While Paul Ryan showed his nerves in Thursday’s debate by drinking “enough water to be a camel,” vice president Joe Biden’s performance was marked by “clown faces, grimaces, and smiles,” debate expert and pollster Matt Towery tells Newsmax.
“His facial reactions were like that of a novice debater, who was in his first debate round — perhaps in junior varsity,” observed Towery in an exclusive interview. “I mean continuing to make clown faces, and grimaces and smiles. That’s going to be what people are talking about tomorrow.”
Towery blames Biden’s debate coaches who most likely counseled the vice president to shake his head from side to side and smile a bit during Ryan attacks.
“No one probably imagined that he would interpret a smile as being just an out and out uncontrollable sort of toothy smile that overwhelmed the camera — and the shaking of the head that seemed to be just plain disrespectful,” said Towery, who was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s first debate coach. “And if anyone had any idea, that they intended to go split camera, he should have been much better prepared as to how he was going to respond to that.”
Desite Biden’s distracting movements, Towery scored the event a “split decision,” primarily because Ryan appeared to be battling nerves for the first half of the evening.
“If you noticed in the first half of the debate Ryan drank enough water to be a camel. I mean every time we looked at him he was going to that glass of water,” said Towery. “That’s generally a sign of someone who’s not comfortable in their presentation. We usually take water away from people unless they’re choking. So in this instance I could tell that he wasn’t particularly confident in his answers.”
Even so, Ryan managed to hold his own against the veteran incumbent.
“Ryan really comes away with more from that debate,” said Towery, who noted that the Obama campaign had attempted to portray Ryan as “somehow not only to the right of Romney, but somehow dangerously to the right — sort of a wildman."
Ryan came into the debate very controlled, said Towery. "If anything he was a little bit more subdued.”
That kept the disparate ages of the candidates from being an issue for the 27-years-younger Ryan.
“For a guy who’s 42 years old to be subdued is about the only way to keep from appearing to appear almost immature,” said Towery. “Had he been bouncing around all over the place in that debate it would not have come across as him being the aggressor. It would have come across as him being a neophyte and wet behind the ears.”
Ryan will most likely be viewed by voters as someone who didn’t fold under the pressure of the night, said Towery.
“Whether they declare him the winner or not, Ryan walks away viewed as someone who can take on a vice president of the United States, hold his own, walk away with some people thinking he won, maybe some people thinking he lost,” added Towery.
"That’s about all you can ask for in one of these vice presidential debates.”
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