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Vice Presidential Debate Winners and Losers - Experts React

Friday, October 12, 2012

 

Who won last night’s Vice Presidential debate? GoLocal asked its experts and opinion writers and scoured the web for the best analysis to break down the entire battle.

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Victor Profughi

Victor Profughi, Quest Research Pollster

“If President Obama had been as effective in the first debate as Joe Biden was tonight, Democrats wouldn't be in their present predicament.  Biden did what he needed to do. He was well prepared, effectively presented his ticket's arguments and deflected much of the Republican criticism of the administration.

 “Ryan did what he needed to do as well, maybe not quite holding his own, but deflecting arguments that he is some kind of nut case.”

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Don Roach

Don Roach, GoLocal MINDSETTER™

“I had a difficult time picking a winner this debate. But in reflection I feel Biden made points that will connect better with the American public whereas Ryan was a little too scripted. I doubt this debate moves the dial like the first presidential debate, though. Biden was Biden but Ryan didn't drop the football. The focus now shifts to the next debate where the pressure will be on Romney to win again and Obama to show some life. Still, this round goes to Biden, but not by much.”

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Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein, Washington Post

“The post-debate spin told the tale. The Romney campaign argued Biden was too aggressive, too bullying, too mean. The Obama campaign argued that Biden had destroyed Ryan. Judging from my Twitter feed, most Democrats agreed. They saw the fight in Biden that they’d wanted to see in Obama. They felt the Obama campaign had learned from last week and changed their strategy. That was Biden’s job tonight, and he did it.”

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Donna Perry

Donna Perry, GoLocal MINDSETTER™

“There’s no question it was sharp contrast to last week’s debate and Vice President Biden came out swinging but he also came out smirking, and I think the constant laughing in the split screen shot looked undignified and extremely smug while Paul Ryan looked more statesmanlike. I think Ryan held his ground and came off credible on foreign affairs, which is basically what he had to do. He got Biden defensive about both the U.S. handling of the Libya attack and the Administration’s monitoring of Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon arsenal. Biden looked strong in their fast paced back and forth on Medicare, Social Security and taxes but I think Ryan did a good job pressing the case that the safety net programs will vanish entirely for the next generation if changes are not made.

“I think Biden came across as pandering just a bit too hard to the middle class and seniors with his rehearsed hushed tones and constant references to “where I come from” in his answers. Ryan projected unafraid honesty about his firm pro-life position, and did not waffle on it and I think people will respect him for that regardless of their own personal view.

“Conventional wisdom is the V.P personalities don’t ultimately sway voters for their pick of the President but I think both candidates delivered energetic performances for their tickets.”

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Rob Horowitz

Rob Horowitz, GoLocal MINDSETTER™

“Vice President Biden accomplished his goal tonight of raising serious doubts about whether Mitt Romney’s and Paul Ryan’s policy proposals add up as well as whether they benefit the rich at the expense of the middle class.  In the segment about Libya and the Middle East at the beginning of the debate, Biden used his superior knowledge of foreign policy to expose the limited substance behind the Republican ticket’s refrain that Obama is somehow projecting American weakness.  Overall, Representative Ryan performed well in his first national debate and his closing statement was particularly strong. And Biden’s constant grinning and obvious impatience was probably off-putting to some voters. Still, Biden was much more effective than Ryan in making the case for his running-mate and at scoring points against the opposing ticket. That was tonight’s essential task”

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Fred Barnes

Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard

“You don’t win a nationally televised debate by being rude and obnoxious.  You don’t win by interrupting your opponent time after time after time or by being a blowhard.  You don’t win with facial expressions, especially smirks or fake laughs, or by pretending to be utterly exasperated with what your opponent is saying.

“That’s why Vice President Joe Biden didn’t win the one and only debate last night with his Republican rival, Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan.”

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Travis Rowley

Travis Rowley, GoLocal MINDSETTER™

“During a more heated give-and-take than last week’s presidential debate, it was likely difficult for many voters to cut through a lot of complicated details. Frustrated with the disputes, Joe Biden decided to face the camera several times in order to pathetically petition the voters to trust him over Paul Ryan.

“Ryan was at his best during discussions on the budget, the economy, taxes, and overall philosophy. But Biden’s assertiveness kept him alive during the debate.

“However, Biden also managed to come across as paranoid and disrespectful as he couldn’t seem to restrain himself from scoffing, smirking, and frequently interrupting Paul Ryan. Biden expressed a condescension that should be reserved for a contestant who has demonstrated a clear possession of superior ideas and command of the issues – which Biden did not.

“Where Barack Obama fell short on substance Joe Biden fell short on demeanor. The Kid Congressman came across as more mature and dignified than the Seasoned Statesman.

“Winner – Congressman Paul Ryan”

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Jonathan Chait

Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Biden’s most effective, and characteristic moment came when he defended the stimulus, swatting aside Ryan’s insinuations of corruption with statistics showing it had been nearly devoid of fraud. He cornered Ryan by citing the two letters he had written asking for stimulus funds for his district, letters which endorsed the argument that stimulus would create jobs. Ryan appeared not to have prepared for the attack at all.”

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Aaron Regunberg

Aaron Regunberg, GoLocal MINDSETTER™

“Joe Biden demonstrated that there's only one way to deal with Romney/Ryan's post-truth campaign: call them out on it. Counter their blatant and brazen lies with facts, and do it strenuously and do it often. I heard some conservatives whine about Biden interrupting Ryan--good (I won't get into how these are the same folks cheering on Romney for doing the same interrupting last week). Biden did interrupt Ryan close to every time the guy insulted the American people by lying to our faces, and that's how he won this debate. It's how he helped Obama enormously. And it's also, I predict, how he just made himself a real 2016 contender.”

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Gerald Seib

Gerald Seib, The Wall Street Journal

“If Americans wanted to know what a real debate sounds like, they got one Thursday night, courtesy of the two men who are supposed to be taking second billing in the presidential race.

“Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan provided millions of Americans the kind of slugfest the presidential contenders themselves didn't provide in their first debate. It was potent and lively, and nobody could walk away wondering how the parties differ.”

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Dan Lawlor

Dan Lawlor, GoLocal MINDSETTER™

“Joe Biden demonstrated that there's only one way to deal with Romney/Ryan's post-truth campaign: call them out on it. Counter their blatant and brazen lies with facts, and do it strenuously and do it often. I heard some conservatives whine about Biden interrupting Ryan--good (I won't get into how these are the same folks cheering on Romney for doing the same interrupting last week). Biden did interrupt Ryan close to every time the guy insulted the American people by lying to our faces, and that's how he won this debate. It's how he helped Obama enormously. And it's also, I predict, how he just made himself a real 2016 contender.”

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Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson, RedState.com

“Honestly, had I not had to watch this debate for work, I would have turned it off. I don’t really want to be yelled out for an hour and a half and that’s what Biden spent the whole time doing overcompensating for Barack Obama’s lackluster performance.

“This debate changed nothing. I think Paul Ryan did a great job. But many Democrats will think Joe Biden did a great job. And I think most undecideds will have thrown their hands up in frustration half way through.”

 
 

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