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VP candidates square off in first and only debate

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 11 2012 09:37:22 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 12 2012 11:09:22 AM CDT

Ryan v. Biden

Thursday night was all about the number twos.

The vice presidential candidates faced off in their first and only debate.  Experts say there was a lot on the line for both vice presidential candidates Thursday night.  And people on both sides of the aisle are reacting.

69 News watched the debate with both Republicans and Democrats.

The Democratic group said Vice President Joe Biden delivered the performance the party needed and the group worked on campaigning right up until the debate started.

Volunteers worked the phones before the debate even started.

Once it was under way, the group wanted to see Joe Biden, a veteran at debating, take it to his counterpart Congressman Paul Ryan.

"People are looking to the Democrats for Biden to do a good job to make up for what happened last week," said Barbara Redmond, who hosted the party.

While both men talked about domestic policy, people watching wanted to hear the truth about policy and for Biden to do one thing.

"Don't be soft, just come at them, come out swinging," said Veronica Clemons, who attended the party.

Some believed Joe Biden was ready to fight just by saying one word.

"When we look weak our adversaries are much more willing to test us, the more brazen their attacks. With all do respect that's a bunch of malarkey," said Biden.

After the debate, people said they were more excited about the upcoming election but there is still work to do.

"We can't take anything for grant. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing but we can't take anything for granted," said Clemons.

Some say this debate should energize voters and all are excited to see the next presidential debate.

At one Republican watch party all eyes were on Paul Ryan as he tried to keep on top of the momentum Mitt Romney gained after last week's presidential debate.

About 55 people turned their attention to the number two's Thursday night at a restaurant in Lehigh County.

"I think all debates are important," said GOP volunteer Stanley Bialecki.  "It gives the American public an opportunity to see where they're coming from."

For 90 minutes Joe Biden and Paul Ryan faced off in their only debate, focusing on domestic and foreign policy issues.

"I think both gentlemen represent philosophies that are significantly different from one another, principles that are significantly different and a vision for the nation that is significantly different," explained Lehigh County Republican Committee Chairman Wayne Woodman.

This was Ryan's first time debating on a national level, and the pressure was on for him to keep up the gains Republicans have made since the presidential debate.

"It's important that each of them pull as a team," said Bialecki.  "omney did his part and hopefully Ryan will do his part."

And for these supporters Ryan definitely pulled it off for the Republican ticket.

The second presidential debate is set for next Thursday.