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tv   Vice Presidential Debate  CNN  October 12, 2012 3:00am-5:00am EDT

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>> nice glasses. >> where did you get those? >> i'm copying you. >> like those? >> nice glasses. >> yeah. >> all right. an encore presentation. get ready, because it's true, an encore presentation of tonight's debate. >> it's true. >> know when it will begin? >> i'm guessing five seconds from now. >> right now. go! >> good evening and welcome to the first and only vice presidential debate of 2012, sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. i'm martha raddatz of abc news and i am honored to moderate this debate between two men who have dedicated much of their lives to public service. tonight's debate is divided between domestic and foreign policy. i'm going to move back and forth between the issues. we will have nine different segments. at the beginning of each segment, i will ask both candidates a question and they
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will each have two minutes to answer. then i will encourage a discussion between the candidates with followup questions. by coin toss, it's been determined that vice president biden will be first to answer the opening question. we have a wonderful audience here at center college tonight. you will no doubt hear their enthusiasm at the end of the debate. and right now, as we welcome vice president biden and congressman paul ryan. [ applause ] >> very nice to see you. okay, you got your wave to the families in. good evening, gentlemen. it is an honor to be here with both of you. i would like to begin with libya.
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on a rather somber note, one month ago tonight, on the anniversary of 9/11, ambassador chris stevens and three other brave americans were killed in a terrorist attack in benghazi. the state department has made clear there were no protesters there. it was a preplanned assault by heavily armed men. wasn't this a massive intelligence failure, vice president biden? >> what it was is a tragedy, martha. i can make two commitments to you and all the american people tonight. one, we will find and bring to justice the men who did this. and secondly, we will get to the bottom of it and wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us, we will make clear to the american public, because whatever mistakes were made, will not be made again. when you're looking at a president, martha, it seems to me that you should take a look at his most important responsibility.
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that's caring for the national security of the country. the best way to do that is to take a look at how he's handled the issues. the president said he would end the war in iraq. governor romney said that was a mistake. with regard to afghanistan, he said he will end the war in 2014. governor romney said we should not sell a date. with regard to 2014, he said it depends. when it came to osama bin laden, the president, the first day in office, i was sitting with him in the oval office. he called in the cia and signed an order saying my highest priority is to get bin laden. prior to the election, prior to him being sworn in, governor romney asked how he would proceed. he said i wouldn't move heaven and earth to get bin laden. he didn't understand it was more about taking a murderer off the battlefield, but restoring america's heart and letting
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terrorists around the world know if you do harm to america, we will track you to the gates of hell if need be. lastly, the president of the united states has led with a steady hand and clear vision. governor romney, the opposite. the last thing we need now is another war. >> congressman ryan? >> we mourn the loss of these four americans who were murdered. when you take a look at what's happened in the last few weeks, they sent the u.n. ambassador out to say that this was because of a protest and a youtube video. it took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack. he went to the u.n. and in his speech at the u.n. he said six times, he talked about the youtube video. look, if we're hit by terrorists, we're going to call it for what it is, a terrorist attack. our ambassador in paris has a marine detachment guarding him. shouldn't we have a marine
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detachment guarding our ambassador in benghazi, a place we knew there was an al qaeda cell with arms? this is becoming more troubling by the day. they first blamed the youtube video. now they're frying to blame the romney-ryan ticket for make thing an issue. with respect to iraq, we had the same position before the withdrawal, which was we agreed with the obama administration. the vice president was put in charge of the negotiations by president obama and they failed to get the agreement. we don't have an agreement because they failed to get one. that's what we were talking about. when it comes to the veterans, we owe them a great debt of gratitude, including your some, beau. >> thank you. >> but we also want to make sure we don't lose the things we fought so hard to get. and we agreed with the 2014 transition in afghanistan.
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but what we also want to do is make sure we're not projecting weakness abroad. this benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself. but unfortunately, it's indicative of a broader problem, and that is what we're watching is the unraveling of the obama foreign policy, which is making things more chaotic and us less safe. >> i want to talk to you right in the middle of the crisis, governor romney, and you're talking about this again tonight, talked about the weakness, talked about apologies from the obama administration. was that appropriate right in the middle of the crisis? >> on that same day, the obama administration had the exact same position. let's recall, they disavowed their own statement they put out early in the day in cairo. it's never too early to speak out for our values. we should have spoken out right away when the green revolution
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was starting, when the mullas in iran were attacking their people. we should not have called assad a reformer when he was turning guns on his own people. we should always stand up for peace, democracy and individual rights and not be imposing these devastating defense cuts. because what that does, when we show -- when we look weak, our enemies are much more willing to test us. and our allies are -- >> with all due respect, that's a bunch of mularkey. >> why is that so? >> nothing he said is accurate. >> be specific. >> i will be very specific. number one, this lecture on embassy security. the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for. number one. so much for the embassy security peace. number two, governor romney, before he knew the facts, before he knew that our ambassador was killed, he was out making a
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political statement, which was panned by the media around the word. word. --world. and this talk about this weakness. i don't understand what my friend is talking about here. this is a president who has gone out and done everything he had said he was going to do. this is a guy who repaired our alliances to the rest of the world follows us again. this is a guy who brought the entire world, including russia and china to bring about the most devastating, most devastating efforts on iran to make sure that they in fact stop -- look, i just -- i mean, these guys bet against america all the time. >> let me go back to libya. who were you first told about the attack? why were people talking about protests? when people in the consulate first saw armed men attacking with guns, there were no protesters. why did that go --
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>> because that's exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. the intelligence community told us that, as they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment. that's why there's also an investigation headed by a leading diplomat from the reagan years, who is doing an investigation as to whether or not there were any lapses, what the lapses were so they will never happen again. >> they wanted more security there. >> we weren't told that. we did not know they wanted more security. and by the way, at the time, we were told exactly -- we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. that was the assessment. as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their view. that why i said we will get to the bottom of this. usually when there's a crisis, we pull together. we pull together as a nation. but as i said, even before we knew what happened to the ambassador, the governor was holding a press conference. that's not presidential leadership.
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>> mr. ryan, i want to ask you about the romney campaign talks a lot about no apologies. he has a book called "no apologies." should the u.s. have apologized for americans burning korans in afghanistan? should the u.s. apologize for u.s. marines urinating on taliban corpses? >> oh, gosh yes. urinating on taliban corpses. >> burning korans? >> what we should not apologizing for is standing up for our values or saying to the egyptian people that mubarak is a good guy and the next week say he ought to go. we should not reject claims for calls for more security. we need marines in benghazi when the commander on the ground says we need more forces for security. there were requests for extra security. those requests were not honored.
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look, this was the anniversary of 9/11. it was libya. a country we knew we had al qaeda cells there, as we know al qaeda and its affiliates are on the rise in northern africa. and we did not give our ambassador in benghazi a marine detachment? of course there's an investigation so we can make sure this never happens again. but when it comes to speaking up for our values, we should not apologize for those. here's the problem. look at all the various issues out there, and it's unraveling before our eyes. the vice president talking about sanctions on iran. >> let's move to iran. i would like to move to iran. there's really no bigger national security this country is facing. president obama and governor romney said they will prevent iran in getting a nuclear weapon, even if that means military action. last week, bob gates said a strike on iran's facilities would not work and "could prove catastrophic, haunting us for
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generations." can the two of you be absolutely clear and specific to the american people how effective would a military strike be? congressman ryan? >> we cannot allow iran to gain a nuclear weapon capability. let's take a look at where we've come from. when barack obama was elected, they had enough nuclear material to make one bomb. now they have enough for five. they're four years closer toward nuclear weapons capability. we've had four different sanctions from the u.n., three from the bush administration and one here. mitt romney proposed these sanctions in 2007. i proposed them in 2009. we had strong bipartisan support and we were able to overrule their objections and put them in despite the administration.
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do you think iran is not brazen? look at what they're doing. they tried a terrorist attack in the united states last year when they tried to blow up the saudi ambassador at a restaurant in washington, d.c. talk about credibility. when this administration says that all options are on the table, they send out senior administration officials that send all these mixed signals. to solve this peacefully, which is everybody's goal, you have to have the ayatollahs change their mind. it's because this administration delayed sanctions. now we have sanctions in place because of congress. they say the military options are on the table, but it's not being viewed as credible. the key is to make sure we have credibility. under a romney administration, we will have credibility on this issue.
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>> vice president biden? >> incredible. look, imagine had we let republican congress work out the sanctions. do you think there's any possibility the entire world would have joined us? russia and china? all of our allies? these are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period, period. when governor romney is asked about it, he said we've got to keep these sanctions. are you going to go to war? is that what you want to do now? >> we want to prevent war. >> how are they going to prevent war? they say there's nothing more we should do than what we've already done. number two, with regard to the ability to have the united states to take action militarily, it is not in my per view to talk about classified information, but we feel confident that we can deal a serious blow to the iranians. number two, the iranians are --
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the israelis and the united states and the military intelligence communities are the same exact place in terms of how close, how close the iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon. they are a good way away. there is no difference between our view and theirs. when my friend talks about nuclear material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20% up and then have something to put it in. there is no weapon that the iranians have at this point. the israelis and we know, we'll know if they start the process of building a weapon. so all this bluster i keep hearing, all this loose talk, what are they talking about? are you talking about to believe more credible -- what more can the president do, stand before the united nations, tell the whole word, directly communicate to the ayatollah, we will not let them acquire a nuclear weapon, period.
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unless he's talking about going to war. >> martha, let's just look at this from the view of the ayatollahs. what do they see? they see this administration trying to water down sanctions in congress for over two years. they're moving faster toward a nuclear weapon. they're spinning the centrifuges faster. they see us coming into the administration, we need more space with other ally, israel. they see president obama in new york city, the same day the prime minister of israel is here, instead of meeting with him, goes on a talk show. they see the defense secretary walk these sanctions back. they are not changing their mind. that's what we have to do is change their minds so they stop pursuing nuclear weapons. >> look, you both saw benjamin netanyahu hold up with picture of a bomb with a red line and talking about the red line be in spring. can you solve this, if the
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romney-ryan ticket is elected, can you solve this in two months before spring and avoid nuclear iran? >> we can debate the timeline, whether it's that short of time or longer. i agree that it's probably longer. number two, it's -- >> you don't agree with that bomb and what the israeli -- >> i don't want to go into classified stuff, but we both agree that to do this peacefully, you have to get them to change their minds. they're not changing their minds and look at what this administration does -- >> let me tell you what the ayatollahs sees. he sees his economy being crippled. the ayatollah sees there are 50% fewer exports of oil. he sees the currency going into the tank. he sees the economy going into a freefall. and he sees the world for the first time totally united in opposition to him getting a nuclear weapon.
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with regard to netanyahu, he's been my friend for 39 years. the president has met with him a dozen times and spoken to him as much as he's spoken to nibble. i was -- just before he went to the u.n., i was in a conference call with the president, with him talking to netanyahu for well over an hour. in stark relief and detail about what was going on. this is a bunch of stuff. look, here's the deal. >> what does that mean, a bunch of stuff? >> it's simply inaccurate. >> it's irish. >> we irish call it mularkey. last thing, the secretary of defense has made it clear, we didn't walk anything back. we will not allow the iranians to get a nuclear weapon. what netanyahu held up was when they get to the point they can enrich uranium to put into a weapon. they don't have a weapon to put it into. iran is more isolated today than when we took office.
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it is totally isolated. >> thank heavens we have these sanctions in place. it's in spite of their opposition. they have given 20 waivers to this sanction. all i have to point to are the results. they're four years closer to a nuclear weapon. >> by the way, who is worse, another war in the middle east -- >> they're closer to being able to get enough nuclear to put in a weapon if they had a weapon. >> you're acting like they don't want one. >> facts matter, martha. facts matter. all this loose talk about all they have to do is get to enrich uranium and they have a weapon. not true. not true. they are more -- and if we ever have to take action, unlike when we took office, we'll have the world behind us. and that matters. that matters. >> what about bob gates' statement?
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could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations. >> he's right. >> congressman ryan? >> it undermines our credibility that all options are on the table. that's the point. the ayatollahs see these statements and think, i'm going to get a nuclear weapon. when we see the kind of equivocation that took place, because this administration wanted a precondition policy, so when the green revolution started up, they were silent for nine days. when say see us putting daylight between ourselves and our allies in israel, that gives them encouragement. when they see russia watering down sanctions, when they see this kind of activity, they are encouraged to continue --
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>> martha -- >> let me ask you what's worse, war in the middle east, another war in the middle east or a nuclear armed iran? >> i'll tell you what's worse. a nuclear armed iran triggers a nuclear arms race in the middle east. this is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism. they're dedicated to wiping off an entire country off the map, they call us the great satan. >> vice president biden? >> we can't live with that. >> war should always be the absolute last resort. that's why these crippling sanctions that netanyahu says we should continue and governor romney says we should continue. i may be mistaken. he changes his mind so often, i could be wrong. but the fact is, he says they're working. and the fact is, that they are being crippled by them. and we've made it clear, big nations can't bluff. this president doesn't bluff.
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>> i want to bring the conversation to the state of our economy, the number one issue here at home is jobs. the percentage of unemployed
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just fell 8% for the first time in 43 months. the obama administration had projected that it would fall below 6% now after the addition of close to a trillion dollars in stimulus money. will both of you level with the american people, can you get unemployment to under 6% and how long will it take? >> i don't know how long it will take. we can and will get it under 6%. let's look at where we were when we came into office. the economy was in freefall. 9 million people lost their jobs. 1.6 trillion dollars of wealth lost in equity in your homes and retirement accounts for the middle class. we knew we had to act for the middle class and we went out and rescued general motors. we made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class, and in addition to that, when that occurred, what did romney do? romney said no, let detroit go bankrupt.
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we moved in and helped people refinance their loans. governor romney says 47% of the american people are unwilling to take responsibility of their lives. my friend said 30% are takers. these people are my mom and dad, my neighbors. they pay more tax than governor romney pays. they are elderly people who in fact are living off of social security. there are veterans who are not quote not paying taxes. i've had it up to here with this notion -- instead of signing pledges not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, we're going to level the playing field. we're going to give you a fair shot again. we are going to not repeat the mistakes we made in the past by
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having a different set of rules for wall street and main street. making sure that we continue to hemorrhage these tax cuts for the super wealthy. they're pushing the continuation of a tax cut that will give an additional $500 billion in tax cuts to 120,000 families. and they're holding hostage the middle class tax cut, because they say we won't pass, we won't continue the middle class tax cut unless you give it for the super wealthy. it's about time they take responsibility. >> mr. ryan? >> joe and i are from similar towns. he's from scranton, pennsylvania. i'm from janesville, wisconsin. you know what the unemployment rate in scranton is? it's 10%. the day you came into office it was 8.5%. that's how it's going all around america. >> that's not how it is, it's going down. >> did they inherit a tough situation? absolutely.
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but we're going in the wrong direction. look at where we are. the economy is barely limping along. it's growing at 1.3%. that's slower than last year and last year was slower than the year before. job growth in september was slower than it was in august and august was slower than july. we're heading in the wrong direction. 23 million americans are struggling for work today. 15% of americans are living in poverty today. this is not what a real recovery looks like. we need real reforms and that's what we're proposing. it's a five point plan. get america energy independent by the end of the decade. help people that are hurting get the skills to get the job they want. make trade work for america so we can make more things in america. and sell them overseas and champion small businesses. don't raise taxes on small businesses because they're the job creators. he talks about detroit.
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mitt romney is a car guy. let me tell you about the mitt romney i know. this is a guy two i was talking to a family in massachusetts the other day. cheryl and mark nixon. their kids were hit in a car crash, four of them, two of them, rob and reed, were paralyzed. the romneys didn't know them. they went to the same church, they never met before. mitt asked if he would come over for christmas. he brought his wife and boys and gifts and later said, i know you're struggling, mark. don't worry about their college, i'll pay for it. when mark told me this story, he said it wasn't the cash help. it's that he gave his time and he has consistently. this is a man who gave 30% of his income to charity, more than the two of us combined. mitt romney cares about 100% of americans in this country. with respect to that quote, i think the vice president knows
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that words sometimes don't come out of your mouth the right way. >> but i always say what i mean. and so does romney. >> we want everybody to succeed. we want to get people out of poverty. we believe in opportunity. that's what we're going to push for in a romney administration. >> vice president? i have a feeling you have a few things to say here. >> the idea, if you heard that little quote about the 30%, if you think that, i've got a bridge to sell you. i don't doubt his personal generosity. i understand what it's like. when i was a little younger than the congressman, my wife was in an accident, killed my daughter and my wife and my two sons survived. i've sat in the homes of many people that have gone through what i have gone through.
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so i don't doubt his personal commitment to individuals. but you know what? i know he had no commitment to the automobile industry. he said let it go bankrupt, period. let it drop out. all this talk, we saved a million jobs. 200,000 people are working today. and i've never met two guys more down on america across the board. we're told everything is going badly. 5.2 million new jobs, private sector jobs. we need more. but 5.2 million. if they would get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class and make it permanent. if they would let us allow 14 million people struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down, just get out of the way. stop talking about how you care about people. show me something.
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show me a policy. show me a policy where you take responsibility. and by the way, they talk about this great recession as if it fell out of the sky, like oh, my goodness, where it did come from? it came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion dollar tax cut for the wealthy. i voted against them. i said no, we can't afford that. now all of a sudden these guys are so seized with the concern about the debt that they created -- >> congressman ryan? >> let's not forget that they came in with one party control. when barack obama was elected, his party controlled everything. they had the ability to do everything of their choosing and look at where we are right now. they passed the stimulus. the idea that we could borrow $831 billion, spend it on these special interest groups and it
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would work out just fine. that unemployment would never get to 8%. they said right now if we just pass this stimulus, the economy would grow at 4%. it' growing at 1.3%. >> when did you get it below 6%? >> that's the entire premise of our plan. getting the economy growing at 4%. creating 12 million jobs in four years. $90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups. just at the department of energy, there are over 100 criminal investigations that have been launched -- >> martha, look, his colleague runs an investigative committee, spent months and months going -- >> this is the inspector general. >> they found no evidence of cronyism. and i love my friend here. i am not allowed to show letters, but go to our website. he sent me two letters saying, by the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of wisconsin?
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we sent millions of dollars. >> you did ask for stimulus money, correct? >> on two occasions, we advocated for constituents applying for grants. >> i love that. this is such a bad program and he writes me a letter staying, the reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs. his words. and now he's sitting here looking at me, and by the way, that program, again, investigated. what the congress said was, it was a model. less than 0.4% waste or fraud in the program. all this talk about cronyism. they investigated and did not find any evidence. i wish he would be a little more candid. >> was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on cars in finland or wind mills in china. was it a good idea to borrow this money from china and spend
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it on these interest groups? >> it was a good idea to stop us from going off the cliff and set the conditions to grow again. we have in fact 4% of those green jobs didn't go under. it's a better batting average than investment bankers had. >> where are the 5 million green jobs -- >> i want to move on here to medicare and entitlements. >> by the way, any letter you send me, i'll entertain. >> i appreciate that, joe. [ male announcer ] break the grip of back or arthritis pain
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>> both medicare and social security are going broke and
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taking a larger share of the budget in the process. will benefits for americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive, mr. ryan? >> absolutely. medicare and social security are going bankrupt. these are indisputable facts. we've all had tragedies in our lives. i think about what they've done for my own family. my mom and i had my grandmother move in with us facing alzheimer's. medicare was there for us. after my dad died, my mom and i got social security and paid for college benefits. helped her go back to college in her 50s. he paid all of her taxes on the promise that these programs would be there for her. we will honor these promises. you see, if you reform these programs for my generation, people 54 and below, you can guarantee they don't change for people in or near retirement,
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which is what mitt romney and i proposing. look what obama care does. it takes $716 billion from medicare to spend on obama care. you can't spend the same dollar twice. you can't claim this money goes to medicare and obama care. then they put this obama care board in charge of cutting medicare each year that will lead to denial of care for current seniors. social security, if we don't shore up social security, when we run out of the ious, when the program goes bankrupt, a 25% across the board benefit cut kicks in on seniors in the middle of their retirement. they haven't put a credible solution on the table. he'll tell you about vouchers and say all these things to scare people. give younger people, when they become medicare eligible,
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guaranteed coverage options that you can't be denied, including traditional medicare. more coverage for middle income people and total out of pocket coverage for the poor and sick. choice and competition. we would rather have 50 million future seniors determine how their medicare is delivered to them, instead of 15 bureaucrats deciding what, when, if and where they get it. >> i heard that death panel argument from sarah palin. let's talk about medicare. what we did is we saved $716 billion and put it back, applied it to medicare. we cut the cost of medicare. we stopped overpaying insurance companies. the ama supported what we did. aarp endorsed what we did. and it extends the life of medicare to 2024. they want to wipe this all out.
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it also gave more benefits. any senior out there, ask yourself, do you have more benefits today? you do. if you're near the doughnut hole, you have $600 more to help your prescription drug cost. you get wellness visits without co-pays. they wipe this out and medicare becomes insolvent in 2016. when they first posed the first voucher program, the cbo said it would cost $6,400 a year, martha, more for every senior 55 and below when they got there. he knew that. yet he got all the guys in congress to vote for it. governor romney, knowing that, said i would sign it were i there. who do you believe? the ama, me, a guy who has fought his whole life for this or somebody who put in motion a plan that knowingly cuts --
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added $6,400 a year more to the cost of medicare. now they've got a new plan. trust me, it's not going to cost you anymore. folks, follow your instincts on this one. and with regard to social security, we will not -- we will not privatize it. if we had listened to romney, governor romney and the congressman during the bush years, imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market. their ideas are old and bad and they eliminate the guarantee of medicare. >> here's the problem. they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning medicare into a piggy bank for obama care. their own actuary from the administration came to congress and said 1 out of 6 hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this. 7.4 million seniors are projected to lose the coverage they have, that's the $3,200 benefit cut. these are from your own
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actuaries. >> more people signed up for medicare advantage after the change. nobody is -- >> mr. vice president, i know -- mr. vice president i know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but people would be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other. >> don't take all the four minutes again. >> we're saying don't change benefits for people 55 and above. >> let me ask you this, what is your specific plan for seniors who really can't afford to make up the difference in the value of what you call a premium support plan and others call a voucher? >> 100% coverage. that's what we're saying. we're saying -- >> how do you make that up? >> taking down subsidies for wealthy people. by that way, that $6,400 number was misleading. this is a bipartisan plan. i put it together with a prominent democratic senator in
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>> there's not one democrat who endorses it. >> our partner is a democrat from oregon. >> and he says he no longer supports it. >> we put it together with the former clinton -- >> who disavows it. >> here's the point, martha. if we don't fix this problem soon, then current seniors get cut. here's the problem. 10,000 people are retiring every day in america today and they will for 20 years. that's not a political thing, that's a math thing. >> if we just -- if they just allow medicare to bargain for the cost of drugs like medicaid can, that would save $156 billion right off the bat. >> and it would deny seniors choices. >> seniors are not denied. >> absolutely. >> look, folks, all you seniors out there, have you been denied choices? have you lost medicare advantage? >> vice president biden, if it could help solve the problem,
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why not slowly raise the medicare eligibility age by two years? >> look, i was there when we did that with social security in 1983. i was one of eight people sitting in a room that included tip o'neill negotiating with president reagan. we all got together and everybody said, as long as everybody is in the deal, everybody is in the deal, and everybody is making some sacrifice, we can find a way. we made the system solvent to 2033. we will not, though, be part of any voucher plan eliminating -- the voucher says, mom, when you're 65, go out there, shop for the best insurance you can get. you're out of medicare, you can buy back in with this voucher, which will not keep pace with health care costs. because if it did keep pace, there would be no savings. that's why they go the voucher. we will be no part of a voucher program or the privatization of
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social security. >> a voucher is you go to your mailbox, get a check and buy something. nobody is proposing that. barack obama four years ago staid, if you don't have any fresh ideas, use stale tactics to scare voters. if you don't have a good record to run on, paint your opponent as someone to run from. >> you were one of the few to stand with president bush when he was seeking to partially private size social security. >> what we said then is let younger americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them within the social security system. that's not what mitt romney is proposing. we're saying no changes for anybody 55 and over. and then the kinds of changes we're talking about for younger people like myself is don't increase the benefits for people like myself. >> martha -- martha --
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>> here's the -- >> quickly, vice president. >> quickly, the bottom line is that all the studies show if we went with social security proposals made by mitt romney, if you're in your 40s now, you'll pay $2,600 a year -- you get $2,600 a year less in social security. if you're in your 20s, you get $4,700 a year less. the idea of changing and change being in this case to cut the benefits for people without taking other action you could do to make it work is absolutely the wrong way. look, these guys haven't been big on medicare from the beginning. and they've always been about social security, as little as you can do. look, folks, use your common sense. who do you trust on this? a man who introduced a bill that would raise it $6,400 a year, knowing it and passing it and romney saying you sign it or me and the president. >> that was completely misleading.
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this is what politicians do when they don't have a record to run on. try to scare people from voting for you. if you don't get ahead of this problem, it's going to -- >> medicare beneficiaries -- >> we're going to move on. i have a simple question -- medicare and social security did so much for my own family. we're not going to jeopardize the program. >> you are changing the program from a guaranteed benefit to a premium -- whatever you call it, the bottom line is people will have to pay more out of their own pocket. >> the wealthy will. >> and the families i come from don't have the money. >> gentlemen, i would like to move on to a simple question and something tells me i won't get a simple answer. on to taxes.
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on to taxes. if your ticket is elected, who will pay more and who will pay less in taxes, vice president? >> the middle class will pay less and people making a million dollars will pay slightly more. the continuation of the bush tax cuts, we're arguing the tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. $800 billion of that goes to people making a minimum of $1 million. we see no justification, they're not asking for this continued
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tax cut or suggesting it. but my friends are insisting only it. 120,000 families, by continuing that tax cut, will get an additional $500 billion in tax relief in the next ten years. we want to extend permanently the middle class tax cut permanently, from the bush middle class tax cut. these guys won't allow us to. we say let's have a vote on the middle class tax cut and have a vote on the upper tax cut. let's vote on it. they're staying no. they're holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy. on top of that, they've got another tax cut coming that's $5 trillion that all of the studies point out will give another $250 million -- yeah, $250,000 a year to those 120,000 families, and
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raise taxes for people who are middle income with a child by $2,000 a year. this is unconscionable. there is no need for this. the middle class got knocked on their heels. the great recession crushed them. thy need some help now. the last people who need help are 120,000 families for under $500 billion tax cut over the next ten years. >> congressman? >> our entire premise of these tax plans are to grow the economy and create jobs. it's estimated to create 7 million jobs. we think that government taking 28% of a family and business's income is enough. president obama thinks that the government ought to be able to take as much as 44.8% of a small business's income. look, if you taxed every person in a successful small business making over $250,000 at 100%, it would only run the government
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for 98 days. if everybody who paid taxes last year doubled their taxes this year, we would still have a $300 billion deficit. you see, there aren't enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending. and so the next time you hear them say, don't worry about it, we'll get a few wealthy people to pay their fair share, watch out, middle class, the tax bill is coming to you. that's why we're saying we need tax reform. let's look at it this way. 8 out of 10 businesses, they file their taxes as individuals, not corporations. where i come from overseas, which is lake superior, the canadians, they drop their tax rates to 15%. the average tax rate on businesses in the industrialized world is 25% and the president wants the effective top tax rate to go above 40%. 2/3 of our jobs come from small businesses. this one tax would actually fax
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about 53% of small business income. it's expected to cost us 710,000 jobs. and it doesn't even pay for 10% of the proposed deficit spending increases. we're saying close loopholes primarily to the higher income people. we have three bottom lines. don't raise the deficit. don't raise taxes on the middle class. and don't lower the share of income born by the high income earners. he'll keep saying this $5 trillion plan. it's been discredited by six other studies and their own deputy campaign manager acknowledged it wasn't correct. >> let's talk about this 20%. you have refused to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20% across the board tax cut. do you actually have the specifics or are you still working on it and that's why you won't tell voters? >> different than this administration, we want to have big bipartisan agreements.
