VP debate: Ryan accuses White House of “weakness,” Biden say GOP “betting against America”

Eric Pfeiffer

The vice presidential debate opened with a bang tonight as debate moderator Martha Raddatz asked vice president Joe Biden and GOP vp nominee Paul Ryan if the recent attacks in Libya and Egypt represented a failure of U.S. intelligence. The answers were sharp, with Ryan accusing the White House of projecting weakness and Biden saying that Republicans "bet against America all the time."

"I can make absolutely two commitments to you. ... One, we will find and bring to justice the men who did this," Biden said. "And secondly, we will get to the bottom of it … wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us. ... Whatever mistakes were made will not be made again."

Biden then compared the positions of President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Iraq and Afghanistan, saying Obama is right in pulling out of the forme, and reducing troops in 2014 in the latter, while Romney is wrong in saying withdrawal is a mistake.

When it was Ryan's turn to respond, he did not hesitate to go on the attack, accusing the White House of mismanagement and projecting weakness around the world.

"It took the president two weeks to acknowledge this was a terrorist attack," Ryan said. "If we're hit by terrorists we're going to call it for what it is—a terrorist attack. [We want to] We want to make sure that we're not projecting weakness abroad and that's what's happening here."

Ryan also said the Obama administration was out of touch with the situation on the ground, instead focusing on the politics of the situation.

"They first blamed the YouTube video. Now they're trying to blame the Romney-Ryan ticket for making this an issue," Ryan said.

Biden repeatedly scoffed at Ryan's comments, attempting to interject and finally saying, "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey.