Morning Call: Pennsylvania GOP U.S. congressmen team up on Biden

October 12, 2012|By Colby Itkowitz | Call Washington Bureau

Washington — As if defending their best pal from a schoolyard bully, four of Paul Ryan’s U.S. House colleagues teamed up on Vice President Joe Biden Friday morning.

The sharp jabs during Thursday’s vice presidential debate came from both sides, but Biden was  the clear aggressor. Throughout the evening, he talked over Ryan, laughed at his responses and looked at the younger politician with an expression that said, “Aw kid, that’s cute.”

The Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers, in a press call organized by the Republican National Committee, hurried to Ryan’s defense, admonishing Biden with a verbal slap on the wrist for what they deemed as bad behavior.

“I frankly thought he embarrassed himself and the office,” Joe Pitts, 16th district, said at the start of the call.

“He gave the most unpresidential debate performance I’ve ever witnessed…He was rude, arrogant and immature,” Jim Gerlach, 6th district, added.

“He behaved in a petty and small manner…he was disrespectful, pompous, laughing at inappropriate times,” Charlie Dent, 15th district, continued. “The media gives Biden a pass, had any one of us, a Republican (behaved that way) they’d be calling him a jerk right now.”

“Last night I felt that Joe Biden went in with a gimmick, not letting Paul Ryan finsh his thoughts,” Lou Barletta, 11th district concluded. “The American people are hurting right now. They want adults, not make a joke out of these serious issues.”

Unlike last week’s presidential faceoff where Mitt Romney was widely declared the clear winner, even by Democrats, this one is being called a draw with hard line partisans sure their guy emerged victorious. Democrats praised Biden’s performance as powerful, confident and passionate. All things Barack Obama was not the week before.

And the Obama campaign, not to be one-upped, offered a response from former Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy to his peers.

“You know your guy won when my Republican friends scramble together an emergency press call to complain about the Vice President having too good a time schooling Paul Ryan on the issues,” Murphy said. “I’d like to say I feel sorry that Congressman Ryan couldn’t adequately defend his indefensible plan to end Medicare as we know it or explain how he will pay for his $5 trillion tax breaks geared heavily towards millionaires and outsourcers, but I’m just not going to.’
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