As the vice presidential debate Thursday night continued to focus on economic issues, moderator Martha Raddatz pressed GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan to give specifics on how he and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney would pay for their tax proposals.
"Different than this administration, we actually want to have big bipartisan agreements," Ryan said. "Look at what Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill did. They worked together out of a framework."
Ryan continued to avoid giving specific numbers, saying he and Romney are offering a "framework" of proposals that will become specific proposals during congressional negotiations.
"I was there when Ronald Reagan [passed] tax breaks. He gave specifics of what he was going to cut," vice president Joe Biden shot back, in a retort reminiscent of the 1988 vice presidential debate between Dan Quayle and Lloyd Bentsen.
"The only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is to cut the mortgage deduction for middle-class people," Biden continued. When Ryan denied the Romney plan would raise taxes on the middle class, Biden said, "Not mathematically possible."
"It is mathematically possible. ... Jack Kennedy lowered tax rates, increased growth," Ryan said.
"Oh, now you're Jack Kennedy," Biden said, rolling his eyes and continuing to evoke memories of the '88 debate, during which Bentsen told Quayle, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."