What Do Biden and Ryan Need to Bring to Tonight's VP Debate? Patch Asks Macomb Party Leaders
The first and only vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan is set for 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11.
With President Barack Obama's rather tame first debate against Republican challenger Mitt Romney still fresh in the minds of voters, word on the street and in national media is that Vice President Joe Biden needs to bring a bit more fire to his message when he meets Paul Ryan tonight.
Patch reached out to North Macomb Democratic Club President Gary E. Cynowa and Republican Committee of Northern Macomb County Chairman Rob Montilla to get input on the tactics and topics their candidates will need to use to sway any wavering voters in their campaign's direction.
While the majority of northern Macomb cities and townships voted for Obama's challenger, Sen. John McCain, in 2008, Obama did win the county, according to the election records.
Patch: What are key issues Biden needs to address, or force Ryan to address, in this debate? Any specific issues stemming from last week's debate?
Cynowa: Biden should press Ryan on his support of a budget that would privatize Social Security, voucherize Medicare, slash assistance to the poor and the disabled, and decimate federal funding of education and alternative energy sources so that he can try to pay for the tax reduction he is offering to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations.
Biden should also make Ryan answer to how he and Romney plan to use the $716 billion that he falsely claims President Obama is taking away from Medicare benefits for seniors.
Patch: What are key issues Ryan needs to address, or force Biden to address, in this debate? Any specific issues stemming from last week's debate?
Montilla: Congressman Paul Ryan will continue to stress the need to put America back to work. Building an environment that allows businesses to thrive and hire workers is the number one goal of a Romney/Ryan administration. As a nation, we cannot afford four more years of a jobs environment so bad that people are leaving the workforce in droves.
Patch: Polls and commentary indicate that Americans didn't consider last week's debate one of Obama's best. What do you expect is Biden's goal going into this debate? What does it need to be?
Cynowa: Biden needs to fully explain what the Obama-Biden administration has accomplished to date and what they plan to accomplish in the next four years. He has to speak passionately and common-sensically to how this administration is better suited to meet the needs of the middle class and working families as only Joe Biden can.
Patch: What do you expect is Ryan's goal going into this debate? What does it need to be?
Montilla: Congressman Ryan's goal will be to continue to present to the American people why Governor Romney and he are best equipped to lead America out of the poor economic situation. The polls and commentary after the last debate are a reflection that Governor Romney's positive message and real solutions are exactly what many undecided voters were waiting to hear.
Patch: From your conversations with grassroots Democratic supporters and undecided voters, how much emphasis do they put on the debates in terms of influencing votes?
Cynowa: Grassroots supporters need to feel that our candidates have the necessary fire-in-the-belly to take on the Republican establishment that has basically made its primary goal to make Obama a one-term only President by blocking or attempting to block each major administrative proposal that has come their way.
Undecided voters need to hear how this administration has worked toward the interests of the working class, how it has consistently represented the 99% majority of the public citizens with legislation and regulations, and how it will work for a better future for parents, grandparents, and their children.
Patch: From your conversations with grassroots Republican supporters and undecided voters, how much emphasis do they put on the debates in terms of influencing votes?
Montilla: Having a convincing and decisive victory in the debate certainly doesn't hurt, but the most important aspect in reaching undecided voters is the personal contact. Hearing directly from a fellow American why the Romney/Ryan team is the best option to fix the ailing economy carries far more weight. Michigan Republicans made over 230,000 voter contacts again last weekend and it is this type of effort that has momentum in Governor Romney's favor in Michigan.
Patch: Jobs and the economy aside, is there an issue that has the potential to make or break this election?
Cynowa: I expect the Romney-Ryan ticket will have a boatload of SuperPAC money to try to convince the citizens that they are actually more moderate and concerned about the interests of all Americans, even though that image is vastly different and false when compared to the speeches and interviews they have given to date.
Montilla: No. There is no issue to make or break this election other than how best to fix the economy and spur job creation.
Patch: What surprised you most in last week's presidential debate?
Cynowa: I was surprised that the moderator Jim Lehrer did such a poor job of controlling the debate and did not call on either candidate to explain how their rhetoric may not have matched up with either what they have said on previous occasions or by their prior actions.
Montilla: The biggest surprise in the presidential debate was the lack of passion displayed by President Obama. For someone who had a consistently charismatic presence four years ago, his performance in the debate bordered on apathetic. In contrast, Mitt Romney was poised, articulate and had full command of the issues. Governor Romney continues to be the clear choice to be the next President of the United States.
The political banter kicks off at 9 p.m. live on national television on all major networks, including ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN Espanol. AOL will provide a live stream of the debate.