Vice Presidential Debate ABC October 11, 2012 6:00pm-8:00pm PDT
this is an abc news special. tonight, the race for the white house. face-to-face for the first time. the running mates. the vice president. >> there is no give up in america. >> the challenger. >> we will take responsibility and fix this country's problems. >> it's your voice, your vote. one-on-one. the vice presidential debate. now reporting from abc news election headquarters in new york, diane sawyer and george stephanopoulos. >> good evening, it is great to have you with us and what a night it is. the vice president, the candidate, now at bat. and there's no question, george, this is one of the single most important vice presidential debates in american history. >> it's all in the timing, diane. coming off that big win by mitt romney, the race has tightened but not completely transformed.
a second gop win by paul ryan could do that. he is 42 years old, this is his first national debate. vice president biden has been here before, four years ago versus sarah palin. he was first elected to the senate 40 years ago when paul ryan was just 2 years old. >> and our friend and colleague martha raddatz, abc senior foreign affairs correspondent will be moderating. she was selected by the presidential debate commission because of her two decades spent covering battle zones and political campaigns. and all eyes are on that stage. here's martha. >> 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 issues. and i'm going to move back and forth between foreign and domestic, since that is what a vice president or president would have to do. we will have nine different segments, at the beginning of each, i will ask both candidates a question and they will each have two minutes to answer. then, i will encourage a discussion between the candidates with followup questions. by coin toss, it has been determined that vice president biden will be first to answer the opening question. we have a wonderful audience here at centre college tonight. you will no doubt hear their enthusiasm at the end of the debate, and right now, as we welcome vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan.
>> you got your little wave to the families in, that's great. good evening, gentlemen, it really is an honor to be here with both of you. i would like to begin with libya. 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 now made clear, there were no protesters there. it was a pre-planned assault by heavily armed men. wasn't this a massive intelligence failure, vice president biden? >> what it was was a tragedy, martha. chris stevens was one of our best. we lost three other brave americans and i can make absolutely two commitments to you and 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 whatever, wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us, we will make clear to the american public, because whatever mistakes are 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, and that's caring for the national security of the country. the best way to do that is take a look at how he's handled issues of the day. on iraq, the president said he would end the war. governor romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have le left, that he ended it. with regard to afghanistan, he said he will end the war in 2014. governor romney said we should not set a date, number one, and number two, with regard to 2014, 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, signed an order, saying my highest priority is to get
bin laden. prior to the election, governor romney was asked about 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, it was about restoring america's heart and letting terrorists around the world know, if you do harm to america, we will track you to the gates of hell, if need be. and 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 just 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 are 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 detachment guarding our ambassador in benghazi, a place where 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 are trying to blame the romney/ryan ticket for making this an issue. with respect to iraq, we had the same position before the withdrawal, which was, we agreed with the obama administration, let's have an agreement to make sure we secure our gain. the vice president was put in charge of those 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 our veterans, we owe them a great debt of
gratitude for what they've done for us, including your son, beau. but we also want to make sure that we don't lose the things we fought to hard to get. and with respect to afghanistan, the 2014 deadline, we agree with a 2014 transition. we want to make sure we're not projecting weakness abroad. that's what's happening here. 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 are watching on our tv screens is the unraveling of the obama foreign policy. which is making the world more chaotic and us less safe. >> i just want to talk to you about right in the middle of the crisis, governor romney and you are talking about this again tonight, talked about the weakness, talked about apology from the obama administration. was that really appropriate, right in the middle of the crisis? >> on that same day, the obama administration had the exact same position. let's recall that they disavowed
their own statement that they put up earlier in the day in cairo. we had the same position. it's never too early to speak out for our values. we should have spoken out right away when the green revolution was up and starting when the mullahs in iran were attacking their people. we should not have called bashar assad a reformer when he was turning his russian-provided guns on his own people. we should always stand up for peace, for democracy, for individual rights. and we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts because what that does, when we equivocate on our values, when we show -- >> am i going to get anything to say here? >> it projects weakness, when we look weak, our adversaries are able to attack us -- >> that's a bunch of mularkey. >> why is that so? >> not a single thing he said is accurate. >> be specific. >> i will. 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 piece. number two, governor romney, before he knew the facts, before he even knew that our ambassador w killed, he was making a political statement, which was panned by the media around the world. and this talk about this weakness -- i don't understand what my friend's talking about. we -- this is a president who has gone out and done everything he has said he was going to do. this is a guy who has repaired our alliances so the rest of the world follows us again. this is a guy who brought the entire world, including russia and wchina, to bring about the most devastating -- the most devastating efforts on iran, to make sure that they, in fact, stop what -- look. i mean, these guys bet against america all the time. >> can we -- let me go back to libya.
>> yeah, sure. >> what were you first tolding a the attack? why were people talking about protests? when people in the consulate first saw armed men attacking, there were no protesters. why did that go on -- >> because that's exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. the intelligence community told us that, as they learn more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment. that's why there's also an investigation headed by tom pickering, alomat from the reagan years. he's looking at what the lapses were, so they will never happen again. >> and they wanted more security there. >> well, we weren't told they wanted more security. 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. and as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their
view. that's why i said, we will get to the bottom of this. you know, usually when there's a crisis, we pull together. we pull together as a nation. as i said, before we knew what happened to the embassador, the governor's holding a press conference. that's not presidential leadership. >> 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. >> burning korans immediately? >> what we should not be apologizing for is standing up for your values. what we should not be doing is saying to the egyptian people, we, mubarak is cracking down on them, that he's a good guy and in the next week, say, he ought to go. what we should not be doing is rejecting claims for calls for more security in our barracks,
our marine -- 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. 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 detachme detachment? of course there's an investigation. 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 talks about sanctions on iran. they got -- >> let's move to iran. i'd actually like to move to iran. because there's really no bigger national security this country is facing. both president obama and governor romney said they will prevent iran from 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, quote, could prove catastrophic, haunting us for 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 weapons capability. now, 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 are racing towards a nuclear weapon. they are four years closer towards a nuclear weapons capability. we've had four different sanctions, three from the bush administration, one here. and the only reason we got it is because russia watered it down and prevented the sanctions from hitting the central bank. mitt romney proposed these sanctions in 2007 and in congress, i've been fighting for sanctions since 2009. the mip strags was blocking us
every step of the way. only because we had strong bipartisan support for the tough sanctions were we able to put them in, inspite of the administration. imagine what would have happened if we had these sanctions in place earlier. you think iran's not brazen? look at what they are doing. they're stepping up their terrorists attacks. they tried a terrorist attack in the united states last year when they tried to blow up the saudi ambassador in a restaurant in washington, d.c. and 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. and, so, in order to solve this peacefully, which is everybody's goal, you have to have the ayatollah's change their mind. look at where they are. they are moving faster towards a nuclear weapon. it's because this administration has no credibility on this issue. it's because this administration watered down sanctions, delayed sanctions, tried to stop us for putting the tough sanctions in place. they say the military option's
on the table, but it's not viewed as credible. the key is to do this peacefully to make sure we have credibility. under a romney administration, we will have credibility on this issue. >> vice president biden? >> incredible. look, imagine had we let republican congress work out the sanctions. you think there's in 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 sanction. period. period. when governor romney's asked about it, he says, we have to keep these sanctions. well, you're talking about doing more, are you going to go to war? is that what you want tos do n? >> we want to prevent war. >> how are they going to prevent war if they say there's nothing more that they say we should do than what we've already done. and with regard of the ability of the united states to take action militarily, it is not in my per view to talk about
classified information, but we feel quite confident we could deal a serious blow to the iranians. but number two, the iranians are the -- the israelis and the united states are military and intelligence communities are absolute hi 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 material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20% up, then they have to be able to have something to put it in. there is no weapon that the iranians have at this point. both 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 be more credible -- what more can the president do, stand before
the united nations, tell the whole world, directly communicate, we will not let them acquire a nuclear weapon. period. unless he's talking about going to war.
