Running mates offer take on second presidential debate
October 17th, 2012
08:10 AM ET
2 years ago

Running mates offer take on second presidential debate

(CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan hit the airwaves Wednesday to declare debate victory for their respective running mates, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

On NBC, Biden said Obama was "absolutely at the top of his game last night," but also took Romney to task for not spelling out specifics of his policy proposals.

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"The thing that amazed me the most was even after three debates, his two and my one, there is still not a single specific in the Romney $5 trillion tax plan. I mean, everything is sketchy," Biden said.

That echoed Obama's own assessment of Romney's plan at Tuesday night's debate, when he called his rival's promise a "sketchy deal" because of its lack of specific tax exemptions that would be eliminated in order to pay for Romney's proposed tax cuts.

"There's no direct answers to any questions," Biden said Wednesday. "I think it's becoming clearer and clearer to the American people that there's a fair amount of rhetoric but not much substance."

Paul Ryan, also speaking on NBC, said Obama's style had changed from the first debate but that the core of his answers remained disappointing.

"They said that he would change his tactic but his answers didn't change," the GOP vice presidential candidate said. "He didn't offer new ideas about how the next four years would be any different than the last four years. The reason why I think Mitt Romney won this debate is because he gave the country a very clear choice and a very clear vision for about how we have a leader that will create jobs, grow the economy and get people back to work."

On CBS, Ryan said he disagreed with some detractors who said Romney's answer to a question on Libya was his weakest point, saying his running mate had the facts straight.

"It wasn't his weakest moment in the least," Ryan said, adding Obama's administration had changed its story many times on what happened in the lead up to the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

Ryan also explained Romney's reference to "binders full of women" in last night's debate. The GOP nominee made the reference in his answer to question about fair pay for women, and was touring his record of hiring women while serving as governor of Massachusetts.

"All he meant is he went out of his way to try to recruit qualified women to serve in his administration when he was governor," Ryan said. "That's what he was saying. He has an exceptional record of hiring women in prominent positions in his administration."

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– Romney message this week: 'A clear choice on debt and deficits'

– Largely hidden away, Obama reports debate prep 'going great'


Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • President Obama
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Tara

    American people are smart enough, they just can't go by a bunch of lies from Romney. I we will elect Obama as is the honest man here.

    October 17, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  2. Name. B Burdett

    It was a clear victory for Romney. It continues to be disappointing how the Obama/Biden team spends so much energy on attacking their opponents instead of offering their own plans on what they would specifically do to change the dismal last four years. Our nation desperately needs strong leadership domestically as well as internationally. We don't have that in Obama.

    October 17, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  3. simp

    CNN in this article you have about 4 or 5 quotes that "ryan said" but 2 that VP Biden said what are you hoping ryan will make lying romney look good? I watced MNBC, which is what I always watch but when you at cnn start all your poll malarky I was amazed how you picked romney for the winner in so many areas, it was so hilarious until I had to go back to the real peole who tell it like it is. Your panel were sore losers, when the President had a bad night two weeks ago, everybody said it even the democrat's , but the President clearly won this debate in every area and the right wing cnn panel had the nerve to say the President was angry, REALLY?

    October 17, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  4. myviewis

    I think Romney won that debate considering that he had to not only debate Obama but also Candy Crowley. How come Governor Romney didn't get equal help from a Republican moderator as did President Obama having a Democrat moderator helping him out??????

    October 17, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  5. Lisa

    Romney got caught spinning facts and many Americans saw that last night. He was called out period.

    October 17, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  6. grammarprof

    Romney was Presidential; Obama was defensive and couldn't give any specifics. This debate strongly suports the fact that both American and Repbulican end in "I Can" and Democrat ends in "Rats".

    October 17, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  7. Ancient Texan

    Obama has NO plan, other than slander, libel, and character assasination of his opponent! He defends his policy blunders, the terrible economy, and monumental unemployment by attacking Romney, and makes Carter look like an absolute genius.

    October 17, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Anonymous

    romney is lying to american public. Obama inherited big debt from bush era, and trying hard to get out of it and is slowly getting there. Obama cares for middle class, Romney does not. I was happy to see Obama unravel many lies of Romney. Why romney is not providing any specifics? and his people keep lying that romney was specific? Obama fets my vote.
    Prafull mehta

    October 17, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. cherry stevens

    Obama nipped the floor with Mitt Romney... He was masterful in his closing statement. And that's why Obama will win re-election on Nov. 6th.

    October 17, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. pat pat

    Obama is a joke at this point. He danced around last night but did not say how another four years will be better, or what he is going to do different. I am an independent and Obama is not getting my vote this time.

    October 17, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Problem with Obama is that he could not defend his abyssmal record... Romney kept hammering him on that, to which Obama could resort to nothing but petty attacks. Romney 2, Obama 0.

    October 17, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  12. Ray E. (Georgia)

    The big problem is still jobs. What, have they come down in the last 4 years. 2 Percent? Gas prices. Obama said because gas prices were much lower 4 years ago was because of the faltering economy. And is still blaming Bush. The fact is the economy was faltering was because of the collapse of the housing bubble, a liberal program put in place by the democrats. Clear mis direction by the President, Or, just incompance. Take your pick. Respectivally, Romney is the much better choice.

    October 17, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |