Politics

HIGHLIGHTS: Biden, Ryan Spar Face to Face

ON IRAN, MIDEAST AND DEFENSE

RYAN: We should have spoken out right away when the green revolution was up and starting; when the mullahs in Iran were attacking their people. We should not have called Bashar Assad a reformer when he was turning his Russian-provided guns on his own people. We should always stand up for peace, for democracy, for individual rights.

And we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts, because what that does when we equivocate on our values, when we show that we're cutting down on defense, it makes us more weak. It projects weakness. And when we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us. They're more brazen in their attacks, and are allies are less willing to...

BIDEN: With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey.

ON UNEMPLOYMENT IN SCRANTON

RYAN: Joe and I are from similar towns. He's from Scranton, Pennsylvania. I'm from Janesville, Wisconsin. You know what the unemployment rate in Scranton is today?

BIDEN: I sure do.

RYAN: It's 10 percent.

BIDEN: Yeah.

RYAN: You know what it was the day you guys came in -- 8.5 percent.

BIDEN: Yeah.

RYAN: That's how it's going all around America.

BIDEN: Look, you don't read the statistics. That's not how it's going. It's going down.

ON ROMNEY'S TAX PLAN

RYAN: You can -- you can cut tax rates by 20 percent and still preserve these important preferences for middle-class taxpayers...

BIDEN: Not mathematically possible. 

RYAN: It is mathematically possible. It's been done before. It's precisely what we're proposing. 

BIDEN: It has never been done before. 

RYAN: It's been done a couple of times, actually.

BIDEN: It has never been done before.

RYAN: Jack Kennedy lowered tax rates, increased growth. Ronald Reagan... 

BIDEN: Oh, now you're Jack Kennedy? 

RYAN: Ronald Reagan -- Republicans and Democrats...

BIDEN: This is amazing.

RYAN: Republican and Democrats have worked together on this. 

ON ROMNEY'S '47 PERCENT' AND BIDEN'S GAFFES

RYAN: Mitt Romney's a good man. He cares about 100 percent of Americans in this country. And with respect to that quote, I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way. 

BIDEN: But I always say what I mean. And so does Romney. 

ON MEDICARE AND BIDEN'S 'DURESS'

RYAN: Here's the problem. They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning Medicare into a piggybank for Obamacare. Their own actuary from the administration came to Congress and said one 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 their current Medicare Advantage coverage they have. That's a $3,200 benefit cut. 

BIDEN: That didn't happen.

RYAN: What we're saying...

BIDEN: More people signed up.

RYAN: These are from your own actuaries.

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

RYAN: What -- there's...

BIDEN: Nobody is...

RYAN: Mr. Vice President, I know...

BIDEN: No, this is...

RYAN: Mr. Vice President, 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 keep interrupting each other. 

BIDEN: Well, don't take all the four minutes then.