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When Paul Ryan was asked about the economy in Thursday night's debate, he didn't have any policy answers. He had a list of problems and, to counter Mitt Romney's dismissal of 47 percent of Americans as victims lacking personal responsibility, a personal anecdote about Romney helping one family. But ideas for making things better for a majority of Americans? Nothing.
Joe Biden's answer emphasizes how bankrupt an approach that is, making the serious point that it's not enough to see economic problems or to care about individuals, you have to have policies that answer those problems:
So I don't doubt [Romney's] personal commitment to individuals. But you know what? I know he had no commitment to the automobile industry. He just—he said, let it go bankrupt, period. Let it drop out. All this talk—we saved a million jobs. Two hundred thousand people are working today.
And I've never met two guys who're more down on America across the board. We're told everything's going bad. There are 5.2 million new jobs, private-sector jobs. We need more, but 5.2 million—if they'd get out of the way, if they'd get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class, make it permanent, if they get out of the way and pass the—pass the jobs bill, if they get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people who are struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down, but they never missed a mortgage payment, just get out of the way.
Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something. Show me a policy. Show me a policy where you take responsibility.
And, by the way, they talk about this Great Recession if it fell out of the sky, like, "Oh, my goodness, where did it come from?" It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, to at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for the very wealthy. I was there. I voted against them. I said, no, we can't afford that.
And now, all of a sudden, these guys are so seized with the concern about the debt that they created.
Romney and Ryan have no policies to show. They're busy either trying to hide their support for unpopular policies or pretending their policies are something they aren't. They're not just down on America, they're rooting against its success as long as Barack Obama is president, and the policies they'd put in place would destroy the American economy for all but a very few. Kindness to individuals is great. But it's not enough to meet the bar for president of the United States.