VP Debate 2012: Who Won?

Donna Brazile, Nicolle Wallace, Matthew Dowd give their reactions to the 2012 VP debate.
3:00 | 10/11/12

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Transcript for VP Debate 2012: Who Won?
And there you have but I thought it -- -- its ordinary. Night ninety minutes spent cited the heart of quite talented center of vitality. Of the American democracy. In action. 69 year old vice president. 42 year old congressman in the debate and questioned by -- -- -- -- -- that it. George watching the families come up and can see Paul Ryan kissing his mom was also his wife -- -- the former tax attorney and of course. Mrs. Biden is up there -- doctor Jill Biden is up there as well and the families -- joining them on state. Danny said it was extraordinary that was a debate that lived up to -- -- real clashes real differences -- exchanges right from the start there's just no question. About the had to say a lot of credit is have to get our colleague Martha Raddatz she asked pointed questions she kept control this debate she really force. Exchanges as for the candidates Joseph Biden came -- and gave the game that a lot of Democrats -- to from Barack Obama. Last week it did not do so -- -- saying it was -- clear when I'm saying that -- exactly what I said and I think that he gave the game. The Democrats want -- on things the middle class on the 47%. On on abortion he also opened up issues Democrats wanted to talk about Paul Ryan held his own. Did not make any big mistakes humanize himself. When he had to humanize himself but I think over the course of the debate more of the issues fell in Biden's corner he was able to take control more of the debate. Well I'll tell you a little bit about what all of -- saying up there on -- that you don't know because they're monitoring as well but the signal from our partners and friends that Yahoo! is this. There were so many mentions of the vice president's smiling and laughing at the beginning in the split screen in this debate. Also the word of -- -- -- And also again -- -- About just dove lot of comments on the strength of our Martha Raddatz but our team of insiders is standing by right here -- get to them as well. Matt -- who has worked at the very top of presidential campaigns for more than 25. Years is here. Matt what did you -- -- that -- Make -- for the question that you asked George directly Biden want. This is -- I think he rides a clear winner in this debate I think Paul Ryan did find. I think he comport himself well on the national stage. Biden won Biden did exactly what he had to do I was interesting as I watched as the baseball playoffs are today or game for a huge games. They needed -- reliever to come in. And this reliever came in with a bunch of fastballs and a bunch of brush back pitches which he served up throughout the night. And he did exactly what he needed to do -- -- Biden want what does that mean for the president well I think what that means is is that he has been a president Obama's been losing ground over the course of since the last debate. And that stopped tonight that brown that he lost the bleeding has stopped and that it puts much bigger -- for next Tuesday in the presidential debate poll by winds. I disagree four years ago tonight -- sat in a very different place have a since their surveillance whole group and I and I pray to god that the Biden that. Showed it tonight had had faced her four years ago. The Biden for years ago was respectful he was composed he was dignified he -- presidential. The Biden tonight started for the first hour his biggest problem -- these terribly goofy faces -- reminded me of when my dad watches Obama's press conferences but by the end an outward and I thought Obama I thought Biden came unhinged he got -- he raised his voice -- Martha Raddatz to give a lot of finger wagging. And I think that may have -- real Democrats. But I think that the people that Obama is worried about for the independence -- the people that have -- -- him I don't think Biden spoke to them at all. On an excellent things I wonder but there's definitely a lot of commentary at the about -- -- but it did seem as you saw that split screen right there that in some ways. The two candidates were talking to two completely different audiences that is correct excellent Joseph Biden understood tonight that he had to go back out there. And do -- President Obama failed to do list last week. But is convinced the American people that the Democrats have a plan for the feature also reassured. Voters out there that they Obama Biden team understands what. The American people care deeply about I don't think people will be alarmed that the fact that he was in July and in some Joseph Biden loves politics. He loves being with people and I think what came across the united said Joseph Biden has some -- say. And he was eager to -- -- -- asked detective both of you how how much does this move the needle all three of office for review. How much does this really move the needle in the presidential race. -- sort of the starting first of all I think -- to look at this it -- somewhat settled down before this debate. Began debate did polls and basically gone back to where they were. Before the conventions I think -- stops erosion. Among Democrats clearly as Matthew Dowd talked about I think -- it solidifies -- position the president had before the debate. Last week but that means we're still an adult fight in places like Virginia and Florida and Colorado the presidency have to break that the presidential candidates in their -- Interestingly I think this did exactly what Vice President Cheney did in 2004 after bush lost that debate to John Kerry lost five or six points. -- prepared Vice President Cheney came and stop the bleeding stopped it from home and re energize Republicans what happened -- last week. -- Democrats. Got lost their energy in this race and that's what the polls -- -- -- one of the things congressman -- had to do as we heard the good governor Romney had to do was reassure people. All about who's they had to -- that I think he did it and looks so much of this is is what we all talk about until the next presidential debate -- starting tomorrow morning. Going through the week and into Tuesday and I think that what what Republicans are gonna drive is this question that Biden opened up about what they knew when they knew that with the attack from being -- So I think there -- some serious news that was made in and -- -- apparatus should clear her scheduled for October 2016 because what she is able to -- and I were both men made some news. And in both of these men are are are frankly better at this than the men that they worked for the top of their ticket. But by being better they said more and I think Republicans feel like they have some fresh ammunition. On this growing scandal which is how the right -- the investigation into the attacks in the tragic death of our ambassador in -- But that is about Donna Brazil as the vice president said we didn't know. About the security concerns in in Indian guys in particular clearly State Department officials did. While the vice president also made it clear that he's -- let the facts talk for themselves and not try to get ahead -- -- and not politicize and I think he'll. The Romney team should be helpful about politicizing. Anything of this magnitude but I think vice president. Biden -- had details he had sex and O'Brien the Romney -- to get -- be concerned now. About all of the tax stuff that came up because once again home run didn't understand the Pacific's and then he did not understand how the math would -- And I got -- a good -- and then went when he when he talked about the way. The way Democrats and Republicans get things done is this is where -- didn't work for Ryan because Biden was able to come in and see if I was there I sought to -- on Reagan do that in. And I think you think it -- in a few good blows they if you will August Russian interest -- was -- vs head you had Joseph Biden was more hurt in this and you had Paul Ryan was morehead and usually debates if. You show your heart you win. He said Irish oh. My Irish background -- I want to go to Kentucky. My background there to Danville Kentucky along they're calling it the real -- with a handgun and -- -- While the Obama campaign says that they feel Vice President Biden did the forceful job he needs to do -- top Democrat that I've spoken with. Our earlier was worried that the age difference would play. -- for the vice president being 69 that he feared that he would seem tired obviously vice president. Biden came ready to play I think it's fair to say that Jason Sudeikis and place them on Saturday Night Live has a lot of ammunition for Saturday night it's probably very happy tonight. Democrats will be energized by the vice presidents a performance this evening they'll be excited entities that President Obama. Well I agree with Nicole. That I think it it's different to see how will play with independent voters that's my. -- -- The Democrats. Feel very good about the vice president's performance and feel this will be a good way value for President Obama on Tuesday. And David -- where you're from Romney camp. -- it George a lot different from last week in Denver where I was hearing from key advisors for the into the debate that Romney made a lot of a point on the economy about how they would bring the deficit down it was more content driven in the texts and emails I was receiving -- Romney advisors tonight who talked a lot more about behavior on that stage mannerisms. Almost immediately I was getting messages that said did anyone tell a Vice President Biden about the split screen you're gonna hear a lot from the Romney campaign. About the smiling about the rolling of the eyes they described Ryan's performance tonight. As presidential called and collected they say Biden was the opposite but -- -- just mention those swing voters is what the Romney campaign is gonna ask about. Whether or not Biden offered the red meat to the democratic base the Romney team will ask. Did he do what he needed to do to try to persuade -- swing voters who were impressed with the bombing a week ago they believe. At Ryan continued amendments and did not do anything to get in the way tonight -- governor Romney's success last week in Denver. And John -- you cover both these men on Capitol Hill both congress and Ryan and vice president. Biden they both seem to bring their own any gains from very different kinds of games -- -- also looking. Looking at the facts right here did you see any kind. Of glaring factual -- Well I think there was a lot of back and forth frankly that's that's going to be difficult to untangle these come from different views. On the basic facts of the tax cuts whether tax cuts fuel growth. But I've got to tell you something -- on here. And what we call spin Alley this is where all the top people for each campaign are going around and giving their take on what -- what happened in this debate it's in. I barely different. Than what we sought the last debate where if you remember. The Romney folks were out in force talking about what a great debate they had and the Obama team. Came in very briefly and left in this case. The the -- people are out -- -- they are riddled with. -- Biden's performance they like the passionate calling him the happy warrior I just spoke to Obama's campaign manager Jim -- -- said this was a clear decisive. Win. For the vice president now you may not believe that -- -- different than what they were saying got to the last debate he didn't hear such emphatic statements coming after the last debate. As for the Ryan folks. They're also happy they're there as -- -- heard from David a lot of talk about the president's kind of strange that the vice president's. Laughter at strange moments and even when Paul Ryan was making the point. About the dangers of the nuclear armed Iran on one point you had laughter coming from from Biden. It just seemed a little bit strange and and and you hear a lot of its a lot of talk about Biden's mannerisms and the fact that Ryan was here. Actually -- command of the facts not just on the budget they know we can do that but also on the foreign policy questions. So in this case I think a much more evenly. Split debate. -- data weren't -- you -- or we saw. How energized Democrats were by that Joseph Biden focusing in on the 47% comments. Of Mitt Romney as Nicole said earlier Republicans are going to focus on what happened at that consulate. Indian guys -- from what you saw tonight which issues do you see each campaign caring -- It's really interesting I think we're gonna see a total flip flop of the campaigns that what they're doing the Romney campaign up until now -- always wanted to make this about the economy and everything about that I think they're gonna now prosecute the case from foreign policy based on this debate. And what's happened in the last two weeks. On the other hand. The president who -- a bit better defensive on the economy I think what Joseph Biden did his populist message the 47%. The middle class I think they're gonna try to avoid foreign policy. And concentrate totally on the economy and totally on the middle class I think they're gonna. Take that for populist message and run it through it -- -- have C a flip what they think is now important. Same question to you -- Why -- -- are probably of the party started this with the Libya as we talked about before but I think it. -- the Democrats are so excited about is that Biden did something that Obama wasn't capable of doing there's no evidence that voters will now transfer their support for Obama. Because -- something Biden did and this this has been a lot more to do with what we chat about but I'm not sure that it translates to change in the poll. -- -- -- to stay in this debate for a second about that one moment because we looked up at each other that I'm sure people at Holloman they're living rooms have those moments -- Wind congressman Ryan to something about the vice president being do do rests. He haven't played well -- Personal exchanges were were nights when when -- when Ryan said -- I know sometimes we all have a hard time with the things that come out of our mouth. When he made the allusion to have Biden the ESP he is Mike that works. This coming up being under duress I -- he wished he could have used a different word you know maybe you're here with the weight of the world that maybe it got it under arrest was was a little insulting him and I don't think that probably came out of his mouth when you -- And clearly Vice President Biden also that agitated at times even admitted to -- in his closing statement in as much as Democrats might wanna see that same kind of fire. For President Obama can he afford. To be as argumentative as fiery as you saw Joseph -- -- to play different game on -- Oh absolutely drugs look first vote Barack Obama's Nigel but he's not the kind of guidance -- walk and Aaron but Clinton and bitten. He likes to make a case and he's a little bit more methodical than -- but that's what can with what I'm absolutely. But you know I think. The next week present Obama has to show a lot more energy -- it. He has two also take the fight to Mitt Romney cannot be hesitant. And this what we saw tonight was still -- at its best and I think this -- Milwaukee. I don't talk about Malarkey a lot but maybe that's how Clinton Democrats -- -- -- net. That disturbs him will to -- Milwaukee. -- at one point in fact congressman Bryant had said that's. The biggest worry was that Joseph Biden would bring his Irish uncle moments to maybe molecular -- I don't know about that -- Jake Tapper he covers the White House and -- What do you think about that what is the president saying inside what does this mean in terms of what he does next Tuesday night. Well President Obama -- was watching the debate on Air Force One flying. From Miami back to Washington when the plane landed he went over to reporters and had said that he could not be. Prouder of Vice President Biden thought that he made a very strong case on behalf of the middle class and he repeated again. I could not be prouder again other top Democrats have spoken with you know get -- than President Obama -- and another that started with say they thought. That. Vice President Biden really brought the fight to the Republican ticket and the campaign. Needed that and the Democrats needed at that listen to what they're saying they're saying that it's the Democratic Party and the Obama Biden campaign itself. That needed what Vice President Biden -- they're not talking about these middle class voters these personable voters as much although obviously they think the vice president did make a strong case to them. And then as -- as mad dads it has stopped the bleeding gave a miracle one of the most fascinating revelatory exchanges and I can anyone Martha Raddatz as both candidates. -- personal views. On abortion medicine issued this week that Mitt Romney. At first said that he wasn't gonna have wasn't going to support didn't know of any. Legislation that he would support to on the issue of abortion -- they kind of had to walk that back is this going to be something. You see them dealing -- the next few days. Well there was a 24 hour period as you know George we talked about it on GMA where. Governor -- did say that but -- the next day the campaign was very clear they said there is not a shift here. If governor Romney is elected he will be a pro life president. And congressman Ryan made that same argument on the stage here they had to talk about their religion how it's. Determine how they decided where their stances on this on the stage I think the Romney campaign has very comfortable about. The arguments made by congressman -- tonight it does now fit with what governor Romney said the next day after he talked with the -- Moines register but there was that small period. Where a number of people were asking is he now changing a bit from what he said earlier in the primary at least in Tallinn. About in the primary debates he said that he would in fact support a Supreme Court that would overturn Roe vs. Wade but tonight congressman Ryan did not say anything that. That will now go against that and created more restore adequate way -- from Jon Karl. Well I'll tell you one of the big things are from the Ryan camp is this is the first time he's really been under the microscope on foreign policy the whole first part of the debate. On foreign policy and the consensus from his team here. Is that's where he was the strongest so we pass that test. And that was part of the biggest moment coming out of this for for Paul Ryan. Going to give a shout out to the wonderful senator Collins the wonderful Danville Kentucky. Kentucky and also our own Martha Raddatz -- -- -- -- very proud that we've always known what a great journalists she is perhaps everybody else does too. And we saw it tonight we saw a big audience for the first presidential debate I suspect -- was a big audience for this tonight in that would only increase. The number of viewers -- voters who want to see the presidential candidates go at it again on Tuesday night that -- -- -- want to remind everybody that Good Morning America we'll be right here tomorrow morning of course Nightline we'll come come along later special edition tonight. Tonight I will see tomorrow morning American of course we will both be back here our entire team we'll be back for next Tuesday night for the second presidential debate. Barack Obama goes up against Mitt Romney calls the daily news right now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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