Campaign Corner: Master Debaters Ep. 2

America’s favorite Catholic Vice Presidential candidates, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, faced off at the second round of debates in this year’s presidential campaign. Thankfully, the Commission of Presidential Debates chose Martha Raddatz to moderate, who did a far better job with these candidates than the moderator in the previous debate.

Biden started off strong, clarifying the facts about how the White House handled the Bengazi attack. Congressman Ryan maintained a serious demeanor, lecturing on the importance of remaining a strong power. However, Biden’s attitude was noted as a little more candid by views and the media. The VP let out visible, audible chuckles at his opponent, appearing fed up with a lot of things Ryan had to say.

Can you blame him? Sure, it isn’t customary for a politician to literally throw their hands in the air and mouth “seriously” to the moderator, but Biden was just reacting the way many people have been feeling towards the Romney/Ryan campaign’s inability to answer questions with consistent specifics.

As the conversation progressed to the issue of the stimulus, Congressman Ryan reiterated an argument against the Obama administration that many have used, claiming that they had time to make change while they had a Democratic congress, but failed to do so. The Vice President spit fire back when he made Ryan admit to the fact that he asked for stimulus money himself.

Martha Raddatz continued the debate by asking a simple question on everyone’s mind: Who should pay more/less in taxes? Biden answered simply with his plan to just let Bush tax cuts expire, while Ryan remained vague on the details for a 20% tax cut.

The debate ended with a hot button issue: abortion. While Ryan upheld his previous pro-life stance, Biden provided a more progressive statement, saying that while he does not personally believe in abortion, he will not impose his beliefs on others.

After a going back and forth on a bunch of “malarkey,” I think it’s pretty clear that good ol’ Joe got the last laugh. Tune in next time on Oct. 16 as the two presidential candidates tackle foreign and domestic policies.

Sarah Menendez is a second-year political science and literary journalsim double major. She can be reached at smenende@uci.edu.