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Biden And Ryan Battle In Kentucky; VP Debate Recap; Did Biden Cross The Line?; Post Debate Spin Cycle; Shuttle's Journey Across Los Angeles; Biden and Ryan Battle in Kentucky; Fact-Checking Medicare Claims

Aired October 12, 2012 - 06:00   ET



REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It appears a sometimes funny debate from the vice presidential nominees, but just how accurate were their statements? This morning we're going to drill down on the facts.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: And the space shuttle "Endeavour" is on the move in Los Angeles. It's hard to see because it's a little dark, but we're going to go live to the streets of L.A. straight ahead.

BERMAN: Good morning and welcome to EARLY START everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It's 6:00 a.m. in the East.

BERMAN: That special music means, America has spoken. You declared last night's bruising bare knuckles debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden a draw. Unlike last week's presidential face-off, this debate had passion.

SAMBOLIN: A lot of it.

BERMAN: The vice president sure came out firing. Paul Ryan, he seemed mostly to keep his cool and he calmly countered.

SAMBOLIN: So let's check the score cards, shall we? A CNN/ORC poll taken right after the debate shows 48 percent of voters who watched thought Ryan won and 44 percent favored Biden so this is a statistical tie.

Senior congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, is live from Danville, Kentucky this morning. She was in that room behind her and she's joining us live this morning with all of the details. Good morning.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Zoraida and John. I was in this hall. It was really packed with energy from the beginning all the way through the 90 minutes of the debate.

There were some grins and grimacing, a lot of that on the left. There was some smirking on the right, as well. But all in all it was a very substantive debate on the issues of the day.


BASH (voice-over): These were two men who both came ready to tangle, on taxes.

RYAN: You can cut tax rates by 20 percent and still preserve these important preferences for middle-class taxpayers.


RYAN: It is mathematically possible.

BASH: -- on Medicare.

BIDEN: They just allow Medicare to bargain for the cost of drugs like Medicaid can that would save $156 billion right off the bat.

RYAN: It would deny seniors choices.

BASH: On the president's foreign policy.

RYAN: When we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us. They're more brazen in their attacks and our allies are less willing --

BIDEN: With all due respect that's a bunch of malarkey.

BASH: The vice president appeared determined to make up for President Obama's mistakes last week. Almost immediately launching the attack lines Obama never used in his debate.

BIDEN: But it shouldn't be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. My neighbors, they pay more effective tax than Governor Romney pays in his federal income tax.

BASH: Before the debate, CNN was told Paul Ryan's team anticipated Biden being aggressive where the president was not especially on Mitt Romney's infamous 47 percent remark.

RYAN: Romney's a good man.

BASH: Ryan was ready with a well-practiced retort.

RYAN: 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.

BIDEN: But I always say what I mean.

BASH: Biden's recovery plan for a demoralized Democratic base was not just in what he said, but what he did.

RYAN: In spite of their opposition --

BIDEN: Gosh.

BASH: The president was criticized for not interrupting. Biden jumped in constantly.

BIDEN: As a result of this --

RYAN: Mr. Vice President --

BASH: The president was slammed for nodding as Romney spoke. Biden used the split screen to give a running commentary of disapproval with his facial expressions. Ryan had a zinger ready for all that, too.

RYAN: I know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground. But I think it will be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other.

BASH: For 90 minutes, voters saw two dramatically different visions on the economy --

BIDEN: The last people who need help are 120,000 families for another, another $500 billion tax cut over the next ten years.

RYAN: Our entire premise of these tax reform plans is to grow the economy and create jobs.

BASH: To national security threats, like a nuclear Iran.

RYAN: And if they get nuclear weapons, other people in the neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons, as well.

BIDEN: War should always be the absolute last resort.

BASH: For the most part, it was a substantive debate between two long time lawmakers, who tried to disagree without being too disagreeable.

BIDEN: When my friend talks about --

BASH: Biden avoided any trade mark gaffes, but did provide a little levity.

BIDEN: This is a bunch of stuff. Look, here's the deal --

MARTHA RADDATZ, MODERATOR: What does that mean a bunch of stuff?

BIDEN: Well, it means it's simply inaccurate.

RYAN: It's Irish.

BIDEN: We Irish call it malarkey.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BASH: And John and Zoraida, a big part of the debate or the spin in the spin room, which of course goes on right after these debates, is whether or not Joe Biden was rude and over the top, as you heard from Republicans or whether he was just simply passionate and just Joe, as the Democrats said.

But, you know, all of this is going to maybe be history in just four days because that is when the presidential debate is. And before I go back to you, John, I just have to tell you that I just, while we were in that piece, saw your old friend from that other network, Martha Raddatz. She just came back in here and I think maybe she was one of the winners at that debate.

SAMBOLIN: I think "The Washington Post" actually called her the winner of the debate, as well. Dana Bash, thank you so much for that report. We appreciate it.

BERMAN: That's right. Martha was great. Hope you gave her a high five down. We want to bring in veteran presidential campaign debate adviser, Brett O'Donnell.

He has worked with Mitt Romney as well as John McCain in 2008. He's also worked with President George W. Bush and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. He is a debate expert. So, Brett, what was your first reaction to the debate last night?

BRETT O'DONNELL, PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN DEBATE ADVISER: Well, my first reaction was that the debate was a lot more lively than the debate the prior week between the president and Governor Romney.

Both men came into the debate ready to advance their positions, ready to defend their bosses and both were very aggressive in doing so. I thought the debate was a lot more lively than last week's.

BERMAN: All right, so the question is Joe Biden came in not just lively, but very lively in some cases, talking, and interrupting. There's been talk about all of his smiles putting in. Let's listen to -- well, do you think it was too much?

O'DONNELL: I do a little bit. I think that, you know, the vice president wanted to show that he was willing to fight. I think that's why, you know, his side of the partisans will be very happy with his performance.

But, I think the folks in the middle and certainly the folks on Paul Ryan's side will think that his performance may have been a little bit over the top in terms of interrupting, rolling the eyes, the sighs. It was almost like having an Al Gore moment in that debate.

BERMAN: But to be clear, Brett, you know, Obama campaign advisers have been telling CNN, we saw it at "The New York Times" also that this was a strategy. They did not want to let the Romney/Ryan team get away with what they got away with last week, uninterrupted claims.

I want to play you one little section here where Joe Biden and Paul Ryan really got going on the tax cut issue. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: You can cut tax rates by 20 percent and still preserve these important preferences for middle-class taxpayers.

BIDEN: Not mathematically possible.

RYAN: It is mathematically possible. It's been done before. It's --

BIDEN: It has never been done before.

RYAN: It's been done a couple of times.

BIDEN: It has never been done --

RYAN: -- lower tax rates increase growth.

BIDEN: Now you're Jack Kennedy.


BERMAN: That's really a perfect example and encapsulates a lot of what went on in this debate. There was substance, but there were also deliberate style things you saw there. What do you take from that?

O'DONNELL: Well, I mean, I think, you know, obviously was a pre- planned strategy on the part of the Obama campaign to have Joe Biden do the exact opposite of the president, to be aggressive.

That clip, you know, sort of demonstrates what they were trying to do is highlight the experience versus the youth. I think, you know, getting him to have a Jack Kennedy moment, which Paul Ryan didn't take the bait on.

So, you know, I thought the vice president, you know, even broke the rule of honor -- of arguing with the moderator, which, you know, you don't argue with the moderator unless you're Newt Gingrich.

So, I think that the vice president may have crossed the line at some places in the debate in terms of interrupting, being rude. But, you know, it was all in all a very spirited debate. And I thought the format and the moderator served it well in terms of letting them go back and forth.

BERMAN: But just in closing here, if the goal was to rally the base for Joe Biden, did he achieve that?

O'DONNELL: He certainly achieved that. I mean, he had to have to inspire his base to know that, you know, last week, I'm sure many Democrats were disheartened that the president was unwilling to go out and fight for his cause.

And so, Joe Biden definitely, the vice president definitely rallied his base with his performance last night. As you saw in how the poll numbers shook out. Equally, Paul Ryan, also showed that he has the mettle to be the vice president. And that's what he needed to do last night, as well.

BERMAN: All right, Brett O'Donnell, always great to talk to you like this. No one knows debates like you do. Good to see you.

SAMBOLIN: All right, folks, both sides went into full spin mode after the debate. Everything was under the microscope. Ryan's level of experience, Biden's interruptions, and his facial expressions. Check it out.


