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Biden, Ryan hold their own in tough vice presidential debate (+video)

Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan went at it in a strong, substantial debate Thursday night. Both men succeeded in articulating their campaign's main talking points, and both likely helped boost the candidacies of their presidential ticket partners.

Vice President Joe Biden and rival Republican Paul Ryan discuss foreign policy and the economy in a high-stakes debate as the election campaign continues. Sarah Charlton, Reuters, reports.
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In a strong, substantial debate marked by testy exchanges as well as mutual personal respect, Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan spent 90 minutes Thursday night arguing about everything from the nation’s economy to abortion to Iran and Syria.

If the job of both men was to support and boost the candidacies of their respective presidential ticket partners, then both succeeded in what likely will be seen as the most important vice presidential debate in US political history.

Mr. Biden strongly questioned the major policies espoused by Mitt Romney, injecting vigor and humor into a campaign tripped up by President Obama’s lackluster and somewhat sour performance in his first presidential debate. Mr. Ryan held his own in the rhetorical cut and thrust of political disputation with his far more experienced opponent, showing what some analysts found to be a surprisingly detailed knowledge of foreign policy and national security issues.

Much of the success of the debate was attributed to moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News, who deftly kept the two men on track through the nine subjects covered in 10-minute segments – permitting enough back-and-forth to keep it a real debate without allowing the disputants to take over, as many observers had noted about the first presidential debate moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS.

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