About Libya, Biden stated that the Obama Administration will find the culprits and bring them to justice. He admitted there were mistakes made,
Ryan said the Obama administration was foolish to blame the Libya attack on a YouTube video, and questioned why it took the President two weeks to confirm it as a terrorist attack.
Ryan questioned why the U.S. Ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment to support him, but there was no such detachment in Benghazi.
Biden stated they were not told that more support was needed in Benghazi, and had it been asked for it would have been granted.
He stated that the Obama Administration changed their view about the attack in Libya as soon as the intelligence community changed their collective view. To prematurely call the act terrorism and be mistaken would have been foolish.
Before the news about the ambassador was announced, Romney was already in a press conference about it. Biden went on to state that the GOP speech about the Libya crisis was premature and inappropriate. Ryan defended that stating, “It’s never too early to speak up about our values.”
Ryan stated the defense cuts would make the U.S. appear weak. Biden stated that Romney actually cut embassy security in his budget plan by $300,000.
Biden said that the U.S. does not look weak to the international community, but that Obama has actually worked hard to repair political alliances that were damaged by Bush.
On the topic of Iran, Ryan stated that we cannot allow Iran to gain nuclear weapons capability, claiming that Iran is now four years closer to having those weapons. He also alluded that the conflict could not be solved peacefully. Ryan claimed that Russia was hindering the necessary sanctions, and then accused the Obama administration of doing the same by allowing Russia to have a say.
Biden laughed, and stated that Russia and China would never have joined the sanctions as the Republicans wanted them. Biden confirmed that Iran is a long way from having a nuclear weapon. They have uranium, but no weapon to put the uranium in. Biden further stated that U.S. and Israeli intelligence are on the same page and that premature action in Iran is not in the best interest of the U.S.
Ryan looked at the Iran question from the Ayatollah’s point of view, stating they see a weak America. Ryan said the only way is to get them to change their mind about making nuclear weapons, and Ryan did not mean the U.S. needs to ask them nicely to stop.
Ryan stated that Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism, and they are the worst problem today. Ryan wants to pressure Iran with American military muscles.
Biden said the Ayatollah sees the Iranian economy becoming crippled, that they see less oil exports, and the whole world united in opposition against their quest for a nuclear weapon. Biden stated that war should always be the absolute last resort. He further announced that Romney acknowledged that the sanctions are working, and Ryan did not refute it.
When asked what he would do to get the unemployment rate below 6 percent, Biden stated that the Republicans need to take some responsibility and pay some taxes.
Biden is an advocate of “the same rules for Wall Street and Main Street” meaning he doesn't want to extend the Bush-era tax breaks on the wealthy. Biden twice stated that Romney is holding the tax breaks for the middle class hostage, stating that would only happen if the very wealthy also get their tax breaks, and Ryan never refuted it.
Ryan admitted that the Republicans left the Obama administration in a tough position, but stated they are going in the wrong direction.
Ryan announced a five-point plan, stating the goal was to get America energy independent by the end of the decade, creation of three-million jobs, oil, gas and manufacturing jobs, as well as decrease the burden on small businesses. (However, analysts have concluded that following Obama’s plan would do the same thing.)
Biden stated that Romney wanted to let the automotive industry go bankrupt, and that he wanted to let the housing market bottom out instead of providing relief to Americans who were unable to pay due to economic reasons.
Ryan blamed the economic crisis on single-party control. (Though, the 112th Congress, a bipartisan Congress after the single-party controlled 111th Congress, was the most inefficient Congress in all of U.S. History.)
About Medicare, Ryan said he would reform the programs to keep them from going bankrupt. He brought up the same board that his running mate discussed – the 15-member board that Republicans fear would dictate who gets to have what medical care.
Biden stated that both the American Medical Association and the American Association of Retired People both backed Obamacare, and discussed how Obamacare cuts out the copay's for wellness visits of senior citizens, and gives additional help for prescription costs. Biden claimed that Obamacare would fix Medicare by 2016.
Ryan stated that their plan, commonly referred to by Democrats as the Voucher Plan, would not be a voucher system. He said that the subsidies would be taken down for wealthy people only. He stated it was a bipartisan plan, mentioning his Democrat supporter from Oregon [referring Senator Ron Wyden, who later took issue with Mitt Romney linking him to Paul Ryan, according to Roll Call.]
Biden stated that all the problems the Republicans have with Obamacare and the alleged cuts to Medicare as a result would all disappear if the Republicans would just allow Medicare to bargain for the cost of drugs.
About tax cuts, Biden stated that the middle class should pay less and the millionaires should pay more. The Bush-era tax cuts should be allowed to expire. He said the wealthy are patriotic Americans and were not even asking or the tax cuts in the first place, so they serve no purpose. Biden wants the tax cuts for the middle class permanently extended.
Ryan stated their premise is to grow the economy and create jobs. He stated their plan would create 7 million jobs. He wants the tax loopholes for the rich closed.
Ryan didn't discuss the specifics about his plans to create jobs but assured the American people that his math was right.
Ryan gave Reagan as an example to emulate. Biden pointed out that Reagan disclosed specifics about his plans.
Biden was emphatic about Ryan’s math, stating that there was no way to come up with 5 trillion dollars from closing loopholes in a way that doesn't drastically impact the middle class.
About the defense budget, Ryan stated that if the proposed cuts are allowed to go through, the Navy would be the smallest it has been since World War One. Biden stated the cuts were backed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommending a smaller more specialist-oriented Army.
About Afghanistan, Ryan said the Romney Administration has never been against the 2014 draw-down but that they want to ensure the Taliban will not take the country back.
Biden reminded the American people that we have accomplished the goal in Afghanistan, and while that was being done we helped train the Afghan military. Now it’s their responsibility because it’s their country. Moreover, Biden stated that 49 U.S. allies are in support of the 2014 withdrawal and that the decision is backed by the Joint Chiefs.
About Syria, Biden stated that military action was not taken because the Obama Administration is trying to avoid it becoming a regional war. Biden stated that the U.S. is working with the Turkish, Jordanian, and Saudi governments to assess the best course of action and decide exactly who the good guys are before aid is offered. Biden held true to his belief, “The last thing America needs is to get in another ground war in the Middle East.”
Ryan affirmed that they were not planning to send military personnel to Syria, but thought the Obama Administration was wrong to consult the U.N. However, he never mentioned what he would do instead.
About abortion, Ryan stated that he wants to ensure that people have a chance at life. As a Catholic, he believes life begins at conception. He says the plan is to make abortion illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or the health of the mother.
Biden stated that as a Catholic, he also believes life begins at conception, but he doesn’t think it is appropriate to impose that belief on other people. He doesn’t believe the government should have the right to tell women they can’t control their own body.
About the negative campaign advertising, Biden said they’re an abomination. Ryan blamed Obama for negative ads, never mentioning the ads made by his running mate.
The closing statements of both men were respectful summaries of the topics covered previously.