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Press Release: What They're Saying: A Tale Of Two Debate Performances

October 12, 2012


"Confident" And "Intelligent" Vs. "Overboard" And "Derisive"

What They're Saying About Paul Ryan's "Intelligent, Calm, And Mature" Debate Performance:

Time's Mark Halperin: "Intelligent, Calm, And Mature."(Time, 10/11/12)

Boston Globe's Glen Johnson: Paul Ryan "Showed An American Electorate Still Getting To Know The Republican Vice Presidential Nominee That He Is No Pushover." "Against that backdrop, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin stepped onto likely his biggest stage yet on Thursday night and showed an American electorate still getting to know the Republican vice presidential nominee that he is no pushover." (Boston Globe, 10/12/12)

The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan: "Mr. Ryan Was Generally Earnest, Fluid, Somewhat Wonky, Confident."(The Wall Street Journal, 10/12/12)

Las Vegas Review-Journal's Sherman Frederick: "But In The End, You Gotta Give The Young Mr. Paul Ryan The Victory In The Close Contest On Style Points."(Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/11/12)

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake: "Ryan Defined The Term 'Steady.'" (The Washington Post, 10/12/12)

The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman: Paul Ryan "Was Cooler, Often Coming Off As Confident, And Fluent In The Policy Underlying His Arguments." "If Mr. Biden was sometimes openly emotional, a hot on-screen presence, Mr. Ryan, 27 years his junior, was cooler, often coming off as confident, and fluent in the policy underlying his arguments." (The New York Times, 10/12/12)

What They're Saying About Vice President Joe Biden's "Odd, Off-Putting Performance":

Time's Mark Halperin: "An Odd, Off-Putting Performance, Far Too Lacking In The Many Attractive Aspects Of Biden's Personality ... Over-The-Top Aggressiveness..." "In a debate without much news or many breakthrough moments, Biden's overheated style is almost sure to be the media, late-night laugher, and conservative takeaway from the ninety minutes. ... Democratic partisans will say he fought hard and schooled Ryan on every topic; many others will find his an odd, off-putting performance, far too lacking in the many attractive aspects of Biden's personality. ... Obama can borrow a few elements of Biden's performance, but the over-the-top aggressiveness won't be seen again on the Democratic side in the remaining two debates." (Time, 10/11/12)

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza: "Went A Little Bit Overboard And, At Times, Bordered On Bullying Ryan ... Derisive Smiles And Laughs..." "But, it felt to us like he went a little bit overboard and, at times, bordered on bullying Ryan.  Biden's derisive smiles and laughs while Ryan tried to answer questions weren't great optics for the vice president and his repeated interruptions won't make those who think politics should be more civil happy." (The Washington Post, 10/11/12)

Boston Globe's Glen Johnson: "Verged On Losing His Cool... Such Aggressiveness Carried The Risk Of Turning Off Moderate, Independent Voters..." "But Biden, at 69, also verged on losing his cool with the 42-year-old congressman, constantly interrupting him as would a parent exasperated with the commentary of a chatty teen. ... While warming to Democrats, such aggressiveness carried the risk of turning off moderate, independent voters in a race polling nationally within the margin of error." (Boston Globe, 10/12/12)

National Journal's Ron Fournier: "It Is Impossible To Predict How Voters Will View Biden's Frequent Interruptions, His Tense Smiles, And His Derisive Laughter."(National Journal, 10/12/12)

The Washington Post's Dan Balz And Phillip Rucker: "[M]ay Have Hurt His Case By Smiling Sarcastically As Ryan Made Some Of His Points And Interrupting Repeatedly..." "But he may have hurt his case by smiling sarcastically as Ryan made some of his points and interrupting repeatedly as the Wisconsin congressman defended his and Romney's policies." (The Washington Post, 10/11/12)

The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan:  "Biden Was Weirdly Aggressive ... Disrespectful And Full Of Bluster ... Mr. Biden's Style Poisoned His Content." "Last night Mr. Biden was weirdly aggressive, if that is the right word for someone who grimaces, laughs derisively, interrupts, hectors, rolls his eyes, browbeats and attempts to bully. He meant to dominate, to seem strong and no-nonsense. Sometimes he did—he had his moments. But he was also disrespectful and full of bluster. ... I have just realized the problem with the debate: it was the weird distance between style and content, and the degree to which Mr. Biden's style poisoned his content." (The Wall Street Journal, 10/12/12)

Boston Herald's Joe Battenfeld: "Constant Smiling And Guffawing Could Overshadow His Performance And Turn Off Undecided Voters." "Vice President Joe Biden did give the president what he needed last night — a jolt of energy and a strong defense — but his constant smiling and guffawing could overshadow his performance and turn off undecided voters." (Boston Herald, 10/12/12)

Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs: "The Smirking From The Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Might Turn Off Some Voters In Iowa ..." "But the smirking from the Democratic vice presidential candidate might turn off some voters in Iowa, where polling has shown he has a likability gap, politics analysts here said." (Des Moines Register, 10/12/12)

Fox News' Brit Hume: "It Was Unattractive ... It Was Rude..." "I thought it was unattractive, I thought it was rude and I have a feeling it will come across to an awful lot of people as rude." (Fox News, 10/12/12)

Mitt Romney, Press Release: What They're Saying: A Tale Of Two Debate Performances Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/303656

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