Washington Times' Decker: Biden's Performance No Help to Obama

Friday, 12 Oct 2012 09:11 AM

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Washington Times editorial page editor Brett Decker’s conclusion on the vice presidential debate is that Vice President Joe Biden’s performance was the most disrespectful in the history of televised debates and a sign of a desperate campaign.
“Make no mistake about it, Mr. Biden’s obnoxious, smirking, rude behavior on the debate stage was the most disrespectful performance of any presidential or vice-presidential candidate in the history of televised election debates, which goes back to the 1960 contest between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Sen. John F. Kennedy,” Decker wrote.

“In the end, the arguments and messages of the two candidates this week didn’t matter so much because Mr. Biden suffered an overwhelming loss on the likability scorecard. As Brit Hume of Fox News characterized the match, ‘It looked like a cranky old man debating a polite young man,’” he wrote.

Decker argues that it was clear that GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., had “the edge with his solid, policy-based answers to the early questions, which forced Mr. Biden to drop the gloves and play dirty.”

“A count by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus showed that Mr. Biden butted in and interrupted Mr. Ryan 82 times,” he said. “The incessant smugness, jesting and sneering condescension might have looked like
Mr. Biden was an unhinged lunatic coming apart at the seams, but it would be a mistake to conclude the inappropriateness was spontaneous on the vice president’s part.

“The Biden sideshow was orchestrated by design because the liberal administration knows it has to avoid the issues, especially the sinking economy,” Decker said

Decker noted the pressure was on Biden because the president’s “campaign is in freefall.”

“After Republican standard-bearer Mitt Romney destroyed President Obama in the Oct. 3 debate, momentum shifted dramatically in the challenger’s favor, with Mr. Romney taking the lead in national polls and jumping ahead or closing the gap in vital swing states.”

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