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see, i understand -- >> do you have the specifics, do you have the -- >> that would be the first in a republican congress. >> look at what ronald reagan and tip o'neill did. they worked together to broaden the base and lower tax rates. what we're saying is, here is our frame work. lower taxes 20%. deny those loopholes and deductions to higher-income taxpayers so more income is taxed, which has a broader base of taxation. and here is why i'm saying this. what we're saying -- >> i hope i get time to respond to this? >> you will get time. >> we want to work with congress, that means specifically. >> no specific. >> what we're saying is lower tax rates 20%. >> and you guarantee this math will add up. >> six studies have guaranteed
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and said this math adds up. >> let me translate. >> i'll come back in a second, right? >> i was there when ronald reagan you gave tax rates, he gave specifics of what he would cut in terms of taxan expenditures. 90% of small businesses in spes going to cut in terms of tax expenditures. 97% of the small businesses in america make less than $250,000. let me tell you who some of those other small businesses are. hedge funds that make 600 million, 800 million a year. that's what they count as small business. let's look at how sincere they are. governor romney on "60 minutes," i guess it was about ten days ago was asked, governor, you pay 14% on $20 million. someone making $50,000 pays more than that. do you think that's fair? do you think that's fair? oh, yes, that's fair, that's fair, and they are going -- you think these guys are going to go out there and cut those
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loopholes? the loophole, the biggest loophole they take advantage of is the carried interest loophole and capital gains loophole. they exempt that. now, there's not enough -- the reason why the aei study, the american enterprise institute study, the tax policy center study, the reason they say taxes is going to go up on the middle class, the only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for middle class people, cut the health care deduction to middle class people, take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college. >> is he wrong about that? >> he is wrong about that. >> how's that? >> you can cut tax rates by 20% and still preserve these important frenchs for mid class taxpayers. >> not mathematically possible. >> it is mathematically possible. it's been done before. precisely what we've been proposing. >> never been done before. >> been done a couple of times actually. >> jack kennedy proposed tax increase growth. >> now you're jack kennedy.
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this is amazing. >> republicans and democrats have worked together on this. i understand you guys aren't used to doing bipartisan deal. >> but we told you what we're going to do. when we did it reagan. >> here's the framework and work together to fill in the details. >> fill in the details. >> that's how you get things done. look, let me say it. >> that's coming from a republican congress working bipartisanly 7% rating. >> mitt romney was governor of massachusetts where 87% of the legislators he served with were democrats. he didn't demonize them. he didn't demagogue them. met with those party leaders every week. he reached across the & he didn't compromise principles and found common ground. >> if he did such a great job -- if he did such a great job in massachusetts why isn't he even contesting in massachusetts? >> what would you suggest beyond raising taxes on the wealthy that would substantially reduce the long-term deficit? >> let the taxes expire like they are supposed to on those millionaires. we don't -- we can't afford $800
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billion going to people making a minimum of $1 million. they do not need it, martha. those 120,000 families make $8 million a year. middle class people need the help. why does my friend cut out the tuition tax credit for them? why does he go after -- >> can you declare anything off limits? >> can you declare anything off limits? >> close loopholes hon high income people. for higher income people. >> can you guarantee no one making less than 100,000 will have a mortgage deduction impacted? guarantee. >> this impacts a million small businesses. he keeps making you think it's some movie star or hedge fund guy. >> 97% of the small businesses make less than $250,000 a year. >> joe, you know -- this tax hits a million people, a million small businesses. >> does it tax 97% of the american small businesses? >> small business whose are the greatest job creator. >> and you're going to increase
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the -- and you're going to increase the defense budget. >> we're not going to cut the defense budget. >> going to cut it $2 trillion. >> no massive defense increases. >> you want to get into defense now? >> i do, i do, because that's another math question. how do you do that? >> so, they proposed a $478 billion cut to defense to begin with. now we have another $500 billion cut to defense that's lurking on the horizon. they insisted upon that cut being involved in the debt negotiations and now we put the 1 trillion -- >> let's put the automatic defense cuts asdplid i'd like to go back to that. >> how do you do the math and have this increase in defense spending? >> $2 trillion. you don't cut defense by $1 trillion. that's what we're talking about. we're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 marines, 120
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cargo planes. we're -- >> drawing down in one war and one war. >> if these cuts go through, our navy will be the smallest it has been since before world war i. this invites weakness. look, do we believe in peace through strength? you bet we do, and that means you don't impose these devastating cuts on our military. so we're saying don't cut the military by $1 trillion. not increase it by 1 trillion. don't cut it by $1 trillion. >> quickly, vice president biden on this, i want to move it. >> i might add, we don't want to use the fancy word skywester, the automatic cut. that part of a debt deal that they asked for, and let me tell you what my friend said at a press conference announcing the deal, and i'm paraphrasing. we've been looking for this moment for a long time. >> can i tell you what that meant. we've been looking for bipartisanship for a long time. >> the bipartisanship is what he voted for to automatic cuts in defense if they didn't act and beyond that asked for -- look, the military says we need a
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smaller, meaner, leaner army. we need more special forces. we need -- we don't need more m-1 tanks what. we need is more -- >> some of the military. >> not some of the military. that was the decision of the joint chiefs of staff, recommended to us and agreed to by the president. >> who answered to a civilian leader. >> they made the recommendation first. 0ñ@ñfñ
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i'd like to move on to afghanistan, please. that's one of the biggest expenditures this country has made, in dollars and more importantly in lives. we just passed the sad milestone of losing 2,000 u.s. troops in more than 50 were killed this year by the very after began forces we're trying to help. we've reached the recruiting goal for afghan forces, we've degraded al qaeda. why not leave now? what more can we really accomplish?
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is it worth more more than lives? >> we don't want to lose the >> we don't want to lose the gains we've gotten. we want to make sure the taliban doesn't come back in, give al qaeda a safe haven. we agree with the 2014 transition. when i think of afghanistan, i think of the incredible job that our troops have done. have you been there more than the two of us combined. first time i was there in 2002, it was amazing to me what they were facing. i went to kandahar before the surge, sat down with a young private from the 82nd, who would tell me what he did every day, and i was in awe and to see what they had in front of them and to they had in front of them and to go back in december to see what they accomplished? it's nothing short of amazing.
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we've disagreed from time to time. we would more likely to take into account, recommendations from our commanders on troop levels throughout this year's fighting season. skeptical about negotiations with the taliban. especially while they are shooting at us. but we want to see the 2014 transition be successful and that means we want to make sure our commanders have what they need to make sure it is successful to sow that this does not become a launching pad for terrorists. >> let's keep our eye on the ball. i have been in iraq and afghanistan 20 times. >> wr >> we ha>> we t e
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meantimeantime whap meanti r do p do is hedo is he military. it's their responsibility to tap take ovtake over their. >> sr >> >> so we'rp>> year 2014. p my friemy friend and the itrit'p it's based on means it depends. it does not depend. r >> >> we havp >> we>> without incident. therep there's bethere's bo without incident. therep there's bethere's grep green on plus where a have been killed. if tp if tif the measures s takt takrtaken dopl nr not not go op not non in the field. we'p we'll only train in th base there.pbut we abu.
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periop period, and in the ps we're going to be saving another $800 billion. we've been in this war for over a decade. the primary objective is almost completed. now all we're doing is putting the kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. it's their responsibility, not america's. >> what conditions could justify staying, congressman ryan? >> we don't want to stay. look, one of my best friends in janesville, reservist, is at a forward operating base in eastern afghanistan right now. our wives are best friends. our daughters are best friends. i want -- i want him and all of our troops to come home as soon and safely as possible. we want to make sure that 2014 is successful. that's why we want to make sure that we give our commanders what they say they need to make it successful. we don't want to extend beyond 2014. that's the point we're making. you know, if it was just this,
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i'd feel like we would be able to call this a success, but it's not. what we are witnessing as we turn on our television screens these days is the absolute unraveling of the obama foreign policy. problems are growing abroad, but jobs aren't growing here at home. >> let me go back to this. he says we're absolutely leaving in 2014. you're saying that's not an absolute but you won't talk about what conditions would justify it. >> i'd like it know it. >> you know why we say that, don't like to broadcast to our enemies, put a date on our calendar and then we'll come back. >> you do agree with the timeline. >> we do agree with the timeline in the transition. what any administration will do in 2013 is assess the situation to see how best to complete this timeline. >> we will leave in 2014. >> what we do not want to do is give our allies reason to trust
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us less and our enemies more -- we don't want to embolden our enemies to hold and wait out for us. >> that's a bizarre statement. 49 of our allies, hear me, 49 of our allies signed on to this position. >> and we're reading that they want to -- >> 49 of our allies said out in 2014. it's the responsibility of the afghans. we have other responsibilities responsibilit s responsibilities -- >> which is what we agree with. >> we have afghan forces murdering our forces over there. the taliban, do you think, is taking advantage of this timeline? >> look, the taliban -- what we've found out, and you saw it in iraq, mar that. unless you set a timeline baghdad in the case of iraq and -- and kabul in the case of afghanistan will not step up. they are happy to let us
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continue to do the job. international security forces do the job. the only way they step up is say, fellows, we're leaving. we've trained you. step up. step up. >> let me go back. >> that's the only way it works. >> let me go back to the surge troops that we put in there, and you brought this up, congressman ryan. i have talked to a lot of troops. i've talked to senior officers who were concerned that the surge troops were pulled out during the fighting season, and some of them saw that as a political -- as a political move. so can you tell me, vice president biden, what was the military reason for bringing those surge troops home before the fighting season ended? >> by the way, when the president announced the surge, you'll remember, martha, he said the surge will be out by the end of the summer. the military said the surge will be out. nothing political about this. before the surge occurred. so you be a little straight with me here, too, before the surge
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occurred we said they will be out by the end of the summer. that's what the military said. the reason for that is -- >> the military follows orders. i mean, trust me, there are people who are concerned about pulling out on the fighting season. >> there are people that are concerned, but not the joint chiefs. that was their recommendation in the oval office to the president of the united states of america. i sat there. i'm sure you'll find someone who disagrees with the pentagon. i'm positive you'll find that within the military, but that's not the case here, and secondly, the reason why the military said that is you cannot wait and have a cliff. it takes, you know, months and months and months to draw down forces. >> let me try and illustrate the issue here because i think this can get a little confusing. we've all met with general allen and jen scaparotti about afghanistan and the fighting season. here's how it works. the mountain passes fill in with
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stone. the taliban and other groups come over from pakistan to fight our men and women. when it fills with snow they can't do it. that's the fighting seasons. in the warm months fighting gets really high and in the winter it goes down so when admiral mullen and general petraeus came to congress and said if you pull these people out before the fighting season ends, it puts people more at risk. that's the problem. yes, we drew 22,000 troops down last month, but the remaining troops that are there, who still had the same mission to prosecute, counterinsurgency, are doing it with fewer people. that makes them less safe. we're sending fewer people out in all these hot spots to do the same job that they were supposed to do a month ago. >> because we turned it over to the afghan troops we trained. no one got pulled out that didn't get filled in by trained afghan personnel, and he is's --
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he's conflating two issues. the fighting season that petraeus was talking about and former -- and add miller mullen was the fighting season this spring. that's what he was talking about. we did not -- we did not pull them out. >> the calendar works the same every year. >> it does work the same every year. >> spring, summer, fall, it's warm or it's not. they are still fighting us. they are still coming over the passes. they are still coming in to zabul and to kunar and all of these areas, but we are sending fewer people to the front to fight that. >> that's right, because that's the afghan responsibility. we've trained them. >> not in the east. >> let's move -- let's move to another war. >> not in the east. >> the east is the most dangerous place in the world. >> that's why we don't want to send fewer people to do the job. >> you'd rather americans be going in and doing the job. >> we are already sending americans in to do the job but fewer of them. >> that's right. we're sending in more afghans to
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do the job, afghans to do the job. çtoooowl
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>> let's move to another war, the civil war in syria, where there are estimates that more than 25,000, 30,000 people have now been killed. in march of last year, president obama explained the military action taken in libya by saying it was in the national interest to go in and prevent further massacres from occurring there. why doesn't the same logic apply in syria? vice president biden? >> it's a different country. it's a different country. it is five times as large geographically. it has one-fifth the population that is libya.
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one-fifth the population, five times as large geographically. it's part of that world where you would not see whatever would come from that war would seep into a regional war. you are in a country that is heavily populated, in the most dangerous area in the world. and if, in fact, it blows up, the wrong people gain control, it will have impact on the entire region, causing potentially regional wars. we're working hand in glove with the turks, jordanians, saudis, with all of the people in the region, attempting to identify the people who deserve the help so when assad goes and he will go, there will be a legitimate government that follows on, not an al qaeda-sponsored government that follows on. and all this loose talk of my friend governor romney and the congressman about how we are going to do -- we could do so much more. what more would they do, other than put american boots on the ground?
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the last thing america needs is to get in another ground war in the middle east, requiring tens of thousands, if not well over 100,000 american forces. that -- they are the facts. they are the facts. every time the governor is asked about this, he doesn't say anything. he goes up with a whole lot of verbiage, but when he gets pressed, he says, no, he would not do anything different than what we are doing now. are they proposing putting american troops on the ground, putting american eric in the airspace? if they do, then they should speak up and say so. that's not what they are saying. we're doing it exactly like we need to do to identify those forces who will provide for a stable government and not cause a regional sunni/shiia war when bashar al assad falls.
