DANVILLE, Ky. —
Reaction was predictable: Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell said Ryan “was in command of the issues” and criticized Biden for sounding angry and often interrupting Ryan – a complaint similar to Democrats about Romney in last week’s presidential debate which most said Romney won.
“The vice president constantly interrupting, making facial expressions, it reminded me of Al Gore in 2000 when he walked all the way over and got in the face of President Bush,” McConnell said. “Clearly the vice president was animated – he’s very good about that.”
David Axelrod, the Obama campaign’s spokesman and advisor, said the complaint about Biden’s demeanor or frequent interruptions “is a loser’s lament.”
He criticized Ryan’s inability to offer specifics about which loopholes the Romney tax plan would close and said Biden “bested Ryan on foreign policy.” He said Ryan “serially refused to answer” questions about specific proposals.
“I think it was an enormously informative debate,” Axelrod said. “I think the vice president spoke with conviction and he actually cited facts and drew on a lifetime of experience.”
Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, said Biden “did a really good job tonight. I really think Joe Biden did a good job of pointing out how empty some of the ideas of Ryan and Romney are.”
Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin – whose father was born in Sunfish, Ky. In Republican Edmonson County – said Biden won the debate “with passion, conviction and with facts.”
“When it was all over (Biden) didn’t let Ryan dance around as Romney did last week on some of those questions,” Durbin said. “And I think Martha Raddatz did a good job of zeroing in on specifics, too.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Ryan “came out far superior, particularly on the economic issues.”
But Paul didn’t try as other Republicans did after the debate try to portray Ryan’s answers as specific.