David Frum, Alex Castellanos and Paul Begala react to a comment Rep. Paul Ryan made about why he and Mitt Romney lost, and a remark about Pres. Obama not having a mandate. And the panel gives their insight on what the election means for the Republican party and the president.
Both candidates made statements that need to be further scrutinized; Ryan on the stimulus and Biden on the Libya attack. Anderson Cooper is Keeping Them Honest.
Editor's note: Keeping Them Honest, Anderson Cooper is fact-checking the claims made in the debate, and we'll have expert analysis of the candidates' facial expressions and body language. Watch AC360 tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan, the man who wants his job, exchanged fire over taxes, Medicare, national security and some animated facial expressions in their only debate before Election Day.
Here are five things we learned from Thursday night:
1. Biden brought it
We expected Ryan, not Biden to bring a three-ring binder full of facts and figures to the debate. It's not that the data-driven Ryan didn't show up with an arm full of his statistics; it is just that Biden did so as well.
And Biden's aggressive offense from the very beginning drowned out Ryan until about 45 minutes into the debate.
The only 2012 vice presidential debate came and went and left everyone talking (and tweeting) about each candidate's strong performance. Wolf Blitzer said it "will go down in history." Anderson Cooper called it "riveting." We asked on Facebook how you would describe it and got: Distracting, animated, Putin, war, disrespectful, draw, factual, spicy, wow, educational, chaotic, lively, substantive, buttkicking, fun, outstanding, awesome, interesting, unwatched, pathetic, rehearsed and malarkey, among other words. Have anything to add? Leave it in a comment.
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At a rally in Michigan, CNN's Gary Tuchman captures the enthusiasm for the Romney-Ryan ticket. He also talks to supporters who are angered by the way they believe the media and polls portray their candidates.
A couple of weeks ago I landed in Chicago, on assignment from New York, and drove from there to Rep. Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. It was a beautiful drive through back roads and farm towns with no shortage of cheese shops.
In Janesville I met some of Ryan's neighbors, folks who pointed out the house he grew up in, the high school he attended and they waved at the owner of one of his favorite restaurants. I interviewed the owner of that restaurant for a story about the concerns of small business owners. He was non-partisan during our interview, expressing his worries for the middle class but not his political preference. He is a personal friend of his loyal customer, Ryan, but didn't make it known if he shares his politics.
As I drove through town that day, I was surprised by the deficit of 'Romney-Ryan' signs. I saw many 'Ryan' signs on lawns and windows supporting his congressional race and a few 'Obama-Biden' signs but none, that I saw, supporting the GOP presidential ticket.
Ahead of the debate, Gloria Borger and John King compare differences and similarities between V.P. Biden and Rep. Ryan. The generational divide is a factor, but they both have blue collar backgrounds. And both have an eye on the 2016 election.
As for who has the bigger advantage, the case could be made for either of them. "You could say Paul Ryan is younger, he has more passion, he has more energy. You could say Joe Biden is more experienced, 36 years in the Senate, he's the sitting Vice President, he's been on the stage before," says King.
The pressure for Ryan comes with the goal of maintaining the campaign's momentum after last week's debate between Mitt Romney and Pres. Obama. But as King points out, "Americans pick presidents, not vice presidents."
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