>> martha? >> congressman ryan? >> let's 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 towards a nuclear weapon. they're spinning the centrifuges faster. they see us saying, when we come into the administration, we need more space for their ally, israel. they see president obama in new york city, the same day netanyahu is, instead of meeting with him, goes on a daily talk show. they see, when we say these options are on the table, the secretary of defense walks them back. they are not changing their mind. that's what we have to do is change their mind so they stop per suing -- >> how do you do it so quickly? look, you both saw benjamin
netanyahu hold up that picture with a bomb with a red line and talking about the red line being in spring. so, can you solve this, if the romney/ryan ticket is elected, can you solve this in two months before spring? and avoid nuclear -- >> we can debate the timeline, whether there's, if that short of time or longer. inagree it's probably longer. number two, it's all -- >> you don't agree with that bomb and what the israelis? >> i don't want to go into classified stuff. we both agree that to do this peacefully, you have to get them to change their mind. they're not changing their minds and look at what -- >> what do you do -- >> let me tell you what the ayatollahs see. they see their economy being crippled. the ayatollah sees there are 50% fewer exports of oil. they see the currency going into then thatting. he sees the economy going in a free fall and he sees the world
for the first time totally united in opposition to him getting a nuclear weapon. now, with regard to netanyahu, he's been my friend for 39 years. he's met with the president a dozen times. he's spoken to him as much as he's spoken to anybody. the idea that we're not -- i was -- just before he went to the u.n., i was in a conference call with the president, with him talking to bebe for well over an hour. in stark relief and detail of what was going on. this is a bunch of stuff. look, here's the deal -- >> what does that mean? >> well, it means it is simply inaccurate. >> it's irish. >> we call it mularkey. last thing, the secretary of defense has made it absolutely clear, didn't walk anything back. we will not allow the iranians to get a nuclear weapon. what bebe held up there was, when they get to the point where they can enrich uranium enough to put into a weapon. they don't have a weapon to put
it into. let's all calm down a little bit here. iran is more isolated today than when we took office. it was on the ascendency when we took office. it is totally isolated. >> congressman ryan? >> thank heavens we have the sanctions in place. it's inspite of their opposition. they have given 20 waivers to this sanction. and all i have to point to are the results. they're four year s closer towards a nuclear weapon. >> can you tell the american people -- >> by the way -- >> although war in the middle east -- >> they're closer to being able to get enough material to put in a weapon if they had a weapon. >> you are acting a little bit like they don't want one. >> i'm not saying that. facts matter, martha. you're a foreign policy expert. facts matter. all this loose talk about them, 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 will have the world behind us and that matters. that matters. >> what about bob gates' statement? let me read that again. could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations. >> he is right. it could prove catastrophic, if we -- >> congressman ryan? >> and what it does is, undermines our credibility by backing up the point when we made it that all options are on the table. that's the point. the ayatollahs see these statements and think think, i'm going to get a nuclear weapon. when we see the kind of equivocation that took place because this administration wanted to pre-condition policy, so when the green revolution started up, they were silent for nine days. when they see us putting -- they see us putting daylight between ourselves and our allies in israel, that gives them encouragement. when they see russia watering down any further sanctions, the
only reason we got a u.n. sanction is because russia watered it down and prevented the central bank sanctions in the first place. when they see this kind of activity, they are encouraged to continue. >> martha -- >> let me ask you what's worse. war in the middle east, another war in the middle east or nuclear-armed iran? >> i tell you what's worse. a nuclear armed iran which triggered a nuclear arm's race in the middle east. this is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism. they call us the great satan. and if they get nuclear weapons, other people in the neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons, as well. >> vice president biden? >> war should always be the absolute last resort. that's why these crippling sanctions with bebe netanyahu says we should continue, which, if i'm not mistaken, governor romney says we should continue. i may be mistaken, he changes his mind so off, i could ten, i
wrong, he says that are working. and the fact is, they are being crippled by them. big nations can't bluff. this president doesn't bluff. >> gentlemen, i want to bring the conversation to a different kind of national security issue, the state of our economy. the number one issue here at home is jobs. the percentage of unemployed just fell below 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. so, 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 it will take. we can and we will get it under 6%. let's look at the facts. let's look at where we were when we came to office. the economy was in freefall. we had the great recession hit. 9 million people lost their
jobs. $1.6 trillion in wealth lost. in equity in your homes and retirement accounts for the middle class. we knew we had to act for the middle class. we immediately rescued general motors. we made sure we cut taxes for the middle class and in addition to that, and when that occurred, what did romney do? romney said, no, let detroit go bankrupt. we helped people refinance their homes. governor romney said, no, let foreclosures hit the bottom. it shouldn't be surprising for a guy that says 47% of the american people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. my friend recently said 30% of the american people are takers. these people are, my mom and dad, the people i grew up with, my neighbors. they pay more taxes than governor romney pays in his federal income tax. they are elderly who are living off of soecial security. they are veterans.
i've had it up to here with this notion that 47% -- it's about time they take some responsibility here. and instead of signing pledging to grover nord quist not to ask the wealthiest to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should say 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 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 a continuation of a tax cut that will give an additional $500 billion in tax cuts to 120,000 families. and they're holding hostage a middle class tax cut because they say we won't pass unless you give the tax cut for the super wealthy. it's about
time they take some responsibility. >> mr. ryan? >> joe and i are from similar
towns. he's from scranton, pennsylvania, i'm from wisconsin. you know what the unemployment rate is in scranton today? >> i sure do. >> it's 10%. >> yeah. >> you know what it was the day you guys came in? 8.5%. that's
how it's going all around america. >> you don't read the statistics. that's not how it's going. >> this is his two-minute answer. >> do they come in and inherit a tough situation? absolutely. we're going in the wrong direction. look at where we are. the economy is bare lly limping along. it's groek wing at 1.3%. that's slower than last year. job growth in september was slower than it was in august and august was slower than it was in 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 for real e recovery and that's exactly what
mitt romney and i are proposing. five-point plan. get america energy independent. help people who are hurting get the skills they need to get the jobs they want. get this deficit and debt under control. make traeld work for america to you can make more things in america and sell them overseas and champion small businesses. don't raise taxes on small businesses because they're our job creators. he talks about detroit. mitt romney is a car guy. let me tell you about the mitt romney i know. this is a guy, who 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. mitt asked if he could come over on christmas. he brought his boys, his wife and gifts. later on, he said, i know you're struggling, mark, don't worry about their college, i'll pay for it. when mark told me this story,
because, you know what, mitt romney doesn't tell these stories. when he told me this story, he said it wasn't the help, 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 is a good man. he cares about 100% of americans in this country. and with respect to that quote, i think the vice president very well knows that sometimes, the words don't come out of your mouth the right way. >> i always say what i mean. and so does romney. >> we want everybody to succeed. we want to get people out of poverty, in the middle class, to a life of self-sufficiently. 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 thing on 47%, you think he just made a mistake, then i think you're -- i got a bridge
to sell you. look, i don't doubt his personal generosity and 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 have sat in the momehomes of people who have gone through what i went through because the one thing you can give people solace is to know if they know you've been through it, that they can make it. 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 just -- 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 have never met two guys who are more down on america across the board. we're told everything's going bad -- 5.2 million new jobs, pry
v private sector jobs. if they get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class, make it permanent. if they get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people who are struggling, to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down, but they never missed a mortgage payment, just get out of the way. stop talking about how you care about people. show me something. 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 did it come from? i came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, at the same time, put a prescription drug ben ne it in on a credit card. a trillion dollar tax cult for the very wealthy. i was there. i voted against them. i said, no, we can't afford that. and 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 all these special interest groups and that would work out just fine. that unemployment would never get to 8%. it went above 8% for 43 months. they said right now, if we pass the stimulus, the economy would grow at 4%. it's growing at 1.3. >> when do you get it below 8%? >> that's what our entire program is about. getting the economy growing at 4%, creating 12 million jobs in the next four years. look at the $90 billion in stimulus. the vice president was in charge of overseeing this. green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups. they are just as the department of energy, over 100 criminal investigations that have been -- >> martha -- >> go ahead. >> martha, look.
