Vice presidential candidates square off after debate
October 23, 2012
Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan came out swinging for their men at the top of the ticket on Tuesday morning television, with Ryan saying that President Obama's approach in the debate was “naive” and Biden suggesting that Mitt Romney mostly agreed with the president’s policies.
“Governor Romney seemed to be rushing to agree with everything the president had done already," Biden said on NBC’s Today on Tuesday.
Ryan, for his part, seemed to strike a stronger tone and land sharper attacks than his running mate did in the third and final debate the night before. Ryan called Obama’s actions on foreign policy “naive” on several occasions.
He also took a jab at Obama for his ”horses and bayonets” comment. “To compare modern American battleships and Navy with bayonets – I just don't understand that comparison,” Ryan said on CBS’s This Morning.
Following the debate, Romney strategist Stuart Stevens called the comments “demeaning,” a charge Biden disputed. “Demeaning to the military for the president to say the truth that one aircraft carrier is probably more powerful than the entire United States Navy was back then? This is a different Navy ... the capacity, the firepower. Our Navy is superior to every other navy in the world combined.”
Biden also accused Romney of lacking “sophistication,” saying, “I felt a little badly, because it's clear he is not ready to be the Commander in Chief of the United States military.”
It was a charge echoed by other Democrats, including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was involved in debate preparations for Obama. "Overwhelmingly last night, the President of the United States was the commander in chief, and Mitt Romney, I hate to say it, was the campaigner in confusion,” he said on CNN’s Early Start on Tuesday.
Although Romney agreed Monday night that the sanctions were effective on Iran, he criticized the president for not acting sooner. Obama explained the process to get sanctions in place is “painstaking” and long. On Tuesday, Ryan also tried to snatch credit away from the president on Iranian sanctions, which have harmed the Iranian economy and currency.
“The sanctions in place now are only in place because of bipartisan opposition to the president's unwillingness to put these sanctions in place in the first place,” Ryan said on NBC.
Ryan also said Romney was willing to talk with Iran, but that a Romney administration would impose more sanctions, too. “If Iran wants to talk, that's perfectly fine, but not as an excuse to lessen the pressure,” he said.
On CBS’ This Morning, Biden defended the administration on the handling of the terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans. On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that for more than a week after the attacks, the president was told in his daily intelligence briefing that the attacks grew out of a protest based on anger at an anti-Muslim video. Biden was asked how that information made it into The Journal.
“I don't know how that happened,” he said, “except that I know that the head of the Director of Central Intelligence said everything that the president said, that I said, that [U.N. Ambassador] Susan Rice said, that was stated was exactly what the talking points the intelligence community was giving us and briefing us on.”
The Romney campaign released a new ad on Tuesday morning, using clips from Monday night's debate on Obama's so-called "Apology Tour."
October 23, 2012