Updated 10/12/2012 01:18 PM
Decision 2012: Biden, Ryan Square Off In Vice Presidential Debate
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Vice President Joe Biden and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan faced-off in their first and only debate Thursday night, with foreign policy, the economy and Medicare reform the biggest issues of the night.
Foreign policy took center stage at the top, with the candidates debating the circumstances and response to the recent death of an American Ambassador to Libya.
Ryan pounced on the Obama administration for its reluctance to label the attack on the American consulate a terrorist attack.
"This Benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself but unfortunately, it is indicative of a broader problem," Ryan said. "That is, what we are watching on our tv screens is the unraveling of Obama foreign policy, which is making the world more chaotic and us less safe."
Biden countered by saying Romney was trying to score political points off the tragedy before he knew all the facts.
"That is a bunch of malarkey because not a single thing he said was accurate," Biden said.
The vice presidential candidates also mixed it up over Medicare and the Republican candidates' plans to reform it. Ryan said he and Romney are trying to change the health insurance program for seniors in order to save it. He said attacks from Democrats are simply scare tactics.
"Medicare and social security did so much for my own family," Ryan said. "We are not going to jeopardize this program but we have to save it."
"You are jeopardizing the program," Biden said. "You are changing it from a guaranteed benefit to premium. And the bottom line is, people are going to have to pay more out of their pocket. And the families I know, the families I come from do not have that money."
"That's why we are saying more for lower-income people and less for higher-income people," said Ryan.
From a style standpoint, there were stark differences between the candidates. Biden was often flashing his wide smile and even chuckled openly at times at his opponent, whom he repeatedly called "my friend." Ryan maintained a more serious tone as he kept up his attacks on the other side.