By Stacey Lee and Francesca Leonard
Last night’s vice presidential debate was a night of high pressure and opportunity for Vice President Joe Biden. And boy, did he seize the moment. Biden attacked lies, questioned plans, dissected arguments and … laughed. He forcefully took control of the night and taught opponent Paul Ryan a few important lessons along the way.
Lesson 1: Vocabulary. Biden took an opportunity to teach Ryan a new word.
Joe Biden: “This is a bunch of stuff. Look, here’s the deal.”
Martha Raddatz: “What does that mean, a bunch of stuff?”
Biden: “Well, it means it’s simply inaccurate.”
Paul Ryan: “It’s Irish.”
Biden: “It, it is. We Irish call it malarkey.”
Lesson 2: Foreign Policy. Congressman Ryan has his facts distorted. But not to worry, Vice President Biden calls out Ryan for misrepresenting the facts about security in Libya prior to last month’s attacks.
Lesson 3: Medicare. Sentences were interrupted, lies were dismantled and the debate on Medicare had Biden telling voters to use their common sense.
Biden: “Who do you trust on this? A man who introduced a bill that would raise it $6,400 a year, knowing it and passing it, and Romney saying he’d sign it? Or me and the president?”
Lesson 4: Taxes. Ryan’s math simply does not add up. The six “studies” he is referring to are actually a combination of blog posts, Wall Street Journal op-eds and his own campaign’s white paper. Since when are blog posts considered an academic or scientific study?
Paul Ryan: “What we’re saying is, lower tax rates 20 percent, start with the wealthy, work with Congress to do it.”
Martha Raddatz: “And you guarantee this math will add up?”
Ryan: “Absolutely. Six studies have guaranteed — six studies have verified that this math adds up.”
Lesson 5: Social Issues. Biden was able to bridge the gap between religious believers and progressives when moderator Martha Raddatz started asking about abortion. The vice president took the opportunity to — yep, you guessed it — teach Ryan a lesson.
Biden: “Life begins at conception in the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here.”