During Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, there were plenty of allegations, lies and Joe Biden smiles. If anything defined the debate, however, it was Paul Ryan’s truly impressive ability to avoid answering questions specifically.
Whether he was changing the subject, filibustering or completely avoiding the stated question, Ryan found a way to not answer when an answer was demanded. Like dodgeball legend Patches O’Houlihan, Ryan truly knew the “five D’s” of dodging — and whether he was dodging, ducking, dipping, diving or dodging Paul Ryan performed masterfully on Thursday. Here are Ryan’s top five dodges of the night.
1. The Blame Game
BIDEN: And I love my friend here. I — I’m not allowed to show letters but go on our website, he sent me two letters saying, “By the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of Wisconsin?” We sent millions of dollars. You know…
RADDATZ: You did ask for stimulus money, correct?
BIDEN: Sure he did. By the way…
RYAN: On two occasions we — we — we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants. That’s what we do. We do that for all constituents who are…
(CROSSTALK) BIDEN: I love that. I love that. This was such a bad program and he writes me a letter saying — writes the Department of Energy a letter saying, “The reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs.” His words. And now he’s sitting here looking at me.
Paul Ryan has been resolute in declaring the 2009 stimulus a miserable failure, which makes it rather inconvenient that Ryan asked the Obama administration to send stimulus money to his district in order to create jobs.
When this came to light back in August, Ryan lied, then blamed his staff. Of course, lying again might work, but Vice President Joe Biden was in a feisty mood, and probably would have called him out, so instead he went for a new approach. It was just constituent service, you see — Paul Ryan will ask for government money for anyone in his district who asks. So if you’re out of work, you might want to give Ryan’s office a call.
All right, Paul Ryan probably won’t secure you any stimulus money, but at least he managed to come up with an artful dodge. If he hadn’t, he might have been forced to admit that not all government spending is bad. Some — like stimulus spending during a near-depression — is downright good.
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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