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>> no one is proposing to send american troops to syria. now let me say it differently. how would we do things differently? we wouldn't refer to bashar assad as a reformer when he is killing his own civilians with his russian-provided weapons. we wouldn't be outsourcing our foreign policy to the united nations giving vladamir putin veto power over our efforts to try to deal with this issue. he's vetoed three of them. hillary clinton went to russia to try to convince them not to do so. they thwarted her efforts. she said they were on the wrong side of history. she was right about that. this is one more example of how the russia reset is not working so where are we? after international pressure, then president obama said bashar assad should go. it's been over a year. the man has slaughtered tens of thousands of his own people, and more foreign fighters are spilling into this country, so the longer this has gone on, the more people -- groups like al
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qaeda are going in. we could have more easily identified a free syrian army, freedom fighters, working with alice, the turks, the qataris, the saudis, had we had a better plan in place working with our allies. but, no, we waited for kofi annan to come up with an agreement with the u.n. that bought bashar al assad time. we gave russia veto power over our efforts through the u.n. and meanwhile about 30,000 syrians are dead. >> what would my friend do differently? you notice, he never answers the question. >> we wouldn't be go through all of the u.n. and all of these things. >> we don't go through the u.n. we are in the process now and have been for months in making sure that help, humanitarian aid as well as other aid and training is getting to those forces that we believe, the turks believe, the jordanians believe, the saudis believe are the free forces inside of syria.
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that is under way. our allies were all on the same page, nato as well as our arab allies in terms of trying to get a settlement. that was their idea. we're the ones that said enough. with regard to the reset not working. the fact of the matter is russia has a different interest in syrian than we do, and it's not in our interest. >> what happens if assad does not fall? congressman ryan? what happens to the region? what happens if he hangs on? what happens if he does? >> then iran keeps their greatest ally in the region. he's a sponsor of terrorism. he will probably continue slaughtering his people. we and the world will lose our credibility on this. he mentioned the reset. >> what would romney/ryan do? >> we agree with the same redline that they do on chemical weapons, but not putting american troops in, other than to secure those chemical weapons. they are right about that, but what we should have done earlier
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is work with those freedom fighters, those dissidents in syria. we should not have called bashar al assad a reformer, and we should not have waited for russia to give us the green light at the u.n. to do something about it. they are still arming the man. iran is flying flights over iraq. >> and the opposition is being armed. >> to help bashar al assad and by the way if we had the status forces agreement that the vice president said he'd bet his vice presidency on in iraq we'd probably be able to achieve that but he failed to achieve that again. >> >> what is in the national interests of the american people. the strategic national interests of our country. >> no humanitarian? >> each situation will come up with its own set of circumstances, but putting american troops on the ground,
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that has got to be within the national security interest of the american people. >> i want to -- we're almost out of time. >> that means things like embargoes and sanctions and overflights, those are things that don't put the troops on the ground. but if you are talking about putting troops on the ground, only in our national security interest. @p@p
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>> i want to move on an return home for these last few questions. this debate is indeed historic. we have two catholic candidates, first time on a stage such as this. i would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. please talk about how you came to that decision. talk about how religion played a role. >> and, please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country, please
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talk personally about this, if you could, congressman ryan. >> i don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life. or from their faith. our faith informs us in everything we do. my faith informs me how to take care of the vulnerable, how to make sure that people have a chance in life. you ask me basically why i'm pro-life. it's not simple police because of my catholic faith. that's a factor, of course, but it's also because of reason and science. you know, i think about 10 1/2 years ago. my wife janna and i went to mercy hospital in janesville where i was born, for our seven-week ultsound for our first-born child, and we saw that heartbeat. our little baby was in the shape of a bean. and to this day, we have nicknamed our first born child, liza, bean.
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now i believe that life begins at conception. that's why -- those are the reasons why i am pro-life. now i understand this is a difficult issue, and i respect people who don't agree with me on this, but the policy of a romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. what troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. look what they are doing through obama care to assault the individual liberties of our country. they are infringing upon our religion freedom by infringing on catholic charities, catholic churches, catholic hospitals. our church should not have to sue the federal government to maintain their liberties. and abortion, they wanted it to be safe, legal and rare. now they support it without restrictions and with taxpayer funding.
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tax payer funding in obama care care and with foreign aid. the vice president himself went to china and said he sympathized or wouldn't second guess their one-child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. that to me is pretty extreme. >> vice president biden. >> my religion defines who i am, and i've been a practicing catholic my whole life. and it has particularly informed my social doctrine. catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can't take care of themselves. people who need help. with regard to abortion, i accept my church's position on abortion as what we call a di fete doctrine. life begins at conception. that's the church's judgment,
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and i accept it in my personal life. i refuse to oppose it on equally devout christians and muslims and jews, and i just refuse to impose that on others. unlike my friend here, the congressman. i -- i do not believe that we have a right to tell other people, women, they can't control their body. it's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the supreme court. i'm not going to interfew with that. with regard to the assault on the catholic church, let me make it absolutely clear. no religious institution, catholic or otherwise, including catholic social services, georgetown hospital, mercy hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer for contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. that is a fact. that is a fact.
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now with regard to the way in which we differ, my friend says that he -- i guess he accepts governor romney's position. in the past he has argued that there was rape and forcible rape. he's argued that in the case of rape or incest it was still -- it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. i just fundamentally disagree with my friend. >> congressman ryan. >> all i'm saying is if you believe life begins at conception, that, therefore, doesn't change the definition of life. that's a principle. the policy of a romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother. now, i've got to take issue with the catholic church and religious liberty. >> you have, on the issue of catholic social doctrine. >> why would they keep suing you?
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it's a difference without a distinction. >> i want to go back to the abortion question. if the romney/ryan ticket is elected, should those who worry that abortion remain legal be worried? >> we don't think that unelected judges should make this decision, that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society in the democratic process should make this determination. >> the court -- the next president will get one or two supreme court nominees. that's how close "roe v. wade" is. just ask yourself. with robert bork being the chief adviser on the court for mr. romney, who do you think he's likely to appoint? do you think he's likely to appoint someone scalia or someone else on the court's far right that would outlaw abortion? i suspect that would happen. i guarantee that will not happen. we've picked two people.
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people that are open-minded. they have been good justices so keep an eye -- >> was there a litmus test on them. >> there was no litmus people. picked people with an open mind, did not come with an agenda. [ male announcer ] break the grip of back or arthritis pain
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>> i'm going to move on to the closing question. we're running out of time. certainly known, you've said it here tonight, that the two of you respect our troops enormously. your son has served, and perhaps some day your children will serve as well. i recently spoke to a highly decorated soldier who says this presidential campaign has left him dismayed. he told me, quote, the ads are so negative and they are all tearing down each other rather than building up the country. what would you say to that american hero about this campaign? and at the end of the day, are you ever embarrassed by the tone? vice president biden.
