Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly criticized Vice President Joe Biden’s mental capacity in the past few days, but other analysts haven’t been as quick to pronounce Paul Ryan the winner in the vice-presidential battle just yet.
On Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd warned that, despite Biden’s recent slew of embarrassing gaffes, Republicans should not dismiss the vice president’s intellectual prowess out of hand.
“I’ll say this about Biden,” Todd said. “I mean, I think what they like him for is what he does in the hand-to-hand campaigning. I think what’s been interesting here is there’s a lot of bravado coming from conservatives and Republicans. They can’t wait until Ryan wipes the floor with Biden at the debate. Just be careful, Joe Biden’s been around the block a few times in the United States Senate. I wouldn’t be cocky.”
But former presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan questioned Todd’s take and pointed out what she sees as a double standard in the media.
“Oh, well, I thought everything Rudy Giuliani just said was true,” Noonan said. “If it had been a Republican vice presidential candidate who had made those gaffes one after another, so comically, and all on tape, the subject today of the panel would be how stupid is this person? Can this person possibly govern?”
As for Biden’s political ability, Noonan said the vice president often gets a pass on mistakes and plays what she called the “daffy old grandfatherly thing” to his advantage.
“That having been said, I think there’s something to what Chuck just said about the debates. You know, Joe Biden is an American politician. He’s been around forever. He’s a big, garrulous, warm, fleshy person-to-person pal. That has a certain power, and he can play this sort of daffy old grandfatherly thing [when] everybody thinks he’s going to make 15 mistakes, but [then] he says two or three acute things that can work in a debate.”