his colleagues spent months and months and months -- >> this is the inspector general. >> months and months. they found no evidence of cronyism. and i love my friend here. i'm not allowed to show letters, but go to the 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? we sent millions of dollars. you know -- >> you did asking if stimulus money. >> on two occasions, we advocated for constituents applying for grants. that's what we do. we do that for all constituents. >> i love that. i love that. this is such a bad program and he writes me a letter, saying, the reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs. his words. and now he's sitting here looking to make -- and by the way, that program, again, investigated. what the congress said was, it was a model.
less than .4% waste for fraud in the program. and all this talk about cronyism, they investigated, did not find one single piece of evidence. i
wish he would just -- be a little more candid. >> was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on extra cars in finland or on windmills in china? was it a good idea to borrow all this money from countries like china and spend it on different interest groups? >> let me tell you it was a good idea, moody's and others said this was exactly what we needed to stop us from going off the cliff. it set the conditions to grow again. it's a better batting average than investment bankers. >> where are the 5 million jobs -- >> i want to move on here to medicare and entitlements. i think we've gone over this bit enough. >> by the way, any letter you send me, i'll entertain. >> i appreciate that. >> let's talk about medicare and
entitleme entitlements. both medicare and social security are going broke and taking a larger share of the budget. 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. look, when i look at these programs, we've had all tragedies in our lives. i think about what they've dope for my own family. my mom and i had my grandmother move in with us who was facing alsz h alz him ears. after my dad died, my mom and i got social security survivors benefits, helped her go back to college in her 50s, where she started a small business because of the new skills she got, he paid all of her taxes on the promise that these programs would be there for her. we will honor this promise. the best way to do it is reform it for my generation. 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, which is precisely what we're saying. obama care takes $716 billion from medicare to spend on obama care. even their own chief of medicare backs this up. he says, you can't spend the same dollar twice. you can't claim this money goes to medicare and obama care. and then they
put this new obama care board in charge of cutting medicare each and every year in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors. this board, by the way, 15 people, the president is supposed to appoint them next year and not one of them has to have medical chaining. and if we don't shore up social security, when we run out of the ious, a 25% across the board benefit cut kicks in on current seniors in the middle of their retirement. we're going to stop that from happening. they haven't put a credibility absolu solution on the table. he'll tell you about vouchers, all these things to try to scare
people. here is what we're saying. give younger people guaranteed coverage options that you can't be denied. including traditional medicare. choose your plan and then medicare subsidizes your premiums. not as much for the wealthy people. more coverage for middle income people and total out of pocket coverage for the poor and the sick. choice and competition. we would rather have 50 million future seniors determine how their medicare is delivered to them, instead of 15
bureaucrats decides what, if, when, where they get it. >> vice president, biden? >> i heard that death panel argument from sarah palin. every vice presidential debate i hear this about panels. 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 when doctors and hospitals. 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. it also gave more benefits. any senior out there, ask yourself. do you have more benefits today? you do. if you are near the donut hole, you have $600 more to help your prescription drug cost. you get wellness vistis without copays. they wipe all of this out and medicare becomes insolvent in 2016, number one. number two, guaranteed benefits. it's a voucher. when they first proposed, when the congressman had his 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 it -- 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? ama? me? or somebody who would actually
put in motion a plan that knowingly amended $6,400 more to the cost of medicare? now they got a new plan. trust me. it's not going to cost you anymore. folks -- follow your instincts on this. and with regard to social security, we will not -- we will not privatize it. if we had listened to governor romney and the congressman, d , during the bush years, imagine where where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market. their ideas are old
and their ideas are 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 accukary said 1 out of 6 hospitals and nursing homes are going to go -- >> that's not what they said. >> 7.4 million seniors are projected to lose their medicare advantage coverage, that's a
$3,200 benefit cut. >> more people signed up for medicare advantage after the change. nobody is -- >> mr. vice president -- >> no, this is -- >> i know you are under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but i think people would be better served if we don't keep interrupted each other. >> well, don't take all the four minutes then. >> we're saying, don't change benefits for people 55 and above. they already organized their retirement. >> 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 for them. >> and what's the cost -- how do you make that up? >> we adjust the payments by taking down the subsidies for wealthy people. look, this is a plan -- by the way, that $6,400 number is totally inaccurate now. this is a plan that's bipartisan. it's a plan i put together with
a prominent -- >> there's no one democrat who endorsed it. not one democrat who signed -- >> our partner is a democrat from oregon. >> and he said he does no longer support your plan. >> we put it together with the former clinton budget director. >> who disavows it. >> who came from t-- here's the point, martha. >> which was rejected. >> if we don't fix this problem pretty soon, current seniors get cut. here is the problem. 10,000 people are retiring every single dale in america. they will for 20 years. >> martha, if we just did one 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. >> all -- seniors are not denied. they are not denied. look, folks, all you seniors out there. have you been denied choices? you have lost medicare advantage? >> because it's working right
now. >> vice president biden, let me ask you, if it could help solve the problem, way not very slowly raise the medicare eligibility age by two years? >> look, i was there when weapon did that with social security. in 1983. i was one of eight people sitting in the room that included tip o'neil, negotiating with president reagan. we all got together, everybody said, as long as everybody's in the deal, everybody's 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, if you want, with this voucher, which will not keep pace, will not keep pace with health care costs, because if it did, there would be no savings. that's why they go the voucher. they -- we will be no part of a
voucher program or the privatization of social security. >> the voucher, you go to your mailbox, get a check and buy something -- nobody's proposing that. barack obama, four years ago, running for president, said, if you don't have any fresh ideas, you have stale tactics to scare voters. if you don't have a good record to run on, paint your opponent as someone you should run from. >> you were one of the few lawmakers to stand with president bush when he was seeking to partially privatize social security. >> for younger people. i've always agreed is, let younger americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them, within the social security system. >> you saw how well that worked. >> what we're sayin ining is -- kinds of changing we're talking about for younger people like myself is don't increase the benefits for wealthy people as everybody else. slowly raise the retirement age
over time. wouldn't get to the age of 70 at 2103. >> quickly, vice president. >> quickly. the bottom line is here, all the studies show that if we went with the proposal made with mitt romney, if you are in your 40s now, you will pay $2,600 -- you get $2,600 less in social security. if you are in your 20s now, you get $4,700 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. these -- look, these guys haven't been big on medicare from the beginning. their party's not been big on medicare from the gipping 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 he'd sign it, or me and the president?
