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What they said in vice presidential debate

Published October 11, 2012 9:42 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan wrangled over the economy, entitlements, abortion and national security Thursday night in a testy, interruption-filled debate. A look at what they said:

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TAXES

Biden: "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 million — billion of that goes to people making a minimum of $1 million. We see no justification in these economic times for those, and they're patriotic Americans. They're not asking for this continued tax cut. They're not suggesting it, but my friends are insisting on it. ... They're holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy. "

Ryan: "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 percent of a family and business's income is enough. President Obama thinks that the government ought to be able to take as much as 44.8 percent of a small business's income."

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MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY

Ryan: "If we don't shore up Social Security, when we run out of the IOUs, when the program goes bankrupt, a 25 percent 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 credible solution on the table. He'll tell you about vouchers. He'll say all these things to try and scare people. Here's what we're saying: give younger people, when they become Medicare eligible, guaranteed coverage options that you can't be denied, including traditional Medicare."

Biden: "With regard to Social Security, we will not privatize it. If we had listened to Romney, Gov. Romney, and the congressman during the Bush years, imagine 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."

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LIBYA

Biden: "It was a tragedy. ... (Ambassador) Chris Stevens was one of our best. We lost three other brave Americans. ... I can make absolutely two commitments to you and all 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 were made will not be made again."

Ryan: "If we're hit by terrorists we're going to call it for what it is, a terrorist attack. ... 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."

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IRAN

Ryan: "They're moving faster toward 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."

Biden: "Imagine had we let the Republican Congress work out the sanctions. You think there's any 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 sanctions, period. Period. When Governor Romney's asked about it, he said, 'We've got to keep these sanctions.' When he said, 'Well, you're talking about doing more,' what are you — you're going to go to war? Is that what you want to do?"

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ABORTION

Biden: "My religion defines who I am, and I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And has particularly informed my social doctrine. The Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can't take care of themselves, people who need help. ... Life begins at conception in the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others."

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 vulnerable, 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. ... I understand this is a 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 abortions with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother."