DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — At odds early and often, Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan squabbled over the economy, taxes, Medicare and more Thursday night in a contentious, interruption-filled debate. “That is a bunch of malarkey,” the vice president retorted after a particularly tough Ryan attack on the administration's foreign policy.
“Not a single thing he said is accurate,” Democrat Biden declared after Ryan said U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens had been denied sufficient security by administration officials. Stevens died in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Both men seemed primed for a showdown from their opening moments on stage, and neither seemed willing to let the other one have the final word.
“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 to his older rival at one point. But both continued to do so — and interrupted moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC as well.
The debate took place a little more than a week after President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney met in the first of their three debates — an encounter that has fueled a Republican comeback in opinion polls.
With Democrats eager for Biden to show the spark the president lacked, he did so.