• With: Dan Henninger, Bill McGurn, Jason Riley, Kim Strassel, Bret Stephens, Matt Kaminski

    This is a rush transcript from "Journal Editorial Report," October 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," the vice presidential candidates square off in their one and only debate. So did their Kentucky showdown change the presidential race? And what should we expect from next Tuesday's Obama/Romney rematch.

    Plus, a closer look at Romney's recent poll surge and the Obama's campaign response. Will the liar-liar strategy work?

    And congressional hearings on Libya shed new light on what happened before, during and after the deadly attack in Benghazi, and raised new questions about the administration's response.

    Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.

    All eyes were on Kentucky Thursday night when Vice candidate, Joe Biden, and Paul Ryan squared off in their one and only debate. The two sparred over everything from reform from Iran to Medicare reform to middle class taxes.


    VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The middle class got knocked on their heels. The Great Recession crushed them. They need some help now. The last people who need help are 120,000 families for another, another $500 billion tax cut over the next 10 years.

    REP. PAUL RYAN, R - WI, VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There aren't enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending. And so the next time you hear them say don't worry about it, we will get a few wealthy people to pay their fair share, watch out, middle class, the tax bill is coming to you.


    GIGOT: Joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; columnist, Bill McGurn; Political Diary editor, Jason Riley; and Washington columnist, Kim Strassel.

    So, Jason, did Joe Biden help the Democrats get their mojo back?

    JASON RILEY, POLITICAL DIARY EDITOR: I think he did what he was tasked to do last night by Democrats, which is to energize the base. After last week's debate performance by Obama, Democrats were concerned. They were worried. I think they were less so after this vice presidential debate. And I think that was Joe Biden's primary concern, energizing the party again.

    GIGOT: How did he specifically do that?

    RILEY: Well, he did that by mentioning a lot of things that people had wanted or Democrats had wanted the president to mention last week, the 47 percent remark, the auto bailout, and so forth. That's what they wanted to hear and he served up a lot of red meat last night.

    GIGOT: OK.

    Kim, what about Paul Ryan? How did he hold up under the onslaught?

    KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Paul Ryan's job was to go in there, meet all these accusations. Everyone knew what was coming. This was going to be Joe Biden just lambasting him right and left. So his job was to go out there, meet this test run for the Obama campaign strategy, refute it, call them out on it, and generally not put in any big errors that would in any way dominate the discussion in the days after and any way check the Romney campaign. And to that extent, he did do that.

    GIGOT: One of the features of this debate was the Biden mannerisms and his behavior. Biden-interruptus, you might call it. Let's look at it what --


    -- how Biden interjected himself when Ryan was speaking.


    RYAN: Here's the problem. They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning Medicare into a piggy bank for Obama-care. Their own actuary from the administration came to Congress and said one of out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this.

    BIDEN: That's not what they said.

    RYAN: 7.4 million seniors are projected to lose the current Medicare Advantage cover they have. That's a $3,200 benefit cut.

    What we're saying --


    BIDEN: That didn't happen. More people signed up.

    RYAN: These are from your own actuaries.

    BIDEN: More -- more people signed up for Medicare Advantage after the change.

    RYAN: What they're saying --


    BIDEN: No -- nobody --

    RYAN: Mr. Vice President, I know --


    RYAN: Mr. Vice President, I know you are under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground.


    But I think people are better served if we don't keep interrupting each other.