Toledo, Ohio - How stark were the foreign policy differences between the two presidential candidates in Monday night's debate? It depends on which running mate you ask.
At a rally Tuesday morning on the University of Toledo campus, Vice President Joe Biden declared former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had been "rushing to agree with President Obama." Biden was pushing an argument he had teed off earlier in morning interviews, during which he said the differences Ryan staked out during their foreign policy one-off had "evaporated" in MItt Romney and President Obama's third and final debate.
"I was stunned and pleased that Governor Romney had disavowed so many things he's said in the past and acknowledged...that the president was right on so many things," the vice president told the Toledo crowd of approximately 1,500 people.
By contrast Paul Ryan said Romney's debate performance laid out "clear distinctions on how we should go forward in this country." His praise of the Republican presidential candidate was part of a 3-net morning show round robin both running mates participated in following the debate.
Highlighting their disapproval of how the administration has handled Iran, Libya, and looming defense cuts, Ryan echoed the governor's assessment of the country's Navy capabilities. During the debate, the president had rebuffed Romney's critique with the widely remembered quip, "You mention the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets."
"To compare modern American battleships and Navy with bayonets -- I just don't understand that comparison," Ryan said on CBS This Morning. "Look, we have to have a strong Navy to keep peace and prosperity and sea lanes open."
In Ohio, Biden backed up the president.
"Folks, whether it was the strength of the United States Navy or our plans for Afghanistan or how to handle Iran or our relationship with Israel -- you got a very clear sense these guys don't get it," he said in an apparent affirmation of the foreign policy differences between the two party tickets.
Biden has modified his attack lines according to what the Obama campaign sees as Romney's shift towards the center. Biden has gone from characterizing the GOP ticket as extreme to calling them "etch-a-sketchy."
"Some days they go out there and rattle the sabres, some days they are doves carrying olive branches," the vice president said at the Toledo rally, savoring what appeared to be one of his favorite attack lines of the day.