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>> i would say to him, the same thing i say to my son who did serve a year in iraq. we only have one truly sacred obligation as a government. and that's to equip those we send into harm's way and care for those who come home. that's the only sacred obligation we have. everything else falls behind that. i would also tell him that the fact that he, this decorated soldier you talked about, fought for his country, that that should be honored. he should not be thrown into the category of 47% who don't pay their taxes while he was out there fighting and not having to day taxes and not taking responsibility. i would also tell him that things that occurred in this campaign, every campaign, that i'm sure both of us regret. any of us having said, particularly in these special new groups that can go out
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there, raise all the money they want. not have to identify themselves and say the most scurrilous things about the other candidate. it's an abomination, but the but tom line here is i would ask that hero you reference to take a look at whether or not governor romney or president obama has the conviction to help lift up the middle class, restore them to where they were before this great recession hit, and they got wiped out, or whether or not he's going to continue to focus on taking care of the only very wealthy, not asking them to pay any part of the deal to bring -- bring back the middle class and the economy of this country. i would ask him to take a look at whether the president of the united states has acted wisely in the use of force and whether or not this slipshod comments being made by governor romney serve our interests very well.
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there are things that have been said in campaigns that i find not very appealing. >> congressman ryan. >> first of all, i would thank for his service to our country. secondly, i would say we won't impose these devastating cuts on the military which compromises their safety. and then i would say have you a president that ran promising hope and change and turned his campaign into attack, blame, and defame. you see, if you don't have a good record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone top run from. that's what president obama said in 2008, and that's what he's doing right now. look at all the string of broken promises. if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. try telling that to the 20 million people who are projected to lose their health insurance if obama care goes through or the 7.4 million seniors who are going to lose it or remember when he said this. i guarantee if you make less than $250,000, your taxes will
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go up. of the 21 tax increases in obama care, 12 of them hit the middle class. or remember when he said health insurance premiums 2,500 per family per year. they have gone up 3,000 and are expected to go up another 2,400. remember when he said i promise by the end of my first term i'll cut the deficit in half. we've had four budgets. a debt crisis is coming. we can't keep spending money we don't have. leaders run to problems to fix problems. president obama has not even put a credible plan on the table in any of his four years to deal with this debt crisis. i've passed two budgets it deal with this. mitt romney's put ideas on the table. we've got to tackle this debt crisis before it tackles us. the president likes to say he has a plan. he gave a speech. he asked the budget office, can we see the plan and sent us to the press secretary, and they
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gave us a copy of the speech. and we asked the congressional budget office, and he said we can't estimate speeches. you see, that's what we get in this administration. speeches, but we're not getting leadership. mitt romney is uniquely qualified to fix these problems. his lifetime of experience, his proven track record of bipartisanship and what do we have from the president? he broke his big promise to bring people together to solve the country's biggest problems, and what i would tell him is we don't have to settle for this. we can do better than this. >> i hope i'll get equal time. >> you will get a few minutes here, a few seconds really. >> the two budgets that congress has introduced, has eviscerated all the things that the middle class cares off. it will knock 19 million people out of medicare. it will kick 200,000 children off early education and eliminate the tax credit people have to be able to send their children to college. it cuts education by $450
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billion. it does virtually nothing except to continue to increase the tax cuts for the very wealthy, and, you know, we've had enough of this. the idea that he's so concerned about the deficit, i pointed out he voted to put two wars on the credit card. >> we will have closing statements in a minute. >> not raising taxes is not cutting taxes. by the way, we increase spending by 3% a year insped of 4.5% like they propose so spending not as much money is not a spending cut. >> let me calm down things here just for a minute, and i want to talk to you very briefly before we go to closing statements about your own personal character. if you were elected what could you both give to this country as a man, as a human being, that no one else could? >> honesty. no one else could. there are plenty of fine people who could lee this country, but what you need are people who when they say they are going to
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do something is they go do it. what you need is when people see problems, they offer solutions to fix those problems. we're not getting that. look, we can grow this economy faster. that's what our five-point plan for a stronger middle class is all about, getting 12 million jobs, higher take home pay and people out of poverty into the middle class. that means going with proven pro-goat policies that we know work to get people back to work, putting ideas on the table, working with democrats. that actually works sometimes. >> vice president, could we get to that issue what you can bring as a markings human being, and i really am going to keep you to about 15 seconds here. >> he gets 40 and i get 15. >> he didn't have 40. >> that's great. my record stands for itself. everybody knows whatever i say i do, and my whole life has been devoted to leveling the playing deal.
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giving them an even break. holding wall street and main street the same. look at my record, all about the middle class. they are the people that grow this country. we grow in country from the middle out, not from the top down. çtoooowl
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>> okay. we now turn to the candidates for their closing statements. thank you, gentlemen, and that coin toss again has vice president biden starting with the closing statement. >> let me say at the outset, thank you, martha, for doing this and centre college. the fact is we're in a situation where we inherited a god awful circumstance. people are in real trouble. we acted to move to bring relief to people who need the most help now, and in the process, in case you haven't noticed, we have strong disagreements, but you probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the american people. my friend says that 30% of the
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american people are takers, they -- romney points out 47% of the people won't take responsibility. he's talking about my mother and father. he's talking about the places i grew up and my neighbors in scranton and claymont. he's talking about people who built this country. all they are looking for is an even shot. whenever you give them a shot. they've done it. they've done it. whenever you level the playing field, they have been able to move and they want a little bit of a peace of mind. the president and i are not going to rest until that playing field is level. they, in fact, have a clear shot and they have peace of mind, until they can turn to their kid and say with a degree of confidence, honey, it's going to be okay. it's going to be okay. that's what this is all about. >> congressman ryan. >> i want to thank you as well, martha, danville, kentucky, and centre college. i want to thank you, joe. it's been an honor to engage you in this critical debate.
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we face a very big choice. what kind of country are we going to be? what kind of country are we going to give our kids? president obama, he had his chance. he made his choices. his economic agenda, more spending, more borrowing, higher taxes, a government takeover of health care. it's not working. it's failed to create the jobs we need. 23 million americans are struggling for work today. 15% of americans are in poverty. this is not what a real recovery looks like. you deserve better. mitt romney and i want to earn your support. we're offering real reforms for a real recovery for every american. mitt romney, his experience, his ideas, his solutions, is uniq uniquely qualified to get the job done.
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we have a josh crisis in america. at wouldn't it want to be nice to have a job creator in the white house? we want to produce opportunity and jobs. mitt romney and i won't duck the tough issues and blame others for the next four years, we'll take responsibility, and we will not try to replace our founding principles. we will reapply our founding principles. the choice is clear. and the choice rests with you, and we ask you for your vote. thank you. >> and thank you both, again. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> this concludes the vice presidential debate. please tune in next tuesday for the second presidential debate at hofstra university in new york. i'm martha raddatz of abc news. i do hope all of you go to the polls. have a good evening. 0ñ@ñfñ
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