Daniel Doherty

I realize the primary responsibility of the White House Press Secretary is to defend the actions and misstatements of the president and vice president at all costs, but this is just downright pathetic. Wow:

Vice President Joe Biden's repeated laughter during Thursday's debate was a reflection of the "enormous amount of passion and joy" he brings to the job of serving the American people, White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Friday.

Biden has drawn criticism for cracking up when Paul Ryan was talking about everything from Medicare to tax cuts to Iran's quest for a nuclear weapon.

"The person I saw up there last night is somebody who is absolutely passionate about fighting for and defending the middle class... and who comes to his job -- this many years in to serving his country in the Senate and now to the White House -- with an enormous amount of passion and joy," Carney said.

"And I’ll give you an example: When you talk about him smiling, when you had, and this is a matter of policy, when Congressman Ryan starts attacking the administration over the Recovery Act, and the split screen shows the vice president smiling, I can tell you, I can guess why he was smiling," he said. "Because he knew how hypocritical that was, because he had seen the letters written by Congressman Ryan requesting Recovery Act funding because it would help the economy in Wisconsin ."

When pressed on whether the laughter may have come off as condescending and whether Biden may have been too aggressive, Carney said," I think it is for the American people to decide." But, he added, he thought the vice president laid out an appropriately "forceful" case.

Actually, Mr. Secretary, it seems the American people already have spoken. And it’s clear what they thought. The vice president of the United States -- to put it charitably -- acted like a petulant child for ninety straight minutes last night. In fact, I thought Congressman Ryan (despite his relative youth and inexperience on the national stage) exuded the qualities of statesman more so than the man who, ahem, literally spent his entire professional life in public service. Biden’s ostentatious laughter and sneeringly condescending facial expressions were not only distracting, but deeply disrespectful and unbecoming of a candidate for high national office. The Left will disagree, of course, but I think most undecided voters watching last night were appalled by his behavior. His conduct was not merely a reflection of his “passion and joy” for public service (as Jay Carney would have you believe), but rather another stunning example of this administration’s utter disdain and contempt for the 2012 Republican presidential ticket.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography