Joe Biden Drops the ‘47 Percent’ Hammer

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Talk about a change of tone. Where President Obama was passive and, frankly, semi-conscious in his debate last week, Joe Biden was amped up and ready to attack Paul Ryan at every opportunity. And nowhere did Biden show more fire than during an extended, impassioned diatribe on Mitt Romney's notorious "47 percent" remarks, a subject which Obama — puzzlingly, most observers agreed — failed to so much as mention last Wednesday. Biden, known as a blue-collar guy himself, seemed sincerely insulted that Romney had disparaged people who don't pay income taxes, including soldiers and seniors, and, apparently, Biden's parents and neighbors. It was a moment where Biden really seemed to take control. Check out the real-time dial of undecided voters at the bottom of the screen. Seems to have struck a nerve.

Ryan parried with the campaign's official "47 percent" defense: Romney just misspoke, and didn't mean it. 

He cares about 100 percent of Americans in this country. And with respect to that quote, I think the vice-president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way.

After allowing himself a laugh with the rest of the audience, Biden responded, "But I always say what I mean. And so does Romney."