DANVILLE, Ky. — An aggressive, self-assured Democratic Vice President Joe Biden responded to last week’s poor debate performance by President Barack Obama by repeatedly challenging Republican challenger Paul Ryan on taxes, plans to cut entitlement and on foreign policy.
During Thursday's debate at Centre College, moderator Martha Raddatz often demanded specific examples of Ryan’s plans to close unidentified loopholes as part of Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s plan to cut taxes or on plans by either candidate to reform entitlement programs.
Ryan didn’t give ground – but he didn’t give specifics either. Biden cited a litany of statistics about the impact of Ryan’s entitlement reform proposals and Romney’s tax plans, frequently accusing the Republicans of “loose talk,” although he too failed to lay out a specific plan on how to reform Medicare, Medicaid and social security.
Unlike Obama last week, Biden made sure to mention Romney’s unscripted comments about the “47 percent” of Americans who he says pay no income taxes and are dependent on government services. And he said “people from where I come from can’t afford” Ryan’s proposal to offer what Democrats call a voucher and Republicans call “premium support” to buy private insurance instead of relying on Medicare.
Ryan, on the other hand, said without reforming the program, it cannot survive to assist future generations.
When asked what each man would do for the country that another couldn’t, Ryan said a Romney/Ryan administration would stick by their promises to get the economy growing and create jobs.
Biden said his record stands for itself. “Everyone knows I do what I say I’ll do. My whole life has been devoted to leveling the playing field for the middle class.”
Biden often directed his answers on domestic policies to the middle class while Ryan again and again defended his budget proposals, saying they would create jobs and benefit all economic classes.