Vice President Joe Biden was the clear winner in Thursday's debate with GOP contender Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan -- and, in a sometimes heated exchange -- he did what President Barack Obama failed to do in last week's match with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Biden, 69, came to the table that was aggressively moderated by ABC News' Martha Raddatz, armed with plenty of heart, whereas Ryan, 42, didn't display much muster until the ending rounds of the 90-minute nationally televised debate. On the real side, Biden had a lot to say, and he was eager to say it, effectively reassuring voters that as a team, he and Obama understand what the American people deeply care about.
However, while the Biden-Ryan debate solidifies the position Obama assumed prior to the Oct. 3 square-off with Romney, the real fight won't be won until voters flock to the polls on Nov. 6.
In a feisty showdown where there were real clashes and exchanges from the start, Biden often flashed a toothy grin as if to brush off many of Ryan's non-detailed responses to a host of pointed questions by Raddatz.
Ryan who on the other hand, repeatedly harped on the Obama-Biden record of the last four years, was mostly intense and super sensitive. He expounded on the administration's policies – such as those he said have hindered economic recovery and weakened the country's standing and influence on issues that include ensuring American military forces will pull out of Afghanistan by 2014.
"[Americans] are going bankrupt," Ryan said about the future of programs like Medicare and Social Security. "Medicare was there for my grandmother and mother . . . [but in order to ensure] it for my generation, we must reform [those] programs."
He also accused the Obama administration of not having "any credible solutions [for Medicare and Social Security] on the table."
Biden, who insisted the GOP was never big on Medicare -- even from its beginning -- said the Obama administration wouldn't be part of efforts to privatize Social Security or to engage in a vouchers program.
Ryan in turn, took a shot at reviving the economy, noting that like Democrats, the promise of the Republican tax plan is to grow the economy and to create jobs.
"We want to lower tax rates across the board," Ryan said, to which Biden reasoned, "the only way we can close [any] loopholes, is to focus on efforts aimed at helping the middle class."