Sarah Palin appeared to be somewhat unsure about who won the vice presidential debate Thursday night, but said Paul Ryan did a better job than Vice President Joe Biden of delivering substance over rhetoric in what she described as a "tough format" for the young congressman.
"Really tough [debate] format, Sean, for someone like Paul Ryan, or anyone else up against Joe Biden, when the moderator allowed one candidate to absolutely run roughshod over the conversation, over the opponent," the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee told Fox News' Sean Hannity.
"It reminded me," she added, "of watching a muskox run across the tundra with somebody underfoot. And in this case, when it came to style, it was Paul Ryan underfoot because of the moderator allowing Biden to do interrupting, to kind of take control of the conversations."
Palin's comments were aimed at debate moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News, who was criticized by Hannity and other conservatives as appearing to be tougher on Ryan with her questions than Biden.
The former Alaska governor, who faced off against Biden in 2008, said the vice president was sent in as "the attack dog . . . to compensate for President [Barack] Obama's atrocious showing in his own debate" on Oct. 3 against GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
She acknowledged that Biden came across as "passionate," but said he was passionate "about all the wrong things" like "growing government" and "assuming government is the answer" to the nation's problems.
She said Ryan came across as "more subdued, perhaps," but "more pulled together" when it came to explaining what a Mitt Romney presidency would do for the country.
In the end, she said, voters would likely agree that substance was more important than style in the debate.
"I honestly think at this stage of the race, people are not so obsessed with who is going to come across as more intelligent or more passionate based on words, terminology used, but what is the substance?" she said, adding that voters really want to know what drives the candidates' beliefs, as well as their policies.
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