(NJDC) In last night's debate, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) demonstrated the clear contrast between the policies of the two campaigns. In a discussion that covered issues ranging from Iran to health care, Biden showed once again that it's President Obama and the Democratic Party who share the values of the majority of Jewish voters.
With 35 years of foreign policy experience in the Senate, Biden shut down Ryan's smears against the president's record on Iran. The Vice President affirmed that
"We will not allow the Iranians to get a nuclear weapon" and said about sanctions,
These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period...The ayatollah sees his economy being crippled... he sees the world for the first time totally united in opposition to him getting a nuclear weapon... That's why these crippling sanctions, which [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu says we should continue... the fact of the matter is, he says they're working.
On the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, Biden reiterated the historically close relationship between the two countries, stating, "The Israelis and the United States, our military and intelligence communities are absolutely the same exact place... there is no difference between our view and theirs."
In addition to Politifact exposing one of Ryan's blatantly false Israel claims, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg added his voice to the chorus of journalists and experts noting that the Romney/Ryan ticket offers little difference from the Obama Administration on Iran by tweeting:
Ryan is quoting President Obama verbatim on why Iran shouldn't be allowed to have a nuclear weapon
Biden reiterated the importance of this election on the future of the Supreme Court, reminding viewers that the next president will likely get to nominate up to two new justices and that Republican challenger Mitt Romney would likely "appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw abortion." He also mentioned that Romney's legal advisor is Robert Bork, who has previously attacked Supreme Court Justice (then nominee) Elena Kagan over her admiration of a distinguished Israeli Supreme Court Justice.
Ryan admitted during the debate that his and Romney's Medicare plan entails telling seniors to "choose your plan, and then Medicare subsidizes your premiums," which Biden pointed out is the definition of a voucher system. Ryan also agreed with moderator Martha Raddatz that he had previously stood by President George W. Bush's plan to privatize social security and would continue to do so.
NJDC's Honorary Co-Chair Senator Ron Wyden (D-O) pushed back forcefully on Ryan invoking his name to defend his plans for Medicare. Wyden wrote in a Facebook post:
The Romney/Ryan plan on Medicare pulls the safety net out from under the poorest and most vulnerable seniors, taking away the opportunity for nursing home care from seniors who need it and have no other options.
The Wyden-Ryan white paper strengthened the safety net for these dual eligibles. The Romney/Ryan version shreds it. The republican ticket knows that neither I, nor any other Democrat, would support these policies.
CNN exposed one of Ryan's major misleading statements regarding the effects of Obamacare on seniors. Their analysis can be viewed in the video on the right.
Biden closed the debate by staunchly defending the separation of church and state, particularly regarding a woman's right to choose, stating that despite his personal views as a Catholic, he would not impose those views on others, and that regardless of religion, "I do not believe that we have a right to tell... women they can't control their body."
Overall, Ryan spouted off at least 24 myths during his debate performance, according to Think Progress.
As DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement, "Tonight's debate... showcased two very different approaches to facts, details and core convictions: Vice President Biden understands they matter, and Congressman Paul Ryan obviously does not." This debate has shown yet again why President Obama and Vice President Biden are the clear choice for most Jewish voters.
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