>> that statistic was completely misleading, but more -- >> facts, right? >> this is what politicians do when they don't have a record to run on. try to scare people to vote for you. if you don't get ahead of this problem -- >> we're going to move on. very simple question. >> medicare and social security did so much for own my family. weap we are not going to yep size this program. we have to save it. >> you are jeopardizing the program. you are changing the program to a premium support. the families i know and the families i come from, they don't have the money to pay more. >> gentlemen -- i would like to move on to a very simple question, for both of you and something tells me i won't get a very simple answer. but let me ask you this. >> i gave you a simple answer. he's raising the cost of medicare. >> okay, onto taxes. if your ticket is elected, who will pay more in taxes, who will
pay less and we're starting with vice president biden for two minutes. >> the middle class will pay less and people making $1 million a more will begin to contribute absolutely more. let me give you one concrete example. the continuation of the bush tax cuts. we are arguing that the bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. of the bush tax cuts for the wealthy, $800 billion of that goes to people making a minimum of $1 million. we see no justification in these economic times for those and they are patriotic americans, they are not asking for this continued tax cut, they are not suggesting it, but my friends are insisting on it. 120,000 families, by continuing that tax cut, will get an additional $500 billion in tax relief in the next ten years and their income is an average of $8 million. we want to extend permanently the middle class tax cut for -- permane permanently. these guys won't allow us to. we say, let's have a vote.
let's have a vote on the it manile class tax cut and on the upper tax cut. let's go ahead and vote on it. they are saying no. they are holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy. and on top of that, they got another tax cut coming. it's $5 trillion that all of the studies point out will, in fact, give you another $250 million -- $250,000 a year to those 120,000 families and 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. they need some help now. the last people who need help are 120,000 families for another -- another $500 billion tax cut over the next ten years. >> congressman? >> our entire premise of these tax reform plans is to grow the
economy and create jobs. it's a plan that's estimated to create 7 million jobs. now, we think that government taking 28% of a family and businesses 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 successful small business making over $250,000 at 100%, it only run the government for 98 days. if everybody who paid income taxes last year, including successful small businesses, doubled their taxes, we'll still have a $300 billion deficit. you see? there aren't enough rich people 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 fundment am tax reform.
let's look at it this way. 8 out of
10 businesses, they file their taxes as individuals, not as 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 top effective tax rate on successful small businesses to go above 40%. two-thirds of our jobs come from small businesses. this one tax would actually tax about 53% of small business income. it's expected to cost us 710,000 jobs. and, you know what? it doesn't even pay for 10% of their proposed spending. lower tax rates across the board and close loopholes. 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 that is born by the high income rn earns. they keep saying this $5
trillion plan -- it's been discredited by six other studies and even their own deputy campaign manager said it wasn't correct. >> let's talk about this 20%. you are refused, and again, 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 actually want to have big bipartisan agreements. you see, i -- >> do you have the specifics? >> that would be a first for the republican congress. >> look at what ronald reagan did. he worked together to lower tax rates and broaden
the base and they worked together to fix that. what we're saying, here's our frame work. lower tax rates 20%. we've raise about $1.2 trillion through income taxes. we forego about $1.1 trillion in loopholes and deductions. what we're saying is, deny those loopholes and deductions to
higher income taxpayers so that more of their income is taxed, which has a broader -- >> can i transplait? >> here's why i'm saying this. >> i hope i'm going to get time to respond. >> you'll get time. >> we want to work with the congress to help us to achieve this. that means successful. >> no specifics, again. >> what we're saying lower tax rates 20%. start with the wealthy. work with congress. >> you guarantee this math will add up? >> absolutely. six studies have verified this math adds up. >> vice president
biden? >> let me translate. let me have a chance to translate. >> i'll come back in a second. >> first of all, i was there when ronald reagan was there. he gave specifics of what he was going to cut. number two, 97% of the small businesses in america pay -- make less than $250,000. let me tell you who some of the other small businesses are. hedge funds that make $600 million a year. that's what they count as small
businesses because they are pass through. let's look at how sincere nthey are. governor romney on "60 minutes" ten days ago, was asked, someone making $50,000 pays more than you did on taxes. he said, that's fair. that's fair. and you think these guys are going to go out there and cut those loopholes? the biggest loophole they take advantage is the carried interest loophole and capital gains. they exempt that. there's not enough -- the reason why the american enterprise institute study, the tax policy study, the reason they all say taxes are 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 for middle class people. take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college. that's why they are -- >> is he wrong about that?
>> he is wrong about that. >> how is that? >> you can cut tax rates by 20% and still preserve these important preferences for middle class -- >> not mathematically possible. >> it is. it's been done before. it's what we are proposing. >> it has never been done before. >> jack kennedy. >> oh, now you're jack kennedy? this is amazing. >> republicans and democrats have worked together -- i understand you guys -- >> we told each other what we're going to do when we did it. when we did it with reagan, here's what he said. fill in the detail. >> you work with congress. look, let me say it this way. >> coming from a republican congress, working bipartisanly? 7% rating? >> mitt romney was governor of massachusetts, where 87% of the legislators he served with were democrat. he didn't demonize them. he didn't demagogue them. he reached across the aisle. he didn't compromise principles.
>> and you saw what happened. if he did such a great job -- >> vice president -- >> why isn't he even contesting massachusetts? >> what would you suggest, beyond raising taxes on the wealthy, that would substantially reduce -- >> just let the taxes expire like they're supposed to on those millionaires. we can't afford $800 billion going to people making a minimum of $1 million. they do not need it, martha. those 120,000 from families mak 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? mortgage deduction? mortgage deduction? >> for higher income people. >> can you guarantee that no one making less than $100,000 will have their mortgage --
>> he keeps trying to make you think it's just some movie star hedge fund guy -- >> 97% of the small businesses make less than $250,000 a year, would not be affected. >> joe, you know this taxes a million people. a million small -- >> does it tax 97% of the american small businesses?
