Thursday, October 11, 2012

VP debate 2012

Tonight we had the Vice Presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan.  

The debate was moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC news.  At first, the debate seemed to be going smoothly until Biden was constantly smirking, laughing and being condescending towards Ryan.

Biden came across as an arrogant ageist who constantly interrupted Ryan when it was Ryan's turn to speak.  In fact, Biden interrupted Ryan over 80 times!   Raddatz seemed to have control of the debate but was also cutting off Ryan while Ryan spoke.  At times it seemed like Biden and Raddatz were teaming up against Ryan.  

Most of the debate focused on foreign policy.  Biden spoke with exasperation while Ryan was calm and collective.  Ryan cornered Biden on the White House's response to the attacks in Libya and a few other issues while Biden got Ryan on a letter Ryan sent him requesting stimulus funds.  Towards the end, both candidates were asked about their faith and abortion.  Both Ryan and Biden are Catholics and of course the issue of abortion was brought up by the moderator.

Ryan responded: 

I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, about how to make sure that people have a chance in life.
Now, you want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course, but it’s also because of reason and science. You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born for our seven-week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. Our little baby was in the shape of a bean, and to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child, Liza, “Bean.” (Chuckles.)
Now, I believe that life begins at conception.
That’s why -- those are the reasons why I’m pro-life.
Now, I understand this is a difficult issue. And I respect people who don’t agree with me on this. But the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.
What troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. Look at what they’re doing through “Obamacare” with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They’re infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. Our church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain their religious -- religious liberties.
And with respect to abortion, the Democratic Party used to say they want it to be safe, legal and rare. Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding, taxpayer funding in “Obamacare,” taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized or wouldn’t second- guess their one-child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That, to me, is pretty extreme.

Biden then followed stating:

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: My religion defines who I am. And I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who -- who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help.
With regard to -- with regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as a -- what we call de fide (doctrine ?). Life begins at conception. That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.
But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and -- I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.
I -- I do not believe that -- that we have a right to tell other people that women, they -- they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor, in my view. And the Supreme Court -- I’m not going to interfere with that.
With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy -- any hospital -- none has to either refer contraception. None has to pay for contraception. None has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.
Now, with regard to the way in which the -- we differ, my friend says that he -- well, I guess he accepts Governor Romney’s position now, because in the past he has argued that there was -- there’s rape and forcible rape. He’s argued that, in the case of rape or incest, it was still -- it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. I just fundamentally disagree with my friend.

The exchanged continued for a bit:

REP. RYAN: All I’m saying is if you believe that life begins at conception, that therefore doesn’t change the definition of life. That’s a principle. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. Now, I’ve got to take issue with the Catholic Church and religious liberty.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: You have, on the issue of Catholic social doctrine, taken issue.
REP. RYAN: If they -- if they agree with you, then why would they keep -- why would they keep suing you? It’s a distinction without a difference.


MS. RADDATZ: I want to go back to the abortion question here. If the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?

REP. RYAN: We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people, through their elected representatives and reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process, should make this determination.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: The court -- the next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That’s how close Roe v. Wade is.
Just ask yourself: With Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for -- for Mr. Romney, who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court, far right, that would outlaw Planned -- excuse me -- outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.
I guarantee you that will not happen. We picked two people. We picked people who are open-minded. They’ve been good justices. So keep an eye on the Supreme Court --

REP. RYAN: Was there a litmus test on them?

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: There was no litmus test. We picked people who had an open mind, did not come with an agenda.

Both Biden and Ryan did a good job during the debate.  At first, most networks and polls proclaimed the debate a tie; however, polls are now showing that Ryan won the debate.   Perhaps this response is due to Ryan's composure and responses.  Biden's smirks and condescending attitude were very rude and demonstrated a very angry individual.  This perhaps turned off many voters.     

He kind of looked like the Grinch.  

I applaud Rep. Ryan for being professional, keeping his calm and responding directly to the issues despite the interruptions from both Biden and the moderator.  I also liked his response regarding faith, but do not like that he favors abortion in cases of incest, rape, etc.  Abortion must be outlawed completely.  Life must be respected and protected.  Focus should be given to protect women from incest and rape.  Research in medicine must better provide techniques to prevent problematic pregnancies that endanger both mother and child.

Biden's response on faith and abortion was horrible.  Nowhere does it say that faith and governing cannot mix.  Faith draws us up to God who is the author of morality.  Without morals, a leader cannot lead.  All presidents relied on God, Faith, Prayer, even the Bible to make decisions.  This is no way contradicts the Constitution.    

Moreover, Biden claims that he cannot "impose" his Catholic beliefs on abortion on the people; however, abortion is not religious doctrine.   Abortion deals with the killing of a human being.  This is a social-civil issue, not a religious one per se.  No society should tolerate murder.  This is why we have laws.   Laws against the killing of human beings at any stage of development are not based on religious doctrine.   Biden seems to not get this.  

His sophistry would make sense if a president or vice president wrote laws telling Americans to be baptized or pray to Mary.  However, ending abortion and protecting human life is not a religious doctrine.  The protection of ALL citizens is expected to be enforced by leaders.  

                       Defending human life is not an imposition of religious beliefs!

Biden laughs and smirks during debate

While Biden did way better than Obama in this debate, his behavior was totally unprofessional.  The United States of America is going through hard times.  This is not a laughing matter.  Biden obviously does not know the seriousness of being the vice president.  

Ryan was calm and collective, but needed to be a bit more forceful like Romney was in the debate against Obama.  He needed to be more assertive and not let Biden or even the moderation interrupt him and prevent him from speaking his mind when it was his turn to do so.  


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