryan.]
Robert Schlesinger 9:30: OK Biden needs to cut back on the laughing lest it become his version of Al Gore's sighs. Boris Epshteyn 9:26: The two candidates have a clear disdain for one another. Vice President Biden is condescending, Paul Ryan coming off as much more likeable so far. Downplaying Iran threat a mistake for Vice President Biden as well as calling China and Russia "all our allies."
Peter Roff 9:24: Vice President Joe Biden has not exceeded the bad behavior Vice President Al Gore exhibited in his final debate with Gov. George W. Bush in 2000. His clowning, his snickering, his buffoonery are undermining every point he might possible have to make. Congressman Ryan is strong on the argument of the dangers of the spread of nuclear weapons in the region. If the Iranians are being crippled by the sanctions as Biden said, why didn't the Obama administration come to the aid of the Iranian people when they were in the streets two years ago like they did for the Libyans and the Egyptians and the Yemenis and others?
Ron Bonjean 9:23: Biden laughing does not come off with the intended effect. It is actually hurting him. Looks very condescending.
Peter Roff 9:21: So by Vice President Biden's logic, the Iranians have nothing, so they have nothing to lose by acquiring a nuclear weapon and perhaps even using it. Also, the way he is talking about "Bibi this" and "Bibi that" makes him vulnerable in the debate aftermath. Ron Bonjean 9:19: Ryan is rocking foreign policy like he does on economic issues. Biden is losing because he had to first play defense on Libya.
Robert Schlesinger 9:18: I love Ryan denouncing mixed signals—his running mate serially says one thing (that he would protect people with pre-existing conditions, for example, or that he isn't interested in banning abortion) only to have his press people walk him back shortly thereafter.
Peter Roff 9:17: The cutaways of Biden smiling condescendingly—even laughing—are going to be front and center in tonight's reports. He thinks he's smarter than everyone else. And it shows. Unfortunately, no one likes the smartest kid in the class, especially when he knows that everything everyone else says is wrong and makes sure you know it. Peter Roff 9:13: Biden just lied. He said that no one asked for more security. From yesterday's hearing before the House Oversight Committee [emphasis mine]:
Exchange between Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan and Eric Nordstrom who served as the State Department's top security official:
Jordan: Mr. Nordstrom, do you think they were ever going to give you what you wanted? What do you think would warrant them saying "You know what, these guys know what they're talking about and we're going to meet their request?"
Nordstrom: "Thank you for asking that question. I actually had that conversation when I came back on leave and for training in February. I was told by the Regional Director for Near Eastern Affairs that there had 'only been one incident involving an American' where he was struck by celebratory fire, it was one of Colonel Wood's employees. The takeaway from that, for me and my staff, it was abundantly clear, we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. And the question that we would ask is, again, 'How thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?'"