Joe Biden-Paul Ryan Debate: 5 Things to Watch
Get ready for the battle of the cannonball and the data junkie.
Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan square off in their one and only debate Thursday night at Centre College in Danville, Ky., in what promises to be a consequential match-up following a widely panned performance by Biden’s boss, Barack Obama, in his own debate with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Ryan predicts that Biden will come at him like a “cannonball” during the 90-minute verbal slugfest. Biden, for his part, has to prepare for a volley of statistics about jobs and entitlements from the chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Investors should expect the two No. 2s to partly pick up where their bosses left off and get in some new digs on Medicare, the auto industry, defense spending and more.
Here are five things to watch when Biden and Ryan go head to head at 9 p.m. Eastern on Thursday night.
Medicare, Round 2: Call the Romney-Ryan plan for Medicare “premium support” or a “voucher program” — just don’t call the entitlement issue dead in this campaign. Obama and Romney went to the mat over Medicare multiple times in their debate and no doubt their running mates are eager to continue the conversation. Romney repeatedly attacked Obama for proposing to take $716 billion out of the program. Biden can counter that the same cut was proposed in the Ryan budget. “That’s a defense for Ryan,” says Peter Ferrara, a senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at the Heartland Institute. “He doesn’t cut it anymore than the Obama administration.”
Also on health care, Biden will need to do a better job on defense of “Obamacare” than the president did. Investors in hospitals, pay attention: you lost money after the last debate.