Biden’s Factual Errors, Raddatz’ Biased Performance
October 13, 2012 1 Comment
The VP debate fallout has been interesting to say the least. Paul Ryan has all but been forgotten about. His performance was mediocre on policy but at this point no one seems to care. He’s being given a pass, largely because he came off as nice and polite in comparison to Joe Biden and Martha Raddatz. We’ve previously discussed Biden’s ridiculous, condescending attitude and gestures. It’s his policy statements which drifted from inaccurate to surprising that are of interest today. As for Raddatz, we now know she attended a press “women’s event” at the Vice President’s residence just a few months ago. She also has a history of attacking conservatives at debates. What makes a good moderator?
Biden made a number of factual blunders the other night. Let’s begin with one that you might characterize as a lie. He blamed Ryan and the Republicans for voting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He claimed to vote against them. He in fact voted for both wars, which he had to know was the case. For him to act like a know it all old man who knew better than those silly Republicans concerning the wars when its public record is simply the height of stupidity. The question then comes why didn’t Ryan call him on it. But that’s another matter.
On taxes Biden claimed that Obama’s tax increases on the “rich” would only hit those making over $1,000,000. That’s factually incorrect. Obama favors letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the rich, which would raise taxes on those making over $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for married couples. We won’t say that Biden lied there, perhaps he was giving away Obama’s negotiating strategy on the issue after the election. Or perhaps he’s confusing some Democrats demand to raise taxes even further on those making over a million. Still, what he said to the American public didn’t represent the truth even if it didn’t represent an actual lie.
Biden claimed that the ambassador in Libya never requested more security. That ought to be news to the State Department folks who testified earlier in the week in Congress that more security was requested. Biden as well as the administration was all over the place on Libya. It’s clear that their story was either inaccurate or an outright lie. It’s impossible to say which it is at this point. That the Vice President has no idea that more security was requested in Libya, especially considering that the Benghazi consulate had been attacked prior to 9-11-12 makes you wonder about Biden if not the administration.
What makes a good debate moderator? I enjoyed how Jim Lehrer handled the first Presidential debate. He allowed the candidates to go back and forth, he let them ask questions of each other. It was a real debate with the moderator setting it up by shifting the issues discussed and only butting in to ensure both sides got equal time. It’s a stark contrast from what debates used to be. Go back to the previous debates when the moderator asked questions and each candidate got a certain amount of time to respond. It was less a debate and more a joint press conference.
Raddatz is being praised to the hilt by the left for her performance. She was anything but passive. She played Barbara Walters tough girl journalist. That would be fine if she was hosting a one on one interview. But this was a VP debate. It’s not her job as the moderator to follow up with attack questions or with statements expressing doubt in what a candidate has said. Let the opponent do that, it’s a debate after all. Instead, it was a two on one, usually directed at Paul Ryan. Raddatz rarely questioned what Biden said but consistently questioned Ryan. Not surprising given her past history, which calls into question why she was a moderator. Had she been like Jim Lehrer her conflict wouldn’t have mattered much.
Only 50 million people watched the VP debate. That’s down from the nearly 70 million who watched both the 2008 Palin-Biden debate (Palin by the way did much better against Biden than Ryan did) and the first Romney-Obama debate. Less people cared about this debate, I suspect a lot of people turned it off halfway through. Biden’s factual errors likely won’t be noticed by a lot of people because they just don’t care. One wonders why we even bother with these VP debates. They don’t swing the polls, no one cares. Voters didn’t care in 1988 when Quayle looked a fool, they didn’t care in 1992 when Admiral Stockdale looked senile and no one will care that Biden looked like a crazy, obnoxious uncle at a family reunion. All that matters to voters are the Presidential debates.