How did the two campaigns see the Vice Presidential debate on Thursday? Team Romney doesn’t seem to be feeling too defensive about Paul Ryan’s performance — and apparently want voters to see Joe Biden’s. Their new ad shows Ryan explaining that the country needs the fiscal discipline that the Obama administration lacks, while Biden throws rhetorical discipline (and manners) to the wind:
We can’t keep spending and borrowing like this. We can’t just keep spending money we don’t have. Look did they come in and inherit a tough situation? Absolutely. But we’re going in the wrong direction! Look at where we are. The economy is barely limping along.
Don’t raise taxes on small businesses, because they’re our job creators.
Leaders run to problems to fix problems. Mitt Romney is uniquely qualified to fix these problems.
So, what kind of ads are Team Obama running after the debate?
— David L Alexander (@manwithblackhat) October 14, 2012
Apparently, they still don’t have a message that doesn’t include puppets and misdirection. And this isn’t the only moment from the debate where Team Romney can go after Biden. He laughed his way through a conversation on Iranian nuclear weapons, which even creeped out Tom Brokaw. Don’t be surprised to see that in an ad soon.
Here’s another measure of how the two campaigns saw the VP debate. Mitt Romney’s on the stump in Ohio, campaigning hard in the last three weeks before the election. Obama, however, is in seclusion, trying to figure out how to fix his debate debacles:
“In times like this, what is [President Obama] talking about? Saving Big Bird,” the Republican presidential candidate told cheering supporters in Portsmouth, Ohio. “As I look around … his campaign is about smaller and smaller things. And our campaign is about bigger and bigger crowds fighting for a brighter future.”
While Mr. Obama was off the campaign trail Saturday working on preparation for Tuesday’s debate, the Rebublican ticket was busy criss-crossing swing-state Ohio on Saturday, with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan leading a rally in Youngstown and Mr. Romney holding the event in Portsmouth and another in Lebanon.
Mr. Romney has been drawing huge crowds since last week’s debate with Mr. Obama – a debate that even the president’s supporters acknowledged did not go well for the incumbent. On Wednesday the former Massachusetts governor drew almost 10,000 supporters to an event in Sidney, Ohio, that officials originally thought would draw a crowd of about a thousand.
That speaks volumes about the confidence level of both campaigns after the first two debates.
Update: Here’s a brief snapshot of the impact of the VP debate by SurveyUSA in Tampa, Florida. They asked 704 general-population adults — a sample type normally more disposed toward Democrats (D/R/I in this case is 35/37/28, almost exactly the same as the 2010 midterms for the state) — about their impresssions of the debate. Ryan edged Biden as the winner, 42/38, but that’s not the biggest takeaway:
13% say they changed which candidate for President they support as a result of the debate. Of those who tell SurveyUSA they changed their mind:
* 44% switched from the Obama ticket to the Romney ticket.
* 29% switched from undecided to the Romney ticket.
* A total of 73% switched to the Romney ticket.
* 18% switched from the Romney ticket to the Obama ticket.
* 6% switched from undecided to the Obama ticket.
* A total of 24% switched to the Obama ticket.
That’s not a huge sample, obviously, but 13% is around the level of undecided/soft voters nationally. And in Tampa at least, they seem to be breaking hard toward the GOP.