>> it taxes small businesses -- >> i wish -- >> and you're going to increase the defense budget. >> we're not just going to cut the defense budget. >> $2 billion. >> we're talking about -- >> so, no massive defense increase? >> you want to get into defense now? >> yes, i do. buzz th because that's another math question. how do you do that? >> 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 so -- >> let's put the automatic defense cuts aside, okay?
let's put that aside. no one wants that. but i want to know how you do the math and have this increase in defense spending. >> $2 trillion. >> you don't cut defense by a trillion dollars. that's what we're talking about. >> what national security -- >> we're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 marines, 120 cargo planes, we're going to push the -- >> 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. that means you don't impose the devastating cuts on our military. we're saying, don't cut the military by a trillion dollars. not increase it by a trillion, don't cuts it. >> quickly, vice president biden. >> we don't cut it. and i know we don't want to use the fancy word, this automatic cut, that was part of a debt
deal that they asked for. let me tell you what my friend said in a press conference. he said, oom paraphrasing, we've been looking for this moment for a long time. >> can i tell you what that meant? we've been looking for bipartisan ship. >> he voted for the automatic cuts in defense if they didn't act. and, look, the military says, we need a smaller, leaner army. we need more special forces. we need -- we don't need more m-1 tanks. >> 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 answers to the civilian leader. >> they made the recommendation first. >> okay. let's move onto afghanistan. >> can i get -- >> i'd like to move onto afghanistan, please. that's one of the biggest expenditures this country has made, in dollars and in lives, more importantly. we just passed the sad milestone
of losing 2,000 u.s. troops there in this war. more than 50 of them were killed this year by the very afghan forces we are trying to help. now, we've reached the recruiting goal for afghan forces. we've degraded al qaeda. so, tell me, why not leave now? what more can we really accomplish? is it worth more american lives? >> we don't want to lose the gains we've gotten. we want to make sure that the taliban does not come back in and give al qaeda a safe haven. we agree with the administration on their 2014 transition. look, when i think about afghanistan, i think about the incredible job that our troops have done. you've 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 the kandahar, before the surge, i sat down with a young private in 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 then to go back there in december, to go with the marines to see what they had accomplished -- it's nothing short of amazing. what we don't want to do is lose the gains we've gotten. now, we've disagreed from time to time on a few issues. we would have taken into account the recommendations from general petraeus, admiral mullen on troop levels throughout this year's fighting season. we've been skeptical about negotiations with the taliban, especially while they're shooting at us. 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 that it is successful so that this does not become a launching pad for terrorists. >> martha, let's keep our eye on the ball. i've been to afghanistan and iraq 20 times. i've been up in the -- i've been throughout that whole country, mostly in a helicopter and sometimes in a vehicle. the fact is, we went there for
one reason. to get those people who killed americans al qaeda. we decimated al qaeda central. we have eliminated osama bin laden. that was our purpose. and, in fact, in the meantime, what we said we would do, we would help train the afghan military. it's their responsibility to take over their own security. that's why, with 49 of ourafgha agreed on a gradual drawdown so we are out of there by the -- in the year 2014. my friend and the governor say it's based on conditions, which means it depends. it does not depend for us. it is the responsibility of the afghans to take care of their own security. we have trained over 315,000, mostly without incident. there have been more than two dozen cases of green on blue, where americans v be s have bee
killed. if the measures the military have taken, do not take hold, we will not go on joint patrols, we will not train in the field. we will only train in the army bases that exist there. but we are leaving. we are leaving in 2014. period. and in the process, we're going to be saving over the next ten years, over $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. we want -- look. one of my best friends, a reservist, is at a forward operating in eastern afghanistan right now, our wives are best
friends, our daughters are best friends. i want him and all of our troops to come home as soon and safely as possible. we want to make sure the 2014 is successful. that's why we want to make sure that we give our commander 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, i feel like we would be able toll call this a success. but it's not. what we're witnessing as we turn on our television screens these days is the absolute unraveling of the obama foreign policy. problems are growing at home, but -- problems are growing abroad, but jobs weren'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 -- >> you know why we say that? we don't want to broadcast our enemies, put a date on your calendar, wait us out and then
come back. >> but you agree with the timeline? >> we do agree with the timeline and the transition. but 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 us less. and our enemies more -- we don't want to embolden our enemies to hold and wait out for us and take over -- >> more that, ththat's a bizarr. 49 of our allies. hear me. 49 of our allies signed on to this position. >> and we're reading that they want -- >> 49 of our allies said out in 2014. it's the responsibility of the afghans. we have other responsibilities. >> but we have -- we have soldiers and marines, we have afghan forces murdering our forces over there.
the taliban is, do you think, taking advantage of this timeline? >> look, the taliban -- what we found out and you saw it in iraq, martha. unless you set a timeline, baghdad, in the case of iraq, and kabul, in the case of afghanistan, will not step up. they're happy to let us continue to do the job. international security forces to do the job. the only way they step up is say, fellas, we're leaving. we've trained you. step up. step up. >> but 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 offices who were concerned that the surge troops were pulled out during the fighting season and some of them saw that as a political move. so, you can tell me, vice president biden, what was the military reason for bringing
those surge troops home? >> the military reason -- 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 occurred, they'll be out by the end of the summer. that's what the military said. the reason for that is -- >> military follows orders. i mean, trust me. there are people who were concerned about puling out -- >> there are people that are concerned. not the joint chiefs. that was there recommendation to the president of the united states of america. i sat there. i'm sure you'll find someone who disagreed 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 to talk about fighting seasons. here's the way it works. the mountain passes fill in with snow, the taliban and the terrorist s come over from pakistan to fight our men and women. when it fills in with snow, they can't do it. that's what we call fighting season. in the warm months, fighting gets really high. 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 has ended, 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 have the same mission to prosecute counter insurgency, 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's con flating two issues. the fighting season that petraeus was talking about and former -- and admiral 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're still fighting us, they're still coming over the passes. they're still coming in, to all of the areas. but we are sending fewer people to the front to fight them. >> that's right, because that's the afghan responsibility.
we've trained them. >> not in the east. >> let's move to another war. >> not in the east? the most dangerous place in the world. >> that's why we don't want to send -- >> that's why we should send americans in to go the job -- you would rather americans be going in to do the job? >> we are already sending americans to do the job but fewer of them. >> that's right. we're sending in more afghans to do the job. afghans to do the job. >> let's move to another war, the civil war in syria. there are estimates that more than 25,000, 30,000 people have 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. so, why doesn't the same logic apply in syria? >> it's a different country. it a different country. it is five times as large geographically. it has one-fifth the population
that is libya. one-fifth the population, five times larger geographic. it's in a part of the world where you are not going to see whatever would come from that war. it seeped into a ridge naegiona. you are in a country that's heavily populated in the most dangerous area in the world and, if, in fact, it blows up and the wrong people gain control, it's going to have impact on the entire region, causing to potentially regional war. we are working hand in glove with all the people in the region, attempting to identify that 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're going to do, we can do so much more in there, what more would
they do other than put american boots on the ground? the last thing america needs is to get in another ground war in the middle east, requiring tens of thousands,en if n if not wel 100,000 american forces. they are the facts. they are the facts. now, every time the governor is asked about this, he doesn't say anything. he goes with a whole lot of verbage, but when he gets pressed, he says, no, he would not do anything different than we are doing now. are they proposing putting american troops on the ground? putting american aircraft in the air space? is that what they are proposing? if they are, they should speak up and say so, but that's not what they're saying. we are doing it exactly like we need to do to identify those forces who. in, will provide for a stable government and not cause a
regional war when assad falls.
