Biden Interruptions Marred VP Debate

Author and commentator Lowell Ponte asks how Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan could have responded to Vice President Joe Biden's interruptions and smirking in response to nearly every sentence Congressman Ryan said. Ponte expected the moderator to be biased and she was, cutting Ryan off repeatedly and allowing Biden to keep talking.

By Lowell Ponte
Friday, 12 Oct 2012 10:19 AM

Following Thursday night's vice-presidential debate, I asked myself how might Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan have responded to Vice President Joe Biden's almost childish interruptions and clownish laughing and smirking in response to nearly every sentence Congressman Ryan uttered.

Ryan could have said the following.

"I'm here explaining how terrorists just murdered an American diplomat who had been refused security protection by the Obama-Biden administration, how Iran could soon arm terrorists with a bomb that might soon turn New York City or Cleveland or Philadelphia [continue with list of the biggest city in every swing state] into a radioactive hole in the ground, and why our economy is near collapse and tens of millions of people desperately need full-time jobs.

"Yet Vice President Biden apparently finds such things funny. Part of our problem is that the Obama-Biden administration for almost four years has not taken the dangers America faces seriously and therefore only made things worse, not better as they promised four years ago."

This response by Ryan would have either shut Biden down or made him discredit himself by continuing with his smirks, silly grins, and laughter.

Some expected moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News to be biased — and she was, cutting Ryan off repeatedly, while letting Biden interrupt or talk over every other sentence Ryan said.

Ryan could have said: "When it's Vice President Biden's turn to talk, he talks. When it's my turn to talk, Mr. Biden keeps talking . . . and deliberately interrupting me so that people cannot hear what I'm saying.

"This is disrespectful to millions of Americans who tuned in to hear both sides in this debate, not just Mr. Biden's side."

This would have alienated Biden from moderate and open-minded viewers and would have turned Biden's tawdry tactic into a self-destruct device.

It would have forced Biden to end the cheap shots and try instead to use his aging neurons in a struggle — evident many times during Biden's remarks — to remember all the lines and slogans with which his handlers from Chicago had programmed Mr. Biden in the week prior to this debate.

It will be fascinating to see whether, and how much in either direction, Thursday night's debate moves voters.

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