President Obama Thursday night praised Vice President Biden as having been “terrific” in his debate against Rep. Paul Ryan, saying his running mate had displayed “passion” – the very thing most observers thought was lacking from his own performance during last week’s encounter with Gov. Mitt Romney.
Obama spoke to reporters after getting off of Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews outside of Washington, where he had just arrived from a campaign trip to Miami.
From the press pool report:
As the president descended the stairs of Air Force One, your poolers en masse hollered to him to give his assessment of Biden’s performance in the debate. The president came over to where your poolers were standing.
“I’m going to make a special point of saying that I thought Joe Biden was terrific tonight. I could not be prouder of him. I thought he made a very strong case. I really think that his passion for making sure that the economy grows for the middle class came through. So I’m very proud of him.”
Asked if he called him after the debate ended, Mr. Obama replied with a smile, “Yes, I just talked to him.”
Aboard the flight from Miami, a “senior administration official” suggested Obama would be much more aggressive in his second debate with Romney Tuesday night, challenging the Republican nominee in ways he didn’t during the first debate. From the pool report:
The one adjustment we’re going to have to make is, Gov. Romney’s trying to hide a variety of his positions and we’re going to make sure the American people understand what he would actually do if he’s president . . .
The president has consistently laid out a message and I think that steadiness is important. The key thing is that Romney is not changing his position; he’s trying to hide his position. He’s not being straight on a number of things. We’re going to hold him accountable.
With Democrats in need of a surge of adrenaline following Obama’s lackluster performance in his debate, Biden was almost comically aggressive in his matchup with Ryan, interrupting and laughing at his opponent.
While such behavior would probably harm Obama as seeming beneath the presidency, it’s clear Democrats are hoping he will enter the arena “fired up and ready to go,” in the words of his own campaign slogan.