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Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan: Facts matter

Vice presidential debate

Vice President Biden won tonight's debate. Facts and details matter, and Vice President Biden delivered both with conviction and integrity. Congressman Paul Ryan had his chance to explain the Romney-Ryan plan to voters, but time and again he offered vague, empty promises rather than confronting the real impact their ideas would have on the middle class.

With straightforward facts, honest convictions, and forceful answers, the Vice President illustrated how he’s spent a lifetime fighting for the middle class and how he and President Obama will continue doing so in a second term.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened in Kentucky.

Asked about our recovery from the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the Vice President contrasted President Obama's record with Mitt Romney's rhetoric:

“We immediately went out and rescued General Motors and cut taxes for the middle class … and when that occurred, what did Romney do? He said no, ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.’ We moved in and helped people refinance their homes. Governor Romney said no, let foreclosures hit the bottom.

"But it shouldn’t be surprising for a guy who says 47% of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their lives … These people are my mom and dad, the people I grew up with and my neighbors. They pay more effective tax than Governor Romney pays on his federal income tax. They are elderly people who are living off Social Security. They are veterans and people fighting in Afghanistan right now who are, quote, not paying any taxes. I’ve had it up to here with this notion that 47%—it’s about time they take some responsibility here.”

Asked about Medicare, Ryan repeated the same Republican attack on the President's record that has been “repeatedly debunked” by independent fact-checkers. Vice President Biden responded:

“We cut the cost of Medicare, we stopped overpaying insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. The AMA supports what we did, AARP endorsed what we did. And [we] extended the life of Medicare to 2024. [Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan] want to wipe this all out… Any senior out there, ask yourself, do you have more benefits today? You do if you’re near the doughnut hole, you have $600 more to help your prescription drug costs, you get wellness visits without co-pays. They wipe all of this out and Medicare becomes insolvent in 2016.”

When asked for details on the President's tax plan, Vice President Biden was blunt:

“The middle class will pay less, and people making a million dollars or more will begin to contribute slightly more.”

Paul Ryan, on the other hand, repeatedly dodged the debate moderator's request that he name any specifics about Romney's tax plan, or how he would pay for it without adding to the deficit or raising taxes on middle-class families.

One issue after issue, Vice President Biden offered specifics. Congressman Paul Ryan ignored the facts, and offered no details.

Near the end, the Vice President explained:

"I never say anything I don’t mean. Everybody knows whatever I say, I do, and my whole life has been devoted to leveling the playing field for middle-class people: giving them an even break, treating Main Street and Wall Street the same, holding everyone to the same responsibility. Look at my record. It’s been all about the middle class. They’re the people who grow this country. We think you grow this country from middle out, not from the top down.”

Check out the full coverage at And if you’re on #TeamJoe tonight, let everyone know.

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