Biden calls "a bunch of malarkey" on "my friend"...
From aboard Air Force One on Thursday night, President Obama watched Vice President Joe Biden take on GOP candidate Paul Ryan in what will be their only debate, held in Danville, Kentucky at Centre College. Biden turned in an aggressive performance during the 90-minute battle, moderated by ABC's Martha Raddatz. (Above: The President watching the debate, mid-air)
"I'm going to make a special point of saying that I thought Joe Biden was terrific tonight," President Obama told reporters as he arrived at Joint Base Andrews at 10:35 PM following a fundraiser in Florida.
"I could not be prouder of him. I thought he made a very strong case. I really think that his passion for making sure that the economy grows for the middle class came through. So I'm very proud of him."
Asked if he called Biden after the debate ended, Mr. Obama replied "Yes, I just talked to him."
There were clashes over foreign policy, Medicare and Social Security, jobs and the economy. Several times during the night, Biden dismissed the Republican's arguments as "malarkey" and "a bunch of stuff."
The debate opened with heat, skipping formalities and going straight to Libya, with Ryan citing the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens last month. He said the Obama administration had denied Stevens adequate security, calling it an "unraveling of Obama's foreign policy."
"With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey," Biden, shot back, adding, "It's Irish."
Biden also hammered Ryan on Mitt Romney's comment that 47% of Americans are looking for federal handouts, something the President failed to do in his debate.
"I know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don't interrupt each other," Ryan said at one point.
Biden's closing remarks:
"You probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the American people. My friend [Paul Ryan] says that 30% of the American people are takers, Romney [says] 47% of the people won’t take responsibility. He’s talking about my mother and father. He’s talking about the places I grew up in, my neighbors in Scranton, he’s talking about the people who built this country.
"All they’re looking for … is an even shot. Whenever you give them the shot, they’ve done it. They’ve done it. Whenever you’ve leveled the playing field, they’ve been able to move. They want a little bit of a peace of mind, and the President and I are not going to rest until that playing field is leveled, they in fact have a clear shot, and they have peace of mind—until they can turn to their kid and say with a degree of confidence, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.’ That’s what this is all about."
The Vice President was joined by his wife Dr. Jill Biden in Kentucky. They stayed at a family farm in the hours before the event, billed locally as "Thrill in the Ville." He travels to Ryan's homestate of Wisconsin on Friday to campaign.
The President on Thursday was returning from a fundraiser in Florida with Sheila E. and Eva Longoria.
"Tonight proved once again that you won't find a better and
more tireless advocate for the middle class than @JoeBiden. -bo,"
President Obama tweeted after the debate.
*Photos by Obama for America