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Friday, October 12, 2012

 2:22 PM 

Zerban, Priebus offer opposing views on VP debate

If you listened to Rob Zerban, Paul Ryan's Democratic challenger in the 1st CD, Ryan's debate Thursday showed why he won't debate Zerban in Wisconsin.

If you take RNC Chairman and former Wisconsin GOP party chair Reince Priebus' take, Biden was the debate's loser, coming off as "unhinged."

Both party figures made those cases in separate conference calls Friday attempting to spin the debate as a victory for their respective sides.

Zerban praised VP Joe Biden's performance, while criticizing his 1st CD competitor for his failure to explain his policies on Medicare and proposed tax cuts.

More pointedly, Zerban once again called on Ryan to come back to the district and debate him, noting that local papers have urged him to do the same.

"If he can fly home to Milwaukee and take part in a $1,000 plate dinner, he should come back and debate the issues for the voters of the 1st Congressional District," Zerban said.

Zerban also claimed momentum in the race since Ryan was named Mitt Romney's VP candidate. He noted that while he was trailing by 8 percentage points in a poll around that time of Ryan's announcement, he is confident that he's not that far behind now given recent gains by Barack Obama and Tammy Baldwin in the other polls.

Priebus, in contrast, hammered Biden for his answers on why the administration didn't provide added security for the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya. He characterized Biden's response that they didn't receive the request as disingenuous and added that he and President Obama should apologize "for politicizing the tragedies that have taken place in Libya."

He also slammed Biden for lacking a direction on the economy in the debate.

"Our fellow Wisconsinites are going to have a lot of questions for him," Priebus said. "First, where is your plan?"

Priebus said that he felt Ohio and Wisconsin were moving along similar trend lines in the election and that while they plan to win both states, they're simply focused on "winning the week" right now.

-- By Jason Smathers


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