New York Times gives it to Biden: “Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. would not sit still for a parade of misleading and often blatantly untruthful descriptions of the state of the economy and the Republican prescriptions for it. Though his grins and head-shakes were often distracting, he did not hesitate to interrupt and demand an end to ‘malarkey.’ The result, expertly controlled by the moderator, Martha Raddatz of ABC News, was both entertaining and enlightening.”
Washington Post wasn’t impressed: “At times Mr. Biden struck us as unduly condescending; Mr. Ryan, a touch unsure of his footing. But their performances both were fine; their weaknesses were less in presentation than in the failure of their tickets, in different ways, to offer an honest road map of their intentions for governing.”
Wall Street Journal wasn’t either: “By unofficial media counts, Mr. Biden interrupted the Republican some 80 to 100 times. Mr. Ryan let the bully get away with too much for our tastes, at least until he finally pushed back on the interruptions or until Mr. Biden lost steam in the last half hour. But as anyone who’s been in a tavern past midnight understands, it’s hard to win a fight with a guy who is shouting from the corner bar stool.
“No doubt the performance cheered Democrats who needed cheering after last week, but we wonder how well it played with independents or undecided voters who tuned in to learn something.”
USA Today calls it a draw: “It was for all immediate purposes a draw, nothing like like last week when virtually all the instant analysis saw an overwhelming Romney win. Partisans on both sides seemed pleased, and an instant CNN poll found Ryan winning 48%-44%, a statistical deadheat given the poll’s plus or minus 5% margin of error.
“But that does not mean the debate was lacking in information, substantive and subjective, that could influence voters’ decisions.”