DANVILLE, Ky. — Joe Biden and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan exchanged in a fierce debate Thursday evening, delivering a televised face-off that was far more lively than last week’s Presidential debate between Romney and Obama.
While the Denver debate last Wednesday night featured a visibly listless Obama and closed with Romney as the clear winner, both candidates appeared highly engaged and the exchange yielded considerable ambiguity.
Seated on stage at Centre College in the small town of Danville, Kentucky, Biden seemed to spend the hour and a half veering between chuckling and fuming. Ryan, who was frequently interrupted by the Vice President, stood his ground and found himself landing a number of punches.
When Biden invoked a now infamous video of Romney writing off 47 percent of Americans who receive government assistance, Ryan leapt to defend his running-mate, quipping that the gaffe prone Biden was probably not the best person to critique another candidate’s remarks.
“Sometimes, as the vice president well knows, the words don’t always come out of your mouth the right way,” Ryan said.
The bulk of the debate was focused solidly on foreign policy and fiscal issues, but the conversation turned to abortion in the final half hour, a topic not covered in Denver’s Presidential debate.
When asked if the medical procedure would be legal under a Romney presidency, Ryan said that it was a decision that should be left to American voters.
Biden shot back that a Romney administration would likely appoint judges open to outlawing abortion.
“I suspect that would happen,” Biden said.
Following the debate, much of the spin room conversation focused on Biden’s demeanor, with many Republicans saying that Biden acted immaturely and gave a perfomance beneath the dignity of his office.
Democrats, such as Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), praised Biden’s aggressive tone.
The Presidential candidates are set to spar again on October 16th in New York.