First of all – what did we just witness, tonight? Why was Joe Biden emulating Chris Matthews on crack?
I realize that the rap on Obama’s debate performance was that he wasn’t aggressive enough – so Biden’s handlers probably told him to be assertive (like Romney was!) but Biden overcompensated, interrupting Ryan 82 times. CNN’s Gloria Borger said Biden Came Off As Condescending, Brit Hume called him a ‘Cranky Old Man’…while Greta Van Susteren said he just was very unlikeable.
Romney may have been aggressive, but he was polite, and always a gentleman. He wasn’t overbearing and didn’t come off like an unhinged, condescending crank, like Biden did for this entire debate, laughing, sneering and mugging during all of Ryan’s answers – even on serious issues like Libya, Afghanistan, and Iran. What was that all about? Romney was fighting for equal time in a debate where Obama was allowed four minutes more time. Biden was merely fighting. Chris Wallace said “I’ve Never Seen a Debate Where one Candidate Was So Disrespectful”. He got a minute more time than Ryan who was interrupted at nearly every turn, either by Biden or by the moderator – the two of them seemed at times to be tag teaming him.
In spite of that, Ryan remained calm, winning easily on debate style, and holding his own on debate substance in the face of the blizzard of lies coming from Biden – a problem Sarah Palin also encountered back in 2008..
Dana Perino quipped:
Overheard at the pinnochio factory, "Hey, we're gonna need some more wood for the morning's fact checks!"—
Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) October 12, 2012
Anyway, from the GOP rapid response team, Joe Biden Cackles During VP Debate:
UPDATE: Via the RNC, an excellent video compilation of Biden’s seriously inappropriate laughter: Laughing at the Issues:
Joe’s bizarre smiling and cackling act got panned by the left and right alike on Twitter:
Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan were the two candidates on stage at Thursday’s vice presidential debate, but a third character emerged: Joe Biden’s laugh, which didn’t escape the notice of tweeting politicos. (And led, of course, to at least three satirical Twitter accounts: Laughing Joe Biden, Biden Smirk, and yet another Laughing Joe Biden.)
Weekly Standard’s Mark Hemingway: “Joe Biden’s laughing through talking about Iran sanctions?”
TIME’s Michael Scherer: “Not sure debate cameras have been light tested for Biden’s teeth. Best to watch with sunglasses.”
Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein: “Biden’s strategy seems to be to laugh at Ryan constantly. Will it work to infantalize Ryan, or backfire like Gore sighing?”
NBC’s David Gregory: “Biden’s smile is out of control.”
Not a crushing victory, but a victory nonetheless — the sitting VP was bested by the challenger.
So Romney passed the Threshold test — spectacularly — and Ryan passed it as well.
And in both debates, they won.
Alex Castellantos on CNN had a point: The post-debate buzz will be about Biden’s buffoonish mugging.
I hate to say this, but as I said in the liveblog, Biden’s Mission Number One was to reassure and re-energize the base. He did that. He at least stopped some Democrats from defecting to Romney, or deciding not to vote.
And see – this is why some people think Allahpundit and Ace are the same person:
I expected “table-pounding atmospherics” from Biden but I didn’t expect him to act like a total jackhole for fully 90 minutes. Give him credit for knowing his target audience, though: His task tonight was to get the left excited again after Obama fell into a semi-coma in Denver, and evincing utter disdain for Ryan — grimacing, shouting, laughing inappropriately, constantly interrupting, the total jackhole experience — is just what the doctor ordered. He might have irritated independents and undecideds, but probably not so much that it’ll change people’s votes. The Democrats needed someone to go out there and clown for liberals, and if there’s one thing this guy knows, it’s clowning.
Foreign Policy fact checked Biden on a major point: Biden contradicts State Department on Benghazi security:
Vice President Joe Biden claimed that the administration wasn’t aware of requests for more security in Libya before the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi during Thursday night’s debate, contradicting two State Department officials and the former head of diplomatic security in Libya.
“We weren’t told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there,” Biden said.
In fact, two security officials who worked for the State Department in Libya at the time testified Thursday that they repeatedly requested more security and two State Department officials admitted they had denied those requests.
Paul Ryan fact checked Biden’s attempt to throw cold water on the charge that the HHS mandate is an assault on religious liberties:
Biden try to explain away the Obama administration’s pro-abortion assault on Catholics, evangelicals and other religious groups and businesses.
“With regard to the assault on the Catholic church, let me make it absolutely clear, no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact,” Biden falsely claimed.
“Now, I’ve got to take issue with the Catholic church and religious liberty,” Ryan retorted. “Why would they keep — why would they keep suing you? It’s a distinction without a difference.”
That’s all Ryan was able to get in before he was cut off. Shhhhh!!!!
The mandate compels religious employers to pay for and refer women for abortion-causing drugs, birth control, contraception and sterilizations.
The left has tried to turn the right’s objection to this into the phoney Republican War on Women™.
Like I said, Biden’s smirking and sneering got panned by almost everybody:
John Nolte, Big Journalism: Media Hits Biden: ‘Stop Smirking!’ ‘Weird,’ ‘Jerk':
We’re about thirty minutes into the debate and already Vide President Joe Biden is receiveing pretty tough reviews for his bizarre smiling and smirking as debate moderator Martha Raddatz talks about issues as serious as Iran getting a nuclear weapon.
These aren’t exactly conservative media types, either.
John Nolte, Big Government: Tom Brokaw: Biden ‘Shouldn’t Be Laughing’ When Discussing Nuclear War:
In 2000, Al Gore was just being a smug jerk trying to rattle George W. Bush. Gore also probably thought he was off-camera. Biden was obviously trying to rattle Ryan, but he also knew the camera would be on him, so other than hoping to distract the audience so they wouldn’t hear Ryan’s superior arguments, I have no idea what this debate game-plan was intended to accomplish.
My guess is that Team Obama simply didn’t expect moderator Martha Raddatz (who might be the worst debate moderator in history) to open things with a serious topic like foreign policy — and this is where Biden got in trouble, even with left-wingers like Tom Brokaw…
Another huge lie caught by Washington Free Beacon. I somehow missed this one (why didn’t Ryan call him out on it?): Biden Claims He Voted Against Afghanistan, Iraq Wars:
“By the way, they talk about this great recession like it fell out of the sky–like, ‘Oh my goodness, where did it come from?’” Biden said. “It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, at the same time, put a prescription drug plan on the credit card, a trillion dollar tax cut for the very wealthy.”
“I was there, I voted against them,” Biden continued. “I said, no, we can’t afford that.”
Then Sen. Biden voted for the Afghanistan resolution on Sept. 14, 2001 which authorized “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”
This was such an obvious, blatant lie. Ryan’s been in Washington long enough to know the truth. Why did he get Biden get away with it? The day after fact checks are not where the action is. You have to call them out on their lies when you have the chance, or most people will never know the truth.
Michelle Malkin: Vice President Jerk: The return of Smirky Malarkey McSmirk:
Pundits and news anchors are expressing post-debate shock at how smirky, condescending and arrogant Vice President Joe Biden was tonight. They buzzed on Twitter at his “malarkey” rebuke of Paul Ryan’s foreign policy criticism.
But this is all old, tired recycled behavior and rhetoric from the last election cycle. Remember? Go back and read my VP debate thread from 2008. It was titled: Sarah vs. Smirky. Go back to 2008, when Biden derided Sarah Palin for her “malarkey” about Bill Ayers.
Tonight, just as in 2008, Biden sighed.
But more significantly, Biden bald-facedly lied.
In other words: Biden was…Biden.
Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard:Biden Bombed:
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.
In fact, though Ryan had several weak moments—one of them was on Syria—the only conceivable takeaway from the veep debate was Biden’s out of control conduct. It will be long remembered—and not favorably.
There’s one person who should be delighted with Biden. That’s Al Gore. He had the honor of having delivered the most over the top and weird performance in a presidential campaign debate when he sighed and frowned and acted frustrated in his first debate with George W. Bush in 2000. Now Biden has taken that crown—or dunce cap—from Gore.
Finally, via Twitchy, the Tweet of the night, as far as I’m concerned:
Another fact check via Yid with Lid: Joe Biden Has Never Been a Big Friend Of Israel:
When Biden was in the Senate and the upper-body sent out “non-binding letters supporting Israel, Biden support was missing:
- November 2001, Bond/Schumer Letter Urging President Not to Meet with Arafat until the Violence Ends, 89 Signers: Sen. Biden did not sign this letter urging President Bush not to meet with Arafat until Palestinian violence ceased. The letter had 89 signers.
- March 2004, Schumer-Hatch-Clinton-Smith Letter Urging Kofi Annan to Reverse Support for ICJ Hearings on the Security Fence, 79 Signers: Sen. Biden did not sign this letter urging Kofi Annan to reverse support for the International Court of Justice Hearings on the Security fence which ultimately had 79 signers.
- December 2005,Talent/Nelson Letter Urging Pres. Bush to Press Palestinian Leadership to Bar Terrorist Groups from Participating in Palestinian Legislative Elections, 73 co-signers: Sen. Biden did not sign this letter barring ter
- ror groups from participating in Palestinian elections which ultimately had 73 co-signers.
- June 2008, Landrieu/Collins Letter to President Bush Supporting Israel’s Quest for Peace, 77 Signers: Sen. Biden did not sign this pro-Israel letter which had 77 signers.
Joe Biden is one more reason for supporters of Israel to be concerned about the Obama Administration.
Ah, yes – so true!:
This pic sums up the debate http://t.co/koK8DqZx—
Amy (@CAAmyO) October 12, 2012
The good thing was that Ryan was able to make his points quickly and efficiently. The bad thing was that he occasionally looked like a deer in the headlights. I understand that this look reflected his amazement at Joe’s behavior, his shock at Joe’s bald-faced lies, and his frustration that both Joe and debate moderator Martha Raddatz kept cutting him off and giving the floor to the crazy uncle. Still, I wish he hadn’t been such a polite Midwesterner.
Thinking about it, though, Ryan may have done just the right thing. While the base probably found Joe’s performance exciting and emotionally honest, I suspect that millions of Americans did not appreciate that Joe made a mockery of a ritual performance that is meant to enhance the honor of the presidential office and to give voters an opportunity to compare the two parties. If people were actually comparing the two debaters, Ryan was an attractive, polite, stable, normal, well-informed young man. Joe was the bloviating, obnoxious drunk at the bar who had grabbed Ryan by his lapel and wouldn’t let go. You could practically see Ryan’s hair melt from the noxious odors wafting out from behind Joe’s peculiarly whitened dentures.