NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Joe Biden and Paul Ryan locked horns in a fiery vice presidential debate on Thursday, clashing on a wide range of issues, from Medicare to taxation and the war in Afghanistan.
The vice president, clearly eager to draw a line under the president's lackluster performance in last week's debate with Mitt Romney, came out swinging, quickly raising Romney's controversial "47%" comment in an attempt to re-set the election agenda. Biden, a seasoned debater regarded by many as a foreign policy expert, constantly emphasized his decades of political experience compared with his 42-year-old rival.
Ryan, however, kept his cool despite a fusillade of mocking attacks from the vice president, calmly countering with his famed statistical expertise. The Wisconsin representative repeatedly attacked the Obama administration's economic performance, and discussed the impending debt crisis towards the end of the debate. "We've got to tackle this debt crisis before it tackles us," he warned.
Both men drew on their family experiences during the debate, with Biden mentioning the tragic 1972 car crash which killed his wife Neilia and one-year daughter, Naomi. Ryan outlined the impact of Medicare and Social Security on his own family while he was growing up.Overall, both Republican and Democratic strategists will be pleased with their candidate's performance during an energetic clash that underlined some of the key differences between the parties, particularly in areas such as economic policy. Who do you think won the debate? Take our poll and tell us.