JIM MESSINA, OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think Congressman Ryan was out of his depth and showed clearly that ticket is not ready for prime- time on foreign policy. I think that was a decisive difference between the two sides.

REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I thought it was a great night for us. I was excited for Paul. He was solid. He had a command of the issues. Quite frankly, I was embarrassed for the vice president, I mean, the laughs. We counted 82 times that Joe Biden interrupted Paul Ryan.

BEAU BIDEN, SON OF JOE BIDEN: If the only criticism coming from the right and from some folks out there is that he smiled too much, I'll take that any day. My father was enjoying the opportunity to debate Congressman Ryan on a very important issue.

BERMAN: All right. We have another debate fact check, not about smiles, this time about Mitt Romney's tax plan. They fought a lot about taxes last night. Paul Ryan claimed you could have 20 percent income tax rates across the board remain deficit neutral without eliminating deductions that benefit the middle class. Listen.


RYAN: You can cut tax rates by 20 percent, and still preserve these important preferences for middle-class taxpayers --

BIDEN: Not mathematically possible.

RYAN: It is mathematically possible.


BERMAN: Such a good exchange there, but what are the facts? The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center tells us, again they told us last night, given what we know about Mitt Romney's plan, it's not possible to cut tax rates as much as he'd like without eliminating deductions that would affect the middle class.

They say you can't do that without changing the rules on capital gains taxes, investment taxes, and dividend taxes with the Romney campaign says it will not do. So our verdict is here, according to the Tax Policy Center, false, this cannot be done.

Want to talk now about some other issues here, the auto bailout. The vice president made the claim, as the president has, that Mitt Romney said, quote, let Detroit go bankrupt.


BIDEN: We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued General Motors. We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for middle class. And in addition to that, when that occurred, what did Romney do? Romney said no, let Detroit go bankrupt.


BERMAN: So here are the facts. On November 18th, 2008, Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in "The New York Times" that editors there titled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," though Romney never used those words in that piece.

In the piece, he opposed a federal bailout of the industry, but he did call for a managed bankruptcy of the auto company, something that, by the way, the Obama administration essentially ultimately implemented.

So, by the letter here, our verdict is misleading. Mitt Romney never said at that point, "let Detroit go bankrupt," even if he supported a managed bankruptcy. But remember, he did oppose the bailout or direct investment into GM and the auto industry, which a lot of people think saved the industry.

I want to make one more point before we move on. The Obama campaign did send me a clip last night of Mitt Romney saying let Detroit go bankrupt, but that comes from 2011, well after the bailout debate was all said and done and the bankruptcy had already occurred.

Finally, will Obama care force people to lose insurance coverage? Paul Ryan said Obama care will cause 20 million people to lose their insurance.


RYAN: Look at all the string of broken promises. If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Try telling that to the 20 million people who are projected to lose their health insurance if Obama care goes through.


BERMAN: So the facts here, Congressional Budget Office analysis this past March mentioned an outside possibility of 20 million people losing coverage due to the law.

But it was part of a range of possibilities that also included the possibility that 3 million people might actually gain coverage. It concluded, in the conclusion of the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, a sharp decline in employment based on health insurance as a result of the American Care Act is unlikely. So our verdict here is false. Paul Ryan really went out on a limb there. SAMBOLIN: I'm glad you did that. Because I actually read the transcript, and oftentimes I found myself, and this was of the vice presidential debate last night, oftentimes I found myself asking, is that true, because if that's true, then it could be problematic, whether it was Ryan or Biden.

BERMAN: The thing you have to remember with all of these fact checks here is there is an element of truth. These guys are twisting or they're taking studies that are out there, they're taking numbers out there and using them to their advantage. Our goal is to try to figure out which numbers are the best to count on, which statements are the most true. And really give you the full perspective on what's being said. Trust me, it's not easy.

SAMBOLIN: It's hard work. Sometimes it's semantics.

All right, 15 minutes past the hour.

The Nobel Peace Prize was just awarded. The winner may surprise you. That's coming up next.


SAMBOLIN: Nineteen minutes past the hour. Welcome back. We are minding your business. U.S. stock futures trading flat this morning.

BERMAN: And one thing that's going to go up this winter is your home heating bill.

Christine, how much we talking about?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be cold this winter and that means you're going to pay more, even though the government thinking that it's going to be cold this winter and that means you're going to pay more. Even though the home heating oil prices aren't up a lot, you're going to pay more because you're going to have more days of heating your home, especially in the Northeast.

