Vice president Joe Biden delivered Thursday night. He was aggressive, dominating and eager to attack — everything Obama wasn’t a week ago.
Biden clashed spiritedly with Paul Ryan, the Republican challenger, who held his own on domestic policy but sounded rehearsed on foreign affairs.
But Biden won the contest, according to an instant poll done among undecided voters, by CBS TV network — 50% gave him the debate, 31% to Ryan and 19% said it was a tie.
“Biden won the debate handily,” said Marc Joseph Hetherington of Vanderbilt University.
Their first exchange was on the death of US diplomats in Libya. Ryan said Benghazi was indicative of a “broader problem ... unravelling of Obama’s foreign policy”.
“With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey,” Biden shot back. He said Ryan had voted down an earlier government request for funds to beef up security at US missions.
Through the rest of the debate, Biden delivered as planned. He frequently interrupted Ryan, stage-laughed and grinned to give the impression the Republican was either incorrect or was exaggerating.