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World Map / Upcoming Elections / US Presidential election 2016 / US Election Updates / Pressure increases for Biden after Obama's poor debate performance

2016 Presidential Election

US Election Updates - October 8, 2012

Pressure increases for Biden after Obama's poor debate performance

Expectations are running high for Vice President Joe Biden in the wake of President Barack Obama’s widely panned debate performance on Wednesday.

Biden is often seen as the Obama administration's gaffe-prone sideshow but he is also a veteran debater with nearly four decades of political experience.

The sole vice presidential debate against Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, takes place in Danville, Kentuck on Thursday.

Biden is under increasing pressure to boost the Obama campaign after the Democratic incumbent was outclassed by Romney in the first of their three debates.

The pressure on Ryan, who has never debated at a national level before, is high too as Romney greatly surpassed expectations.

"This is not about changing minds. This is about changing the momentum. The vice president is going to have to be very aggressive in undercutting Republican arguments. He can't allow Ryan to control the debate the way Romney controlled his debate,” said Democratic strategist, Chris Kofinis.

Wednesday’s debate saw the two presidential candidates go head to head on jobs, taxes and healthcare.

Around 67 million people watched the debate, according to the Nielsen TV ratings service.

Often criticized for being impassive, Romney's assertive debate performance gave his campaign a much-required burst of energy following weeks of setbacks.

Meanwhile, Obama was slated for appearing hesitant and failing to grab opportunities to attack his opponent on his business record at Bain Capital, the "47 percent" video and his refusal to release more income tax returns.

According to political pundits, it will now be up to Biden, who is more comfortable than Obama in the role of aggressor, to undo some of the damage.

Biden, the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees, proved to be popular in his face-off against Republican Sarah Palin in the 2008 vice presidential debate. The debate was watched by 69.9 million people and is the second most-viewed debate ever.

But he has been known for making gaffes, including his recent remark that the middle class had been "buried for the last four years", the duration of Obama's presidency, by a bad economy.

Biden was referring to the impact of the recession that began under Republican President George W. Bush. However, the Republican camp jumped on the comments, claiming that even Obama's running mate had acknowledged the failure of the president’s handling of economic issues.