Grading the VP Candidates: Who Scored Better?

ABC News' political experts give the VP candidates report cards on their debate performances.
3:00 | 10/12/12

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Transcript for Grading the VP Candidates: Who Scored Better?
Time for the "nightline" rt card. Our experts, nicolle wallace was in sara pa lib's corner last time around. Donna brazile mangled al gore's campaign. Matt dowd in george w. Bush's corner. It's a report card. We go style substance. First, ryan, style? Paul ryan, style? A. B plus. B plus? B. So, that's, a, b plus, and c for ryan. So, let's go to the easy grade he got. Nie? I thought what ryan had to do tonight was stand toe to toe with joe biden. I thought that was the whole basis for grading him on style. And I thought he closed what was not just a decades long experience gap, but I thought he closed the gravitsa gap. I think when you look at this style grade, joe biden to come in with energy and forceful and he did that. I think paul ryan maintained what he needed to do. I give him a c, but there was no energy in paul ryan's part that made republicans say, wow, i want to go to battle with him. Tough. I gave him a c-plus, because I thought he was well rehearsed. But he was stiff. And at times he came across like he was memorizing his lines. And thnot truly passionate. All right. Joe biden on style? I gave him a c. I thought -- oh, we're going to go through -- I gave him a b-plus. On biden? B. B. All right, so, biden's style, c, b-plus and b. The eye rolling was his biggest problem. Then, he started with the finger wagging and he went after martha raddatz. The voice got louder. He started screaming and his face started bulging. I thought he looked like my dad does when he watches an obama press conference. Turned you off? I thought he was a mess. Biden got the job done. He was emotional. He connected with the audience on issues that are emotional. But I also thought that he was passionate. Yeah, he laughed, he smiled, you know, he was joe biden. He was joe. I -- I'm a very tough a, so, I wasn't going to give probably anybody an a. I think he did exactly what he needed to do. The democratic base needed to be energized with some passion, energized with some really tough fight and he did exactly that. And he showed up and did that. Let's talk about substance. Paul ryan on substance? A. C. C. All right, so, paul ryan gets an a, once again. AND TWO Cs. Why the a? You know, I thought that these were two very well prepared candidates and i thought that paul ryan came with all of the ammunition to take the case that that ticket is trying to prosecute against obama. I think foreign policy is a place where we haven't seen him do much work. He hasn't launched many political attacks. He hasn't -- this is the heat of a campaign. While things aren't to be politicized, things that take place in the heat of a campaign become political. I thought on libya, he made a very good poiin, you know, he got biden to concede that he didn't know that security had been requested in benghazi. He was -- he had two weeks to come up with an answer for their tax plan. He didn't have any specifics. Got confused on afghanistan. That c. Agree with donna. He didn't have specifics. Every time he was pressed on the facts, martha pressed him and he had no answer for it. And he is a won canky guy up there. Biden on substance? B. A. B. LET'S GO TO THE Bs FIRST. I think he came prepared. I thought he was going to do a better job on foreign policy. He did a better job on the economy and bringing the conversation on the middle class. I thought he did a very good job on the economy part of this very well. Unloaded on the 47% in a way that obama didn't. And in terms of making the best argument for his side, using the passionate arguments about middle class, that is the substance the democrats need cling to to make their case. Full of details. He understood issues. He took the case back to romney/ryan in terms of their programs, their issues and i think the election now will be reset, once again, because joe biden understood exactly what to do tonight. All right, bottom line. Winner? Ryan. Biden. Biden. And how much does it make a difference? Stops the bleeding. Makes the race stay where it is, which is dead even and sets up a big night that has to happen. Raises the stakes for tuesday night. Okay. No rolaids for me tonight. Thank you all very much. And we'll be right back. men

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

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