>> congressman ryan? >> nobody is proposing to send troops to syria, american troops. now, let me say it this way. how would we do things differently? we wouldn't refer to bashar assad as a reformer when he's killing his own
civilians with his russian-provided weapons. we wouldn't be outsourcing our foreign policy to the united nations, giving vladimir putin veto power over our efforts to try and deal with this issue. he's vetoed the three of them. hillary clinton went to russia to try to convince her not to do so, he sa she said they were on the wrong side of history. so, where are we? after international mounted, then president obama said 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 spifling into this country. so, the longer this has gone on,
the more people, groups like am kwid, are going in. we could have more easily identified the freedom fighters, working with our allies, the turks, the saudis, had we had a better plan in place to begin with, working through our allies. but no, we waited for kofi annan to try to come up with an agreement through the u.n., that bought 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? he never answers the question. >> we would not be going through the u.n. -- >> you 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. 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 that russia has a different interest in syria than we do and that'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'll probably continue slaughters his people. we, and the world community will lose our credibility on this. look, he mentioned -- >> what would romney/ryan do about that credibility? >> well, we agree with the same red line they do on chemical weapons. but not putting american troops in, other than to secure those chemical weapons. they're right about this.
but what we should have done earlier is work with those freedom fighters, those dissidents in syria. we should not have called assad a reformer. and -- >> what is your criteria -- >> we should not have waited for russia to give us the green light at the u.n. to do something about it. they're still arming the man. iran is flying flights over iraq -- >> and the opposition is being armed. >> to help bashar assad -- and, by the way, if we had the status of forces agreement that the vice president said he would bet his vice president on in iraq, we probably would have been able to prevent that. he failed to achieve that, as well. >> i don't -- >> what is your criteria for interventi intervention? >> in syria? >> worldwide. >> national security of the american people. it's got to be in the national interest of our country. >> no humanitarian? >> each situation will come up with its own set of
circumstances, but putting american troops on the ground, that's got to be within the national security interest of the american people. >> i want to -- we're almost out of time here. >> 'em bar goeps and sanctions and overflights, those are things that don't put american troops on the ground. if you are talking about that, only in our national security interests. >> i want to move on and i want to 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. and i would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in yourview. please talk about how you came to that decision. talk about how your religion played a part in that and please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country, please 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 about how to take care of the you have they arable. of how to make sure that people have a chance in life. now, you want to ask basically why i'm pro-life, it's not simply 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 ten and a half years ago, my wife janna and i went to mercy hospital where i was born for our seven-week ultrasound 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. now, i believe that life begins
at conception. that's why those are the reasons why i'm pro life. now, i understand this is a difficu 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 at what they're doing through obama care, with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. their enfringing upon our first freedom. the freedom of religion, by enfringing of catholic charities, catholic churches, catholic hospitals. our church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain our
religious liberties. the democratic party used to say they want it to be safe, legal and rare. now, they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding. taxpayer funding in obama care,
with foreign aid. the vice president himself went to china and said that he sympathized or wouldn't second guess
their one-child policy of forced abortions and sterilization. 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 -- we regard to abortion, i accept my church's position on abortion as, what we call, a defite doctrine. i accept that in my personal life. but i refuse to impose it on
equally devout christians, muslims, jews. i just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman. i do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that, women, they can't control their body. that's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the supreme court, i'm not going to interfere 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, any hospital, none has to either refer 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. now, with regard to the way in which we differ, my friend says
that he -- well, i guess he accepts governor romney's position now, because 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 that if you believe that 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 and 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, you've taken issue. >> why would they keep suing you? >> i want to go back to the abortion question here. if the romney/ryan ticket is elected, should those who
believe that abortion should 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 for the m theic 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 the chief adviser on the court for, for mr. romney, who do you think he's likely to appoint? you think he's likely to appoint someone like scalia or someone else on the court, far right that would outlaw abortion? i suspect that would happen. ill guarantee you that will not happen. we pick two people, we pick people who are open minded. they've been good justices.
so, keep on an eye -- >> was there a litmus test on them? >> there was. we picked people with an open mind. did not come with an agenda. >> we are running out of time, so, i'm going to move on. certainly, 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 said that 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? >> i would say to him, the same thing i say to my son, who did serve a year in iraq. that we only have one truly
sacred obligation as a government. 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 deck rated soldier you talked about, fought for his country, that that should be honored. he should not be thrown into a category of the 47% who don't pay their taxes while he was out there fighting and not having to pay taxes and somehow, not taking responsibility. i would also tell him that there are things that have occurred in this campaign and occur in every campaign that i'm sure both of us regret. anyone having said. particularly in these special new groups that can go out there, raise all the money they want, not have to identify themselves, say the most scurrilous things about the other candidate. it's an abomination.
but the bottom line here is, i'd ask that hero you referenced 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 only the very wealthy, not asking them to make any part of the deal to bring back the middle class, 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 the slip shod comments being made by my -- governor romney serve our interest very well. but there are things that have been said in campaigns that i find not very appealing. >> congressman ryan? >> first of all, i would thank
him for his service to the country. second of all, i would say, we're not going to impose devastating cuts to our military. and then i would say, you have a president who ran for president four years ago, promising hope and change, who has now 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 to run from. that was what president obama said in 2008, 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 of 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 won't 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 will go down
$2,500 per family per year. they
have gone up 3,000. he said, i promise i'll cult the deficit in half in four years. we've had four budgets, $4 trillion deficits. a debt crisis is coming. we can't keep spending and borrowing like this. we can't spend 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 passed two budgets to 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. we asked his budget office, can we see the plan, they send us to the press secretary, he gave us a copy of the speech. tell us what president obama's plan is. they said, it's a speech. we can't estimate speeches. you see -- that's what we get in this administration.
speeches. we're not getting leadership. mitt romney is uniquely qualified to fix these problems. his lifetime of experience, his proven track record of buy partisan ship. what do we have from the president? he broke his promise. 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 just a few minutes here. a few seconds, really. >> the two budgets the congressman introduced have e vice rated all the things that the middle class cares about. it is not -- knocked 19 million people off medicare. it will kick 200,000 children off of early education. it will eliminate the tax credit people have to be able to send their children to college. it cuts education by $450 billion. it does -- it does virtually nothing except continue to increase the tax cuts for the
very wealthy. and, you know, we had enough of this. the idea that he's so concerned about the deficit, i pointed out, he voted to put two wars on a credit card. >> we're going to the closing statements in a second. you're going have -- >> not raising taxes is not cutting taxes. by the war, our budget, 3% a year instead of 4.5%. >> 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 are 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 can lead this country. but what you need are people who, when they say they're going to do something, they go do it. what you need, are 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 is all about. it's about getting 12 million jobs, higher take home pay, getting people into the middle class. that means, going with proven pro-growth policies we know works to get people back to work. putting ideas on the table. working with democrats. that actually works. >> vice president, can we get to that issue of what you can bring as a man, a human being? i'm going to keep you to about 15 seconds. >> he gets 40 -- >> he didn't have 40. >> that's all right. let me tell you. my -- my record stands for itself. i never say anything i don't mean. everybody knows whatever i say, i do. and my whole life has been devoted to leveling the playing field for middle class people. giving them an even break. treating mainstreet and wall street the same, hold them to the same responsibility. look at my record. it's been all about the middle class. they are the people who grow this country. we think you grow this country
from the middle out. >> 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. >> well, let me say at the outset that i want to thank you, martha, for doing this. and centre college. the fact is that 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 the people who need most help now. and in the process, we, in case you haven't noticed, we have strong disagreements, be you you probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the american people. my friend says that 30% of the american people are takers. romney points out 47% of the people won't take responsibility. he's talking about my mother and father. talking about the places i grew up in, my neighbors in scranton.
