Entries in Vice Presidential Debate (9)


Beau Biden Defends Father’s Vice Presidential Debate Performance

(NEW YORK) -- Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden defended his father Vice President Joe Biden’s debate performance, saying his laughter and facial expressions did not undermine the substance of his comments at last week’s debate.

“I’m happy to defend my dad. I don’t think he needs any defensiveness. Any time the other side – Karl Rove or folks on the far right – are going after my father for smiling too much, you know that’s a victory,” Beau Biden said Sunday morning on “This Week.” “My father spoke clearly to the American people about the facts, and you saw him do that for 90 minutes straight.”

“This isn’t about how much my father smiled or how many gallons of water that the congressman drank nervously on that stage,” Biden quipped. “It’s about talking directly to the American people about very important facts.”

Biden charged Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan with not being “up to speed on foreign policy,” criticizing Ryan for his comments during the debate on troop levels in Afghanistan.

“You had him suggest, if not open the door, to put additional troops in Afghanistan. So it was a remarkable position to take,” Biden said. “It demonstrated, I think, that, you know, the congressman is not quite up to speed on foreign policy as you might want a would-be vice president to be.”

“You heard my father clearly articulate that we wouldn’t have forces in Afghanistan by 2014,” Biden added, “and you’ve seen here the congressman equivocate on that, in fact, not be willing to guarantee the American people that we wouldn’t have forces in Afghanistan.”

Beau Biden also defended Vice President Biden for saying at the debate that “we did not know they wanted more security again,” regarding American officials in Libya requesting more security before the attack that killed four Americans at the consulate in Benghazi last month.

The Obama administration said the vice president was referring to the White House not knowing about the security request, despite the State Department being notified. “He was speaking for himself and the president, as you heard Jay Carney tell you in the briefing room just the other day,” Beau Biden said.

Biden criticized the Romney campaign for politicizing the Libya issue, saying “These are folks that seem to be more interested in kind of pounding their chest to make the neoconservatives who advise them proud than they are about being serious about foreign policy and protecting our national interests around the world.”

“This is a tragedy when we lose an ambassador and three other personnel,” Biden said. “This is not a moment in time where we should be politicizing these issues… And the idea that Romney and Ryan are suggesting that the President of the United States doesn’t take seriously the security of our diplomats and Foreign Service officers around the world I find absolutely outrageous.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


One in 10 Viewers Watched Debates on TV Plus One Additional Screen

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Take a look at the constant stream of tweets during the debates (there were 10 million within two hours of the first debate between Obama and Romney), and it’s obvious that not only are people watching the feuding candidates on TV but also on their phones, computers or tablets.

According to a study released by the Pew Research Center for the Press and the People, 85 percent of those who tuned in to the debate last week watched it on live TV, but 11 percent  followed it online, either on a computer, phone or tablet. That means that one in 10 Americans used the two- or double-screen approach, watching TV while also holding a mobile device (phone or tablet) or computer.

Most of those who were following online were younger. Thirty-two percent of those younger than 40 said they tracked the debate online. The post-debate survey was conducted after the first presidential debate in a series of phone interviews with a national sample of 1,006 adults.

Pew also has some interesting stats when it comes to the social media activity. Only one-third of that five percent who followed the debates online said they shared their reactions online via Facebook or Twitter. Interestingly, there wasn’t a major difference along party lines in technology usage.

More details on the survey can be found on the Pew website, but it’s pretty clear that while the majority continues to stick to the boob tube for these major political events, the smaller, more portable screens are starting to provide another avenue for at least 10 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘Laughin’ Joe’ Steals the Show at Vice Presidential Debate

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(DANVILLE, Ky.) -- Big Bird has a new replacement, and his name is “Laughin' Joe.”

Vice President Joe Biden’s chuckles, sighs and interruptions during the first and only vice presidential debate with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., took off on the Internet during the debate Thursday.

Within minutes, a new @LaughinJoeBiden Twitter handle emerged and added hundreds of followers every minute.

By the end of the debate, more than 7,000 users followed the parody account, which tweeted out photos and animated gifs of Biden’s laugh, punctuated by “lol.”

Another account, @BidenSmirk, tweeted: “Face hurts…stuck in permanent #BidenSmirk for over an hour…”

At one point in the night, according to Signal at Yahoo, about 6 percent of tweets mentioned Biden’s laughing, which typically came during Ryan’s answers.

Republicans, on the other hand, wasted no time labeling Biden’s laughs as problematic.

Eric Fehrnstrom, an adviser to Mitt Romney, tweeted: “Ryan: serious, sober, steady. Biden: smirking, mocking, immature.”

