In terms of style, both Biden and Ryan seemed to be natural. At times, Ryan – who acknowledges his love of Power Point presentations – bordered on wonkishness. Some post-debate analysts found Biden bordering on condescension to his much younger opponent, chuckling and rolling his eyes at times as Ryan spoke.
"That is a bunch of malarkey," the vice president declared as Ryan criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policies. "Not a single thing he said is accurate," Biden said when Ryan had laid into the administration for what he said was its failure to provide adequate security at the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy personnel were killed last month in a terrorist attack.
For his part, Ryan looked squarely at Biden when he said, “I know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don't interrupt each other” – the reference to “lost ground” being Obama’s drop in most polls since the presidential debate. Still, Ryan himself did not hesitate to butt in from time to time, although both men were quick to shut up when Ms. Raddatz respectfully but sternly moved them on.
Again and again, Biden emphasized his (and Obama’s) commitment to the middle class, contrasting their political philosophy and policies with that of Romney and Ryan – specifically Romney’s recent controversial comment about the “47 percent” as well as the impact on working Americans of the budget plan Ryan (who chairs the House Budget Committee) has crafted.
“You’ve probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the American people,” Biden said. “He’s talking about my mother and father. He’s talking about the places I grew up.”