Here are the two points that stuck with me most from last night’s debate. To me, at least, it’s at the heart of why Obama still holds the upper hand in this tight Presidential race. Both are serious issues, unrelated to an awkward laugh or smile. And the American people are interested in substance, not just style:
IMPROVEMENTS IN THE ECONOMY:
Mr. Ryan, as always, refused to acknowledge the improvement in the economy, at one point throwing out a canned talking point about the increase in unemployment in the depressed industrial city of Scranton, Pa., Mr. Biden’s hometown. “That’s how it’s going all around America,” he said, ignoring the steady reduction in the national jobless rate, which dipped to 7.8 percent last month.
“You don’t read the statistics,” Mr. Biden said, jumping in. “That’s not how it’s going. It’s going down.” He repeatedly pointed out that Mr. Romney had firmly opposed the federal bailout of the auto industry, which turned out to be the single biggest act of job creation in the last four years. Mr. Ryan responded weakly that Mr. Romney was a “car guy,” but offered little in the way of economic proposals beyond cutting taxes and ridiculing the Obama administration’s stimulus program.
Ryan took the stance that his personal faith and public opinion are tied, and for this reason is pro-life.
He said, “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.” Furthermore, he criticized the Democratic party for allying themselves too closely with abortion, which he feels is infringing upon religious liberties, citing examples such as Biden’s visit to China.
Biden made a fine distinction in his faith. Though he, too, personally accepts his faith’s position on abortion, unlike Ryan, he does “not believe that we have a right to tell other people that – women they can’t control their body.” Fundamentally, he said, he differs in opinion from his opponent.
Biden began by talking about his acceptance, on a personal level, of the Catholic Church’s teaching that human life begins at conception: 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—the congressman. I—I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that—women 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.
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