Vice Presidential Debate Contrasts First Presidential Debate
Published: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 00:10
The Vice Presidential Debate was on Thursday, Oct. 11, and it was clear that it would be different from the Presidential Debate the week before.
Moderated by Martha Raddatz, the senior foreign affairs correspondent for ABC News, this debate was broken into nine segments. Each candidate was given two minutes to respond, and then answer follow-up questions as determined by Raddatz.
The physical set-up was also different; Vice President Joseph Biden and Senator Paul Ryan sat at a table with Raddatz. These close quarters created a more civil and manageable environment than the preceding debate.
The debate quickly began, without any welcoming remarks. It was only five minutes in that Vice President Biden interrupted Senator Ryan for the first time. Raddatz swiftly regained focus of the debate, and redirected the disagreement. This occurred several times, and speaks to the presence of Raddatz.
This effective management does not mean there were no arguments or interruptions, though. For example, when Raddatz brought up a timeline for spring, Biden and Ryan argued and talked over one another. This frequently occurred as the debate continued and the candidates got comfortable.
During the presidential debate, the audience members were required to be silent, but Tuesday the audience members in Danville, Kentucky laughed twice; when Senator Ryan personally attacked Vice President Biden and when Vice President Biden did the same to his opponent.
“I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way,” said Senator Ryan, which provoked laughs as he made a stab at the loose speech of Vice President Biden.
Vice President Biden was not without his own quick remarks.
“Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?,” he joked, referring to the previous line said by Romney about the tactics that historically have helped the economy.
The tone of the debate turned solemn, however, when Raddatz brought up the issue of abortion. Both candidates were asked to speak on their personal views of abortion, and both referenced religion to support their beliefs. Both candidates were respectful, and did not interrupt each other during this segment. This respectful demeanor remained through the last few questions, and into their final statements.
“It’s going to be OK” were the final words from Vice President Biden, and Senator Romney assured Americans that. The choice is clear, and the choice rests with you.”