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Campaign 2012

VP Candidates Weigh In After Second Debate


Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Vice President Joe Biden(AP)

Following a fiery debate by the presidential candidates, their running mates took to morning television on Wednesday to declare the winner of the second debate.

Vice President Joe Biden said President Obama was on the “top of his game” in his second matchup against Mitt Romney.


“I thought he did an incredible job of pointing out what he did, what we're going to do,” Biden said on ABC’s Good Morning America. “And I thought it was incredible that Gov. Romney had nothing but a sketchy response to everything. … I didn't have any doubt how the president would perform in this debate. That's the guy I see. That's the guy I know.”

While admitting the president’s performance was different than the first debate, Ryan said Obama still lacks concrete details about his agenda for a second term—a critique that even some on the left have leveled at the Democratic ticket.

“He clearly changed his tactic,” Ryan said on NBC’s Today. “They said that he would change his tactic but his answers didn't change. He didn't offer new idea about how the next four years would be any different than the last four years.”


Biden and Ryan continued the policy debate that their running mates fought on Tuesday night on issues such as tax policy. Biden, echoing Obama's argument, said the Republican ticket has not offered any specifics on how their will pay for their proposed policies. “This is the third debate we've had on their tax policy. They have yet to come up with a single, solitary specific,” Biden said on Good Mornin America.

When challenged on whether the American people have the right to know specifics in advance of the election, Ryan said that five-point plan he and Romney have advanced has been more than sufficient. “They have a right to know our bottom lines,” he said. “We're not going to raise the deficit, not going to raise taxes on middle class taxpayers or raise the share of the tax burden borne by the higher income people.”

One of the highlights of last night’s debate were comments made by Romney on equal pay. While he was governor of Massachusetts and seeking out more women for cabinet positions, Romney said his staff brought him “binders full of women.” Biden jabbed Romney on CBS’s This Morning, saying, “I've never had any problem when there's a job opening having as many women apply as men.”

But when asked about the Romney campaign’s support, or lack thereof, of the Lily Ledbetter equal pay Act the president signed, Ryan said it wasn't in fact an equal pay law.


“Equal pay was established in the previous administration. We agree with equal pay,” he said on This Morning. “(The law) opened the statute of limitations for lawsuits that could have occurred decades after alleged abuses occurred.”

Both Ryan and Biden increased expectations for next Monday’s foreign policy debate between Obama and Romney. Ryan said Romney would continue to lay out specifics. “The American people saw a man who could create jobs,” he said on GMA.

Biden said the energetic president will show up again. “I feel confident about my boss. I feel confident about my guy,” Biden said on Good Morning America. “And I think the American people are becoming more confident that Romney doesn't offer much of an alternative.”

Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs put it another way. “I think you're going to see the Hofstra Barack Obama,” Gibbs said on Fox and Friends. “He was forceful, commanding, engaged.”

Lara Seligman contributed contributed to this article.

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