he's talking about -- he's talking about the people that have built this country. all they're looking for, martha, all they're looking for is an even shot. when you give them the shot, they've done it. they've done it. when you level the playing field, they've been able to move. they want a little bit of peace of mind. and the president and i are not going to rest until that playing field is leveled. 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, centre college. i want to thank you, joe. it's been an honor to engage in this critical debate. 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 uniquely kwqualified to get this job done. wouldn't it be nice to have a job creator in the white house? the choice is clear. a stagnant economy that promotes more government dependency or a dynamic growing xhe that promotes opportunity and jobs? mitt romney and i will not duck
the tough issues. and we will not blame others for the next four years, we will 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 vow vote. thank you. >> and thank you both again. thank you very much. 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. >> and there you have it. i thought it was an extraordinary night. 90 minutes spent right at the heart of the vitality, the center of vitality of the american democracy in action. 69-year-old vice president,
42-year-old congressman in the debate and questioned by our own, i think, great, martha raddatz. george, we're watching the families come up and we see paul ryan, kissing his mom, also his wife janna, who is a former tax attorney and, of course, mrs. biden is up there, dr. jill biden is up there, as well, and the families are joining them on stage. >> diane, you said it was extraordinary. that was a debate that lived up to the hype. real exchanges right from the start. there was just no question about -- you have to say, a lot of the credit is going to have to go to martha raddatz, she asked pointed questions, she kept control. he really forced the exchanges. as for the candidates, joe biden came in and gave the game that a lot of democrats wanted from barack obama last week but did not get. >> are you saying there was a clear winner? >> i'm saying exact will what i said. he gave the game the democrats wanted on things, the middle class, on the 47%. on abortion. he also opened up issues democrats wanted to talk about.
paul ripe heyan held his own. humanized himself when he had to hue thmanize himself. but over the course of the debate, more of issues fell in biden's corner. he was able to take control of more of the debate. >> tell you what all of you are saying out there online, not that you don't know, but the signal from our partners and friends at yahoo! is this. there were so many mentions of the vice president smiling and laughing at the beginning and the split screen in this debate. also, the word mularkey. and also, again -- >> bunch of stuff. >> a lot of comments on the strength of our own martha raddatz. our team of insiders standing by. we want to get to them, as well. matt dowd, who has worked with presidential campaigns for more than 25 years is here. matt, what did you see tonight? >> i take up the question that you asked george directly. biden won. this is -- i think biden is the clear winner. i think paul ryan did fine. i think he comported himself
well. on the national stage. biden won. biden did exactly what he had to do. interesting as i watched this, the baseball playoffs are today, huge games. they needed a reliever to come in and this reliever came in with a bunch of fastballs and brush-back pitches. >> what does that mean for the president? >> i think that he has been -- president obama's been losing ground since the last debate and that stopped tonight. that ground that he lost, the bleeding has stopped tonight. it puts much bigger underlying for next tuesday in the presidential dedebate. >> nicolle? >> four years ago, i was in sarah palin's hold room and i prayed to god that the biden showed up tonight had faced her four years ago. biden four years ago was respectful, he was composed, he was presidential. biden, his biggest problem were the faces that reminded me the way my dad watches obama's press
conferences. i thought biden came unhinged. he got mad. he raised his voice at martha raddatz. he did a lot of finger wagging. and i think that may have thrilled democrats but i think that the people that obama is worried about are the independents and the people who have cooled to him. i don't think biden spoke to them at all. >> there's a lot of commentary about biden's smiles but it seem, as you saw that split screen that the two candidates were talking to two completely different audiences. >> that is correct. joe biden understood tonight that he had to go back out there and do what president obama failed to do last week. that is, convince the american people that the democrats have a plan for the future. also, reassure voters out there that the obama/biden team understands what the american people care deeply about. i don't think people will be alarmed at the fact that he was enjoying himself. joe biden loves politics. he loves being with people and i think what came across tonight is that joe biden had something to say and he was eager to say
it. >> but a reality check to both of you, how much does this move the needle? all three, all four of you. how much does this really move the needle in the presidential race? >> first of all, i think you have to look -- this settled down before this debate began. the polls had basically gone back to where they were before the conventions. i think the stops erosion among democrats, clearly, as matthew dowd talked about. i think it solidifies the position the president had before the debate. but that means we're still in a dog fight in places like virginia and florida and colorado. the presidential candidates are going to have to break that in the debate. >> interestingly, i think this did what dick cheney did in 2004. he came in, stopped the bleeding, stopped it and reenergized republicans. what happened last week, democrats got, lost their energy in the race and the polls changed. >> nicolle, one of the things
that governor romney had to do is reassure people about who they are. did he get that done? >> i think he did. starting tomorrow morning, going through the weekend into tuesday, and i think what republicans are going to drive is this question that biden opened up about what they knew and when they knew it with the attacks in benghazi. i think there was serious news that was made. rar th martha should clear her schedule. what she was able to do tonight, both men made some news and both of these men are frankly better at this than the men that they work for at the top of their ticket. but by being better, they said more and i feel like republicans feel like they have fresh ammunition on this growing scandal, which is how the right seeps the investigation into the attacks and the tragic death of our ambassador in libya. >> the vice president said, we didn't know about the security concerns in benghazi in particular, clearly state department officials did. >> well, the vice president also made it clear that he was going
to let the facts talk for themselves. and not try to get ahead of it and not politicize it. and i think the romney team should be careful about politicizing anything of this magnitude. but i think vice president biden tonight had details. he had facts. and the romney/ryan ticket better be concerned now about all of the tax stuff that came out. once again, paul ryan didn't understand the specifics and he did not understand how the math would add up. >> biden got in a good pun. wh when he talked about how democrats and republicans get done. this is where age didn't work for ryan, because biden was able to say, yes, i was there. i saw tip o'neil and reagan do that. and i think he did get in the a few good blows, if you will, against ryan. >> it was heart versus head. joe biden was more heart, paul ryan was more head. if you show your heart in debates, you win. >> he said irish a lot. irish background. i want to go to kentucky, my
background there, to danville, kentucky, i love they are calling it the thrill in the ville down in danville and jake tapper, david muir and jon karl are standing by. jake? lead us off. >> reporter: well, the obama campaign says they feel vice president biden did the forceful job he needs to do. a top democrat i spoke with earlier was worried that the age difference would play poorly for the vice president, being 69, that he feared he would seem tired. obviously vice president biden came ready to play. i think it's fair to say that jason sudeikis who plays him on "saturday night live" has a lot of ammunition for saturday night. democrats will be energized by the vice president's performance. they will be excited and it tees up president obama well. i agree with nicolle that i think it's different to see how it will play with independents, the moderates. but democrats feel very good about the vice president's performance and feel this will
be a good way or the alley-oop for president obama. >> david muir? >> i got to tell you, george, a lot different from last week in denver where i was hearing from key advisers toward the key of the debate that romney made a lot of points on the economy, it was more content-driven than the text and e-mails i was receiving from romney advisers tonight who talked a lot more about behavior on that stage, mannerisms, almost immediately i was getting messages that said, did anyone tell vice president biden about the split screen? you're going to hear a lot from the romney campaign about the smiling, about the romming of the eyes. they described ryan's performance tonight as presidential, calm and collected. they say biden was the opposite. but as jake just mentioned, those swing voters is what the romney campaign is going to ask about. whether or not biden offered the red meat to the democratic base. the romney team will ask, did he do what he needed to do to try to persuade the swing vioters? they believe ryan didn't do anything to get in the way tonight of governor romney's success.
