Students say Biden outshined his running mate during debate
Published: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 14, 2012 16:10
Cal State Long Beach students filled the Nugget Grill and Pub and drank a pint Thursday night while moaning and griping not at a failed pass or touchdown but instead at the vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan.
Associated Students Inc. President John Haberstroh and Vice President Jonathon Bolin watched the debate at the Nugget alongside other members of ASI. Haberstroh said he enjoys the debates because they show what candidates actually believe.
“I think the debates are a good way to see the candidate’s core beliefs,” he said. “People are often carried away by politicians’ fancy talk, so getting rid of that is good."
Martha Raddatz moderated the debate and students praised her for her composed performance.
"The moderator was wonderful," Victoria Chung, a senior political science major, said. "She kept those men in line. She asked really fundamental questions and called Biden and Ryan out."
The debate was formatted to include questions concerning both foreign and domestic policy, with topics including the economy, war, outsourcing and abortion.
Most students said that they thought that Biden came out on top.
"Biden won it," junior criminal justice major Elmer Amaya said. "He was more experienced in foreign policy and made Paul Ryan look like a rookie. [Ryan] looked confused, and he wasn't as sure about his answers as Biden was."
Highlights of the evening included Biden’s facial reactions to Ryan’s statements about Mitt Romney’s policies and plans, often laughing off and interrupting Ryan.
Salvador Ortega, a public policy and administration graduate student, said the debate was predictable, because Barack Obama’s performance at the presidential debate was disappointing while Romney’s performance helped put him ahead in the polls.
“I expected the outcome,” he said. “Biden seemed overly aggressive to make up for Obama's passiveness in the last debate."
Chung said that Biden held a stronger presence throughout the debate.
"Of course Joe Biden won,” she said. “He wasn't about rhetoric; he actually talked about policies and was able to counter Ryan's lies. Like he said over and over, it’s all about the facts."
Senior political science major Paula Abad said that even though she was rooting for Biden, Ryan did a very good job.
"Ryan carried himself very well," she said. "He represents the Romney-Ryan ticket better than Romney does."
Michael Richter, a graduate teaching credential student, said that both candidates did well. However, he said that there was a lack of concrete facts.
“I didn’t really notice a lot of substance with what Ryan was saying, where at least the emotion with Biden, people can feel it,” he said.
Ortega said that ultimately, the vice presidential debate is not all that important.
"It’s just like a presidential debate isn't that important,” he said. “Ultimately the House of Representatives and the Senate make and pass the laws, the president just proposes. As long as there is no bipartisanship advancement, we're going to continue seeing rough times."