TODAY | October 12, 2012
>> take another perspective on the debate. we'll talk to michael smerconish , a nationally syndicated talk show host . good morning to you.
>> good morning.
>> i'll start with the question i asked of rachel. the job of paul ryan was to hold on to the republican momentum, do you think he did that? in your mind is there a clear winner in this debate?
>> i thought paul ryan turned in a very strong performance. in a word i thought that he was workman-like. he had never been, savannah, on a stage like that before. joe biden has been around that track as a presidential candidate , as a vice presidential candidate . i thought last night in many respects resembled "meet the press" more than it did a story like a debate, and joe biden is very skilled in that realm, but there's no shame in paul ryan 's performance. i thought that particularly the gop base will love what they saw. he did not tack towards the center. he re-established his conservative bona fide, and probably each of the bases got what they were looking for out of that debate.
>> let's talk about independent voters, michael, and they say that the economy is the issue they care about most. did paul ryan accomplish what he had to there? did he make his case or his case and governor romney's case for the way they will handle the economy?
>> you know, i have to disagree with what i heard rachel say a moment ago. i thought that paul ryan handled himself just fine on foreign policy and kept benghazi -- the whole situation in libya in play, and to your question, matt, i thought that joe biden got the edge relative to the economy because he did all of those things that the president failed to do. what was most stunning to me last night was the contrast, not between biden and ryan, but between biden and obama. joe biden let absolutely nothing pass. he took all that low-hanging fruit, and so with regard to the economy, he talked about the 47%. he talked about the bailout of detroit and constantly took his game to paul ryan , so on the economy i gave the edge to biden .
>> very quickly, michael. vice presidential debates historically don't really matter that much at the end of the day with regard to the election. would you say the same about this one?
>> no, i wouldn't. you know, bush 41 , savannah, used to talk about the big mo, and the big mo, big momentum has clearly been on the republican side of the ledger. i think that was thwarted last night, and what joe biden did was set the table for the next presidential debate . what will be interesting to see is whether president obama now mimics the debate style of joe biden .
>> all right. michael smerconish , good to get your perspective this morning. thanks so much.