The Republican National Committee uploaded a YouTube video labeling Biden’s laugh a “cackle.”

Mentions of Biden’s laughter garnered the most tweets for a single term -- more than 500,000 mentions, according to Signal at Yahoo.

Though Republicans sought to portray the attention on Biden’s laughter as negative, social media analysis shows that the commentary -- at least online -- was split roughly evenly between positive and negative comments.

Even Biden’s teeth became part of the action.  A new meme emerged admiring “Joe Biden’s white, pearly teeth.”

Despite the focus on Biden’s laughter, no single moment in this vice presidential debate rivaled the Twitter hysteria that was sparked by Big Bird during last week’s presidential debate, which got 170,000 tweets per minute.

But when Biden quipped, “Now you’re Jack Kennedy?” Twitter activity spiked to its highest level of the night, with more than 7,000 tweets per minute.

Overall, Twitter reported more than 3.5 million tweets for the vice presidential debate, while the first presidential debate last week almost broke Twitter with 10.3 million tweets.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Who Won the Vice Presidential Debate? Depends Who You Ask

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DANVILLE, Ky.) -- Partisan Democrats had a lot to be happy about Thursday night’s vice presidential debate.  Vice President Joe Biden turned in an aggressive and energetic performance that they wished they’d seen in President Obama.

And while Republicans have cried foul on Biden’s behavior (GOP surrogates called him “rude”), they argue that Rep. Paul Ryan’s calm, unflustered demeanor and his solid performance on foreign affairs was appealing to swing voters, especially women.

Could they both be right?  Sure.  Democrats could get a spring back in their step, while swing voters also remain interested in hearing more from the Romney/Ryan ticket.

Which, of course, makes the presidential debate next Tuesday all that more important.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden ‘Fired Up and Ready to Go’ for Debate

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After President Obama’s self-described “bad night” at his first debate last week, the Obama campaign is banking on their No. 2, Vice President Joe Biden, to bring his "A" game to the vice presidential debate Thursday night.

“The vice president is pretty fired up and ready to go this evening,” Obama campaign press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“His No. 1 goal,” she told reporters on Air Force One Thursday, is to “lay out the choice for the American people.”

It is an “opportunity to speak directly about the differences between the candidates and tickets,” Psaki said. "We have great confidence in the vice president’s performance.”

Obama will watch the Biden debate against Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., from Air Force One on his way back from Miami, where Obama will hold a fundraiser.

Asked about Obama’s own efforts to improve his debate performance against Mitt Romney from his showing in Denver a week ago, Psaki said the campaign is where it thought it would be at this stage in the race.

“As the president said in his ABC interview, he knows he had a bad night, he’s looking forward to the debate next week and we know this is a big opportunity, and we feel good about how prepared he’ll be,” she said.  "We’ll see how things go from there."

“Yeah, Mitt Romney had a good night last week,” she added. “He had a better night than President Obama. Our focus since then has been communicating directly with the American people about the choice in this election. … We’ve been implementing our ground game."

“We’re exactly where we thought we’d be,” she said. “We never thought we were going to win Ohio by 10 points or that Virginia and Colorado would be won by 5 or 6 points. … There’s remarkable consistency and stability in a lot of these state polls.”

Psaki added, “We’re very comfortable with the direction of the campaign and the direction of our plans.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul Ryan’s House Opponent Will Be in Kentucky Outside Debate

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Paul Ryan’s House challenger will be in Danville, Ky., the site of the vice presidential debate on Thursday, asking for a debate of his own.

Rob Zerban, the Democrat challenging Rep. Ryan, R-Wis., will be doing national interviews in Kentucky, telling reporters that Ryan has neglected his home-district House campaign.  Ryan, who presumably has his hands full running for vice president and debating Joe Biden, has refused to debate Zerban, so far.

Zerban has circulated a petition among his supporters demanding a debate.

“The reason that Rob is going down [to Kentucky] is that Ryan basically has refused to campaign in the district or debate him or anything like that, despite spending money on TV in the district, so we’re trying to call attention to that,” Zerban spokesman TJ Helmstetter told ABC News.

Zerban has not yet secured a spot inside the building where the debate will be held, but he’ll be available outside.  He’ll appear Thursday morning on MSNBC’s The Rundown and later on Hardball, his spokesman said.

Zerban’s campaign outraised Ryan’s House campaign by more than $200,000 in the third quarter of 2012.

Ryan won reelection with 64 percent of the vote in 2008.  His race against Zerban is not thought to be competitive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul Ryan Aide Expects 'Irish Uncle' Figure in Debate with Joe Biden

Joe Raedle/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- Paul Ryan wrapped up last minute debate prep Wednesday at a Florida hotel replete with Sunshine State pastels and Mediterranean revival architecture -- The Vinoy.  It would be his last formal session in seclusion before the only vice presidential debate where he faces off against a man nearly 28 years his senior.

An aide, who asked for anonymity, admitted the obvious, especially after his running mate's performance last week: "He's nervous."

"He's done things on the national stage," the aide said, trying to play the expectations game.  "He's given a response to the president, debates in the Budget Committee and on the House floor and his congressional races, but nothing compared to the attention and the pressure that goes with a live nationally televised debate like this."

Ryan has taken part in eight campaign debates as a congressman, but none of those were on a national stage.

The aide said his biggest worry was an "Irish uncle moment where the vice president's charm overwhelms his lack of facts or logic."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Veteran Debater Joe Biden Readies for Vice Presidential Debate

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With 40 years of debating experience under his belt, Vice President Joe Biden hunkered down for several days of intensive preparation in his hometown of Wilmington, Del., this week ahead of his duel with Rep. Paul Ryan in Danville, Ky., on Thursday.

The vice president has been studying and watching videos of Ryan’s interviews and speeches, and he has read a book co-authored by Ryan and Reps. Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy.  Biden has incorporated portions of the book he disagrees with into speeches on the campaign trail.

Biden has also held mock debates against Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, with Biden’s communications director and former Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray playing the role of the debate moderator, ABC News’ Martha Raddatz.

Accompanying Biden at debate prep this week are long-time advisers like former Sen. Ted Kaufman and Mike Donilon.  David Axelrod, senior adviser to the Obama campaign, is also attending the debate prep sessions, a decision that was made weeks ago.

Van Hollen has served alongside Ryan on the budget committee and has said he hopes to give Biden an understanding of how the Wisconsin congressman will argue his case.

“I know the way Paul Ryan likes to present his arguments.  The vice president, as you know, is very familiar with the key issues, and I hope I can help him get a sense of how Paul Ryan likes to present it,” Van Hollen said in an interview on MSNBC last month.

At the time, Van Hollen predicted Biden would “kick my butt” in the mock debates.

By ABC News’ count, Biden has participated in 23 debates over his career as a senator, presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate.  During the 2008 election, he appeared at 14 debates as a Democratic presidential contender and sparred with Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at the lone VP debate of the cycle.

Biden also took part in two presidential debates when he ran for the Democratic nomination as president in 1988.  Ryan has debated eight times in the 13 years he’s been a congressman.

While a campaign official told ABC News Biden’s team is “not re-inventing the preparation wheel,” the approach Biden takes at Thursday night’s debate may differ from the way he handled his debate against Palin.  

In the 2008 vice presidential debate, Biden focused most of his attention on attacking Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, with only making passing references to Palin.  But in this year’s debate, Biden will likely target Ryan, who he says has given more definition to Romney’s campaign, and his programs head on.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden, Paul Ryan Brace for Vice Presidential Debate as Polls Tighten

Joe Raedle/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The pressure to "reset" the presidential race is on President Obama's team this time around. With a variety of new polls showing Mitt Romney riding the wave of his post-debate surge to a near deadlock among likely voters, the Obama campaign is looking for ways to break the challenger's rising tide.

And Vice President Joe Biden is lining up as the man to do it.

"The Obama campaign has lost all the momentum they had and now are in danger of falling behind," ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd said Tuesday morning. "Biden is important to stop the bleeding and regain their footing. And as important, Ryan has to not step in it, so the Romney trajectory can continue."

Dowd was reminded of former President George W. Bush's poor opening debate performance in 2004, which briefly gifted Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry a similar bump in the polls.

"When Cheney asked me in debate prep what he needed to do after the Miami debacle, I said, 'Stop the gangrene from spreading,'" Dowd said. "Biden has to do same."

For his part, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says he expects Biden to come at him "like a cannonball."

Both vice presidential candidates are off the stump Tuesday. Ryan is in Virginia being drilled before his date with Biden at Centre College in Danville, Ky., Thursday night. The vice president is sharpening his steel in Delaware, his home state.

Meanwhile, with polls showing Romney making inroads with women voters, wife Ann Romney has published an essay titled, "The Man I Know" on Blog Her, a general interest website aimed at women readers.

"Last Wednesday night, in a debate watched by nearly 70 million people, America and the world got to see the Mitt Romney I've known for most of my life," she begins, an opening bid to solidify the positive impressions her husband made last week during his first one-on-one with Obama.

"Mitt has always been my hero," she writes. "There have been times in my life when I didn't think I could make it, when I wasn't sure I could take one more step. And in those times, when I couldn't do it on my own, Mitt was always there for me to lean on."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio