by Peter Grady –
Vice-president Joe Biden has received criticism after he was laughing while the subject of a nuclear Iran was being discussed in this week’s vice-presidential debate.
During the debate in Danville, Kentucky, which was seen by an estimated 43 million viewers vice-president Joe Biden interrupted Republican candidate Paul Ryan 82 times during the 90 minute debate.
During the debate Ryan maintained a calm demeanor and ignored Biden’s attempt to interrupt him as he simply continued speaking. At times this appeared to frustrate Biden who attempted to talk over Ryan when he continued speaking.
Additionally, during the debate Biden frequently smirked and laughed even while subjects such as the deficit and Iran’s nuclear ambitions were being discussed.
The laughing was so prominent it was the subject of an RNC web ad showing split screen shots from the debate where Biden is seen laughing while Ryan was talking about the danger to Israel and the world if Iran were to obtain a nuclear bomb. Biden laughed several times and can even be heard to say “oh God” while laughing the discussion.
Biden was also seen laughing when Ryan talked about standing up for American values.
Following the debate, veteran news correspondent, Chris Wallace, slammed Biden’s smirks and laughter saying, “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a debate in which one participant was as openly disrespectful of the other as Biden was to Paul Ryan tonight.”
Wallace’s statement is striking since he noted he had seen every vice-presidential debate except for the first four in 1960.
During the debate, moderator Martha Raddatz made no attempt to prevent Biden’s attempts to interrupt Ryan and prevent him from speaking.
Prior to the debate, concern was raised over Raddatz’s objectivity when it was noted that Barack Obama attended her wedding in 1991. Raddatz also visited the vice-president’s residence in June for a Women’s History Month Reception.
Biden’s smirking and laughter was criticized by multiple media outlets including the Associated Press which referred to his “goofy face.” In response the White House attempted to blame Biden’s disrespectful attitude on Ryan.
White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said Biden couldn’t help himself.
“When Congressman Ryan starts attacking the administration over the [stimulus bill] and the split-screen shows the vice president smiling, I can tell you, I can guess why he was smiling,” Carney said. “Because he knew how hypocritical that was, because he had seen the letters written by Congressman Ryan requesting [stimulus bill] funding, because it would help the economy in Wisconsin.”
Carney did not explain how Ryan caused Biden to laugh about Iran or Benghazi.