So let me tell you what it's going to look like -- $2,500 is going to be your -- it's going to be the average price for homes, specifically people in the Northeast using heating oil, up 20 percent from last year. But not -- the number of days with the heat on is going to go up 18 percent from last year. So you know, wear a sweater, to quote Jimmy Carter.

Now, let's talk about other ways of heating your home, because not everybody uses home heating oil. Natural gas, you can expect those costs to go up 15 percent this winter. Propane, 13 percent, and electricity 6 percent. Now, that's the bad news.

The good news is the International Energy Agency, with its big outlook for world energy prices says over the next five years, I think, demand is going to slow a little bit for energy, and that could keep a lid on prices in the longer term. We certainly hope that's going to be the case. Now, the one thing you need to know about your money: mortgage rates are still super-duper low. They ticked up a little tiny bit from last week. But I want to show you a 30-year fixed rate 3.39 percent; 15- year fixed rate it 2.7 percent. If you're in the market to refinance, time is still good.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Christine.

BERMAN: Good to know.

SAMBOLIN: It is 20 minutes past the hour.

Coming up, the Endeavour shuttle is heading to its new home. We're following its path through the streets of L.A. all morning long. But it's not traveling at light speed, super slow, two miles an hour I understand.

These are live pictures for you. It's going to get a little lighter out there. We're going to have better pictures.

BERMAN: They're stuck at an intersection.

SAMBOLIN: How often does that happen, right? Stuck at the interaction, a space shuttle.

We'll be back with that.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

OK, riddle me this, Zoraida. What takes 48 hours to travel 12 miles --

SAMBOLIN: I know, I know.

BERMAN: -- and it's not traffic on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles.

The answer: the shuttle Endeavour. The retired spacecraft is now snaking its way through the streets of Los Angeles, en route to its final resting place at the California Science Center. That's just how it rolls.

CNN's John Zarrella is watching this spectacle. He is live in Los Angeles.

John, this has just got to be amazing, even by Los Angeles standards. How big is this thing?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's no question about it. You're talking about a vehicle that's more than 100 feet long, 78 feet wide, 145,000 pounds. And the carrier that they're moving it on right now weighs over 200,000 pounds itself.

We are in an area by a shopping mall, which there's a parking lot here behind me, and you can see it's blocked off. They're actually going to put the shuttle in there. It's in a place between our two camera shots right now, so we can't show it to you. But it's going to sit in there. They're going to reconfigure it on to a different transporter, and that's going to take about nine hours.

So, it will literally sit here for the next nine hours before it starts to move on again, and head on ultimately two miles an hour, at 46 hours, the total journey. You know, flew 123 million miles over the course of 25 flights, John, and missions, and this is certainly by far going to be the shortest mission a space shuttle has ever made, and certainly the slowest journey one has ever made.

But boy was it spectacular an hour ago when it literally left the airport, and was right behind us along the perimeter road there, as they moved out of LAX where it's been sitting for the past few weeks, before it's making this journey to the California Science Center.

And, finally, John, they are telling people here in Los Angeles, look, tomorrow is really the day to go out and se it. There are a couple of places by the old forum, and then at a shopping mall where they're going to be some festivities going on, some celebrations going on. There will be stands set up at those locations for people to go and watch it.

Today, they're saying, just, you know, leave it be. Let it do what it needs to do today and then tomorrow go out and watch it. But we did see quite a few people along the route already this morning who wanted to get that first look of endeavor making its final trip to California Science Center.

BERMAN: All right.

ZARRELLA: John, Zoraida?

BERMAN: A very unusual low-speed chase through the streets of Los Angeles. John Zarrella, thank you so much today.


SAMBOLIN: All right. Twenty-seven minutes past the hour.

They went toe to toe defending their running mates. Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Ryan tackle the issues in their one and only debate. We look at the highlights, coming up next.



RYAN: Mr. Vice President, I know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground.


RYAN: Jack Kennedy, lower tax rates increase growth.

BIDEN: Now you're Jack Kennedy? (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: A battle of the minds among other things. Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden go head-to-head in the first and only vice presidential debate. We dig into the facts and fictions -- straight ahead.

