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Usually vice presidents do things that presidents can’t do by themselves. They try to complement the president in the areas in which he is weaker. That is what Paul Ryan and Joe Biden are doing: Biden is helping Obama gain support of white-working class voters and Ryan is helping Romney with the most conservative wing of the Republican Party.
Although in age and in most political views Ryan and Biden are totally different, they share some things in common. Both are Catholics and both suffered a terrible loss. Ryan lost his father when he was young, and Biden lost his daughter and wife in a car accident. Both of them have used their personal stories in political rallies.
Daniel Burke in a Washington Post article said that although both Ryan and Biden are Catholics neither of them is a serious defender of their church’s main political causes. Burke states that “Biden agrees with the church on social justice issues like poverty, but runs afoul on gay marriage and abortion rights. Ryan, meanwhile, agrees with Catholic doctrine on abortion and gay marriage, but clashes with church leaders on social justice issues.”
This proves how both of them are politically opposite in key issues. The real question is if the Catholic vote would be decisive in this election. And, if it is, who would the Catholic voters support?
Biden considers himself to be Obama’s big brother: he has the mission to grant the president the experience he has in aspects like foreign issues from his long political career and credibility in Washington. Ryan, on the other hand, has to give Romney credibility in a key aspect like the federal budget. Ryan needs to show that a Republican government in the White House would reduce the deficit, something the Republicans are claiming Obama has increased by a trillion dollars every year.
But Biden has received recent criticism, and the Republicans are trying to take advantage of it to project a bad image of him. During a political rally in Virginia, in which many in the crowd were African-Americans, the vice president said that Romney’s plans for Wall Street would put them “back in chains.” For this declaration, Biden has received multiple accusations of using racial undertones for political purposes.
In a recent interview with People magazine, Obama defended Biden, saying that he only intended to say that if the Republicans repel the Wall Street reforms his government has made, consumers won’t be protected.
Ryan referred to Biden’s declaration during an interview with Fox News Radio, saying: “You know, these are the kinds of things you say when you’re desperate in a campaign.” He added, “I think you’re going to hear more of these things as we go on because they have a terrible record and can’t run on it so they’re going to kind of sink this campaign to these low levels to distract people.”
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