>> and jon karl, you covered both these men on capitol hill. they both seemed to bring their own a-games, very different kinds of games and i nope you are also looking at the facts right here. did you see any kind of glaring factual misstatements? >> well, i think there was a lot of back and forth, frankly, it's going to be difficult to untangle. these come from different views on the views of tax cuts, but i've got to tell you something, george. i'm here in what we call spin alley. this is where all the top people for each campaign are going around and giving their take on what the -- what happened in this debate. and it is entirely different than what we saw at the last debate where, if you remember, the romney folks were out in force, talking about what a great debate they had and the obama team came in very briefly and left. in this case, the obama people are out in force, they are thrilled with biden's performance. they like the passion. they are calling him the happy
warrior. i just spoke to obama's campaign manager who said this was a clear, decisive win for the vice president. now, you may not believe that, but it's different than what they were saying after the last debate. you didn't hear such emphatic statements coming after the last debate. as for the ryan folks, they're also happy. as you heard from david, a lot of talk about the vice president's laughter at strange moments. i mean, even when paul ryan was making the point about the dangers of a nuclear-armed iran, at one point, you had laughter coming from biden. just seemed a little bit strange. and you hear a lot of -- a lot of talk about biden's mannerisms and the fact that ryan was here showing a command of the facts, not just on the budget, they know he can do that, but also on the foreign policy question. in this case, i think a much more evenly split debate. >> all right, jon, thank you. we're going to get back to all of you and take a quick break here, but you should know, we
know a little bit about what the advice was from governor romney and also president obama. we know that governor romney, at least, we're told, said to paul ryan, they're going to come at you now, so get ready. and, as we know, president obama said to joe biden, joe biden should be joe biden. >> and he was. >> and he was. and he was. and when we come back, we're going to talk a little bit more about what the two presidential candidates were thinking when they were watching this tonight, or what they were doing. you're watching abc news coverage of the vice presidential debate. music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost. so i never missed a beat. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans.
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>> announcer: abc news live coverage of the presidential debate. once again, diane sawyer and george stephanopoulos. >> and we are back with our team of analysts and insiders. ma matthew dowd, we saw how energized democrats were, joe biden focusing on the 47%. republicans are going to focus on what happened at that consulate in benghazi, from which you saw tonight, which issues do you see each campaign carrying forward? >> it's really interesting.
we're going to see a total flip-flop of the campaigns and what they are doing. the romney campaign up until now always wanted to make this about the company. i think they are now going to prosecute a case on foreign polic policy. on the other hand, the president, who sort of has been defensive on the economy, i think what joe biden did, the 47%, the middle class, i think they're going to try to avoid foreign policy and concentrate totally on the economy and totally on the middle class. i think they are going to take that message and run it through. so, we're going to see a flip on what they think is now important. >> same question to you, nicolle. >> republicans have already started this with the libya, as we talked about before, but i think that with the democrats are so excited about is that biden did something that obama wasn't capable of doing. there's no evidence that voters will now transfer their support for obama because of something biden did. this has a lot more to do with what we chat about, but i'm not sure that it translates to a change in the polls. >> let me just ask you to stay
in this debate for a second, been that one moment. we all looked up at each other in that moment, i'm sure people at home had those moments, too, when congressman ryan said something about the vice president being under duress. what was that? >> personal exchanges were nice. when ryan said, you know, i know sometimes we all have a hard time with the things that come out of our mouths, when he made the illusion to biden, you know, speaking his sminmind. his comment about being under duress, i think that was a little insulting and i don't think that probably came out of his mouth the way he wanted it to. >> and clearly vice president biden gottage sta agtag agitate admitted to it. can president obama afford to be as argumentative, as fiery as you saw joe biden? >> well, absolutely, george, look. first of all, barack obama is not joe biden. he's not the kind of guy that is
going to walk in there and start punching and hitting. he likes to make a case and he's a little bit more methodical. >> more like ryan. >> absolutely. but you know, i think next week, president obama has to show a lot more energy, he has to -- he has to also take the fight to mitt romney, cannot be hesitant. this, what we saw tonight, was joe biden at his best. and i think this word mularkey, i don't talk about mularkey about, but maybe that's one way, when democrats hear something that disturbs them, we'll just saw mularkey. >> at one point, in fact, congressman ryan had said this, the biggest worry was that joe biden would bring his irish uncle moment to it. maybe mularkey was it. i don't know. let's go to jake tapper. he covers the white house. jake, what do you think about that? what is the president saying inside, what does this mean in terms of what he does tuesday night? >> well, president obama was watching the debate on air force one flying from miami back to
washington. when the plane landed, he went over to reporters and said that he could not be prouder of vice president biden, thought that he made a very strong case on behalf of the middle class and he repeated again, i could not be prouder. other top democrats have spoken with -- you don't get topper than president obama, but others have said that they thought vice president biden really brought the fight to the republican ticket and the campaign needed that and the democrats needed that. but listen to what they're saying. they're saying that it's the democratic party and the obama/biden campaign itself that needed what vice president biden did. they're not talking about these middle class voters, these persuadable voters as much, though, obviously, they think the vice president did make a strong case to them. >> and as matt dowd said, it stopped the bleeding. i think one of the most fascinating exchanges of the night, david muir, came when martha raddatz asked their personal views about abortion. this is an issue that mitt
romney at first said he didn't know of any legislation that he would support to, on the issue of abortion. and then they kind of had to walk that back. is this going to be something you see them deeming with in the next few days? >> well, there was that 24-hour period, george, we talked about it on "gma," where governor romney said that, but the next day, the campaign was very clear, they said, there is not a shift here. if governor romney is elected, he will be a pro-life president. and congressman ryan made that same argument on the stage here. they had to talk about their religion, how it determined how they decided where their stance is on this. on the stage. i think the romney campaign feels very comfortable about the argument made by congressman ryan tonight. it does now fit with what governor romney said after he talked with "the des moines register." a number of people were asking, is he changing a bit from what he said earlier, at least in tone, back in the primary debates. he said he would, in fact, support a supreme court that would overturn roe v. wade.
tonight, congressman ryan did not say anything that will go up against that. >> and a quick weigh-in from jon karl? >> well, i'll tell you, one of the big things from the ryan camp is, this is the first time he's really been under the microscope on foreign policy. the first part of the debate on foreign policy. the consensus from his team here is that is where he was the strongest. he passed that test and that was probably the biggest moment for paul ryan. >> okay, thank you, jon. and jake and david. and we're going to take a quick break and we'll be back with some final thoughts. abc news live coverage of the vice presidential debate
kentucky, and also, martha raddatz. if we seem very proud, we've always known what a great journalist she is. we're happy everybody else does, too. >> and we saw it tonight. we saw a big audience for the first presidential debate. i suspect there was a big audience for this tonight and that will only increase the number of viewers who want to see the presidential candidates go at it again tuesday night. >> that is true. i want to remind everybody that "good morning america" will be right here tomorrow morning, of course, "nightline" will come along later. a special edition tonight. >> that's right. i will see you tomorrow on "gma" and of course, we will both be back here, our entire team next tuesday night for the second presidential debate, barack obama goes up against mitt romney. for all of us at abc news right now, have a good night. >> good night.