BUFFALO, NY (ABC NEWS) - Vice Presidential Candidates Duel in 90 Minutes Debate
Vice President Joe Biden came to tonight's debate ready to make up for his boss' lackluster performance of a week ago, bringing the fight to Republican Paul Ryan within moments of the debate starting, calling his challenger's statements "a bunch of malarkey" and a "bunch of stuff."
Ryan also spared the pleasantries, quickly citing the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya last month and saying it demonstrated the "unraveling of Obama's foreign policy."
"With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarky," Biden shot back. "Not a single thing he said is accurate," Biden said. He added that Ryan voted for a bill that would cut embassy security by $300 million.
Biden appeared exasperated, laughing at answers he disagreed with, rolling his eyes and calling one Ryan's answers a "bunch of stuff." The vice president showed up at Center College in Kentucky ready to rumble, coming off far more aggressive than President Obama was in his first debate with Mitt Romney last week.
Online, viewers immediately responded to Biden's attitude, on Twitter "#bunchofstuff" immediately began trending as did the mock user @laughinJoeBiden, and Republican operatives took to the internet to accuse the vice president of "smirking."
Biden hammered Romney's decision to let the auto industry go bankrupt rather than support the bailout.
"I know Mitt Romney's not a car guy," Biden said, quoting what Ryan had said moments earlier. "He said let it go bankrupt."
"But it shouldn't be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives," said Biden, reminding voters of a Romney gaffe that 47 percent of Americans are looking for government handouts.
"I think the vice president knows sometimes the words don't always come out the right way," Ryan said in response to Biden's own history of gaffes, winning laughs from the audience.
When Ryan criticized the Obama administration's massive stimulus program, Biden said he had two letters from Ryan seeking a share of the stimulus money.
When Ryan countered that he was seeking the funds for his constituents, Biden laughed and replied, "He said it will stimulate jobs."
The debate, moderated by ABC's chief foreign affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, was wide ranging, touching on foreign policy, taxes and jobs and abortion.
In a heated exchange over taxes and the health care act, Ryan said the middle class would ultimately end up paying for the administration's entitlements.
"Watch out, middle class. The tax bill is coming to you," Ryan said.
by RUSSELL GOLDMAN