Last night Vice President Joe Biden and Paul Ryan faced off on the sole vice-presidential debate. What was apparent, and what will go unchallenged regardless of who you ask, is that Joe Biden was the aggressor. However, you will find disagreement on if this was positive or negative. For example, CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen said that “On style I think that Paul Ryan won the debate. The Biden dismissive laughs, the interruptions, the sort of shouting, I think that Ryan was calmer and frankly more presidential.” At the same time, CNN Chief National Correspondent John King said, “The vice president came and showed fight. He showed his boss what it is to engage and engage and attack and attack and attack”. But despite of their positions, both campaigns acknowledged that it would probably have minimal effect on the race one way or the other.
As for the substance of the debates, a number of issues were addressed, largely the economy, the budget deficit and foreign policy. For instance, Paul Ryan argued that President Obama’s foreign policy projects weakness, citing his reaction to the terror attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Biden would retort that the Obama administration was simply responding to information that was given to them by the intelligence community. Another issue that arose was that of abortion where Vice President Biden cautioned that whoever the next president is would be able to choose one or two new justices on the Supreme Court which would essentially control the future of the abortion debate.
But moving forward, the Romney campaign continues to build momentum as Romney has tightened the gaps in both battleground states and national polls. In fact, in the latest Fox News national poll of likely voters Romney holds a 46 to 45 percent edge. But President does hold slight edges in most of the crucial swing states, but some of these leads are within the margin of error. This makes the next two debates crucial as even President Obama acknowledged a “bad” performance the last debate. The next debate will be held Tuesday night, October 16 at 8pm again and will be a town hall format focusing on a range of issues. We encourage you to join the BSU as we host another viewing party for this event in Rice House. As always, stay informed, stay active.
Don S. Polite Jr. Political Education Coordinator