Oct. 12 - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan begin their high-stakes debate by arguing over foreign policy. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan argued over foreign policy at a high-stakes television debate on Thursday (October 11). In the first minutes of the debate, a heated argument began over the Obama administration's handling of last month's killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. Forty-two-year-old Ryan said the Obama administration had given confusing information about the killing. "It took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack," the Wisconsin congressman said. "Look, if we are hit by terrorists, we are going to call it for what it is, a terrorist attack. Our ambassador in Paris has a marine detachment guarding him. Shouldn't we have a marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi ? A place where we knew there was an Al Qaeda cell with arms? This is becoming more troubling by the day. They first blamed the YouTube video, now they are trying to blame the Romney-Ryan ticket for making this an issue." Biden, 69, the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees, shot back and took a punch at Mitt Romney's swift press conference at the time of the attack. "We said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment. And as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their view.... Usually when there is a crisis, we pull together, we pull together as a nation. But, as I said, even before we knew what happened to the ambassador, the governor was holding a press conference, was holding a press conference. That's not presidential leadership," Biden said. Romney has surged to a slim lead in national polls since he and Obama first went head-to-head last week. The former Massachusetts governor led Obama by 47 percent to 44 percent in the Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking survey on Thursday.