Election 2012: The vice presidential debate, high expectations

Election 2012: The vice presidential debate, high expectations

Denver : CO : USA | Oct 08, 2012 at 5:52 AM PDT
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Pres. Obama's Debate Partner & Preparation Secret Tape Leaked

After President Obama's dismal peformance during the first presidential debate last week, expectations are high and places the pressure on both Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan.

While both sides agree that the president could have done much better, Democrats blamed Obama's poor performance everthing, including Jim Lehrer, the moderator; Big Bird; and the high altitude. After that, they then Mitt Romney of being a big fat liar. Fact checks by several media outlets have revealed that both campaigns haven't exactly been squeeky clean when it comes to being truthful. Source: 5 Econ Fact Checks

Despite the accusations by Democrats, Romney has remained on message and has not responded to Obama campaign accusations. He continues to preach that he will improve the economy, that Obama policies have failed and that he is concentrating on jobs.

Recent polls published by Rasmussen indicate that the race has tightened significantly. Romney according to the poll leads President Obama 49 percent to 47 percent and leads slightly in the majority of swing states, except for Ohio where the president leads 50 percent to 49 percent Essentially all around there is a statistical tie.

With this background, Biden and Ryan enter the vice presidential debate. Needless to say, Democrats expect a knockout punch by the vice president, who has been a legislator for four decades, while Paul Ryan has never debated on the national stage.

Expect the vice president to be agressive from the start, echoing the accusations which have been promulgated by Democrats since the first presidential debate. The vice president will attack Ryan on tax breaks for the rich, replacing medicare with a voucher program, entitlement reform and deficit deduction. Paul Ryan's budget is sure to come up. Biden will attempt to categorize the Romney-Ryan team as a couple of heartless etremists, who couldn't give a damn about the midddle class.

There is always the danger that the vice president will shoot off his mouth and make one of his gaffes. Obviously Biden will have to try to avoid those. The aim will be to put Ryan on the defensive.

For Ryan's part, he has to fend of the Biden attacks and not find himself on the defensive. While fending off the attacks, Ryan has to outline the policy differences, the Romney-Ryan plan and be very specific.

Both candidates are aware of the high expectation placed on them and have made pre-debate comments. Biden says that he has been studying up on Rep. Ryan's positions on the issues.

"I just want to make sure that when I say these things, I don't have the congressman (say) — 'No no no, I don't have that position,' or, 'That's not the governor's position. So, it's mainly getting the factual predicates for everything that — not everything, but the key issues on which Gov. Romney has spoken and Congressman Ryan has." Denver Post

Ryan said that he expected Biden to be an aggressive opponent. "I expect the vice president to come at me like a cannonball. He'll be in full attack mode, and I don't think he'll let any inconvenient facts get in his way." Denver Post

The vice president definitely has the advantage in the debate and will in all likelihood be able to defend the Obama record. Ryan is young, articulate and is very familiar with the figures on the economy.

The downside last week was the presidential debate, followed by favourable jobs numbers, with 114,000 jobs created and the unemployment rate dropping to 7.8 percent. This will play for Biden, who will undoubtedly quote the 40 some odd month of jobs created and the lowest unemployment rate since the president took office. Ryan will debunk those figures by pointing out that the jobs were part-time and that there are 23 million Americans either unemployed, underemployed or those that left the workforce. Look for an exciting debate, with lots of rhetoric and more important will be the post-debate spin. With less than 30 days to the election date, this vice presidential debate will be important for both campaigns moving forward.

If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.

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Congressman Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan GOP Vice Presidential Candidate
Karl Gotthardt is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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