SAMBOLIN: Malarkey, conflating, laughing, shirtless. Just a few of the top search terms on Google during last night's debate. We have Google's election team live on the show this hour.

Welcome back to EARLY START. We're happy you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Thirty-one minutes past the hour right now. It is Friday, finally, October 12th.

SAMBOLIN: Poor guy. He's been up all night.

So no one had a bad night. Maybe you.

BERMAN: Except for me.

SAMBOLIN: Neither candidate was to polite during last night's bruising debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. There was no knockout punch. But the two vice presidential candidates did manage to land some telling blows. Joe Biden, the aggressor, Paul Ryan the cool, counterpuncher.

BERMAN: Here is how you, the voters, scored it.

CNN/ORC poll taken right after the debate shows 48 percent of you who watched thought Paul Ryan won with 44 percent saying Joe Biden was the victor. That is pretty much a statistical tie.

Our senior congressional correspondent and good friend, Dana Bash, is live from Danville, Kentucky, this morning. And, Dana, the candidates, they sure traded barbs on the stimulus. Let's listen to what they said.


BIDEN: And I love my friend here. I have -- I'm not going to show letters, go to our Web site. He sent me two letters saying by the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of Wisconsin. We sent millions of dollars. You know why he said --

RADDATZ: You did ask for stimulus money, correct?

RYAN: On two occasions we advocates for constituents who were applying for grants. That's what we do. We do that for all constituents.

BIDEN: I love that. I love that. This is such a bad program, and he writes me a letter saying -- writes the department a letter saying the reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs.


BERMAN: That was a moment there. Will those letters come back to haunt Paul Ryan on the issue of the stimulus?

BASH: You know, they kind of already are. When Paul Ryan was first picked by Mitt Romney, the Democrats had a field day with that, because he was one of many Republicans who were trashing the stimulus plan, and then wrote letters asking for money.

I think that was one of the few moments, frankly, where Joe Biden got a punch in, and Paul Ryan didn't have much of a counterpunch. That and we were talking earlier, the other issue was when Biden talked about the enormity of the spending during the Republican years during the Bush years. Ryan generally talked about the fact that, yes, Republicans spent too much. He didn't even go there. That was one of those where Biden got his licks in.

BERMAN: Social issues were also at play last night in a way they were not in the first debate. Joe Biden brought up the issue of the Supreme Court in an exchange on abortion.


BIDEN: The next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That's how close Roe v. Wade is. Just ask yourself. With Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for -- for Mr. Romney, who do you think he's likely to appoint?

You think he's likely to appoint someone like Scalia, or someone else on the court, far right, that would outlaw planned -- excuse me, outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.

RYAN: We don't think that unelected judges should make this decision. That people, through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the Democratic process should make this determination.


BERMAN: It really did seem that Joe Biden was eager to have that discussed last night.

BASH: Women, women, women. That was what that was all about. Particularly when you're talking about those key women in some of the suburban areas, in the swing states, swing districts, and swing states.

That is what that was all about. Reminding those, many of whom who are fiscally conservative, reminding them that from their perspective, if they are for abortion rights that there is a lot at stake beyond just the economy. And that is exactly what that was about from Joe Biden's perspective.

SAMBOLIN: It's really interesting to listen to two Catholics having this debate, as well.

Dana Bash, live for us in Kentucky, thank you very much.

So, let's get some more analysis on the vice presidential debate.

I want to bring in Ana Navarro, Republican strategist and a CNN contributor. And Richard Socarides, Democratic analyst and adviser to former President Clinton.

So, last night, who was the winner? Did you see a clear winner?


SAMBOLIN: There are many who actually agree with you.

NAVARRO: I have to tell you I think she did a great job restraining Joe Biden -- keeping him in a time frame is not an easy thing to do. I think she did a terrific job bringing in a lot of issues that were important.

We saw for the first time the two campaigns talk about Benghazi directly. We saw talk about social issues. It was a very good debate.

I think the other winner was the American people. We got very well- defined positions, starkly different, I think, from both camps. We've got a choice to make. We've got a race on our hands.

SAMBOLIN: Do you agree, Richard?

RICHARD SOCARIDES, DEMOCRATIC ANALYST: I think it was a good debate. I think Joe Biden was clearly the winner. I think it was a jolt of energy --

NAVARRO: Oh, for the love of God. Stop drinking the Democrat Kool- Aid. It's too early in the morning for Kool-Aid.

SOCARIDES: Listen, you know, I think -- you know, some of the other -- we saw the CNN poll which showed pretty much a toss-up. I think the other polls this morning from the other network show that Joe Biden was the clear winner. And I think this was the jolt of energy Democrats need to get the momentum back. I think that's exactly what will happen.

NAVARRO: I don't think there was a clear winner but more importantly there was no clear loser.

SAMBOLIN: I want to talk about a poll, because you mentioned the poll. Our poll shows more people felt Paul Ryan was more in touch with their problems. Take a look at this poll.

Some wondered if Ryan would connect with the people in this debate and it looks like he did. Are you surprised by that poll? By 51 percent.

SOCARIDES: Yes, I'm surprised. And I think it's wrong. I think it will not hold up. NAVARRO: Those rigged polls?

SOCARIDES: I don't think it's rigged. You do an overnight poll. You have a 5 percent margin of error either which.

I think polling out of the other firms shows the opposite. There's a CBS poll which shows Biden won by 11 percent. That's the kind of polling you will see.

I mean, listen, Ryan did great -- Ryan did fine. I mean, I think he held his own.


SOCARIDES: I think that he, you know, watched with the expertise, and the gravitas of Joe Biden, and the energy of Joe Biden, I do in the think --

NAVARRO: And the age of Joe Biden. Not easy to debate your father.

BERMAN: For a vice presidential nominee the bar is to prove you could be president if you had to. Any doubt that Paul Ryan met that?

SOCARIDES: Yes, I doubt it. I don't want him to be president. I'd be scared if he was president.

BERMAN: I think you're in the mine or -- a lot this morning are saying he looked like he could handle it.

SOCARIDES: You know, when it came to foreign policy he looked very robotic, I thought. I thought that, you know, he looked like he had a good training.

SAMBOLIN: When you listen to his answers, he may have looked robotic, but when you listen to the substance of his answers, you really feel the --

SOCARIDES: I think there were a lot of questions he didn't answer. I think there were a lot of moments where he just kind of, you know, shrugged his shoulders.

BERMAN: Ana, let me ask you, I don't think we're going to have time to play the sound. But, Martha, my good friend Martha Raddatz, pushed Paul Ryan very hard on the specifics of the tax plan, the 20 percent tax rates, how do they pay for it.

Ryan really did not fill in the blanks there. Will he have to at some point? Did he satisfy you? Will he satisfy us ever in the next 26 days?

NAVARRO: No, they won't. They're not going to get specifics. I think they got their answer.

We're not going to give specifics because we've got some general points and we're going to fill in the details when we get elected by working with Congress and making this a joint effort so it is a bipartisan joint effort with Congress.

But I think both of them brought their "A" game last night. And I think both of them showed a lot of substance, and I think for both of them also showed their human side. I think we saw out of both of them.

BERMAN: I'm glad both of you brought your "A" game this morning. Thank you very much.

SAMBOLIN: Really nice to have you.

Ana Navarro, Richard Socarides, thanks for getting up nice and early after you stayed up really late.

NAVARRO: Let me tell you, I stayed up late. I was with Donna Brazile last night.

SOCARIDES: She's in a very nonpartisan, bipartisan mood this morning.

NAVARRO: I'm just in a weakened state.

BERMAN: So, good people. During the debate, what were people trending on the web in terms of searches on Google?

The top rising searches were, Biden, conflating, malarkey, who is winning the debate, and how old is Paul Ryan.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-two years old, by the way.

BERMAN: Forty-two years old.

I'm breaking down the top searches related to Biden, Ryan debate came in at number one. How old is, dot, dot, dot. Then laughing and also Jill. That's what people were searching in conjunction with Joe Biden.

SAMBOLIN: And he is about 70 years old. Just about.

NAVARRO: Sixty-nine! Don't give him one extra year.

SAMBOLIN: Well, you know what? I was fascinated by the age differences, actually.

BERMAN: So anyway. That happened. Thank you.

We're going to move on right now. We will have more news coming up in a moment.


SAMBOLIN: Forty-three minutes past the hour.

Soledad O'Brien joins us now with a look at what is ahead on "STARTING POINT." Another one who was up all night.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I was. And lots to talk about this morning. Coming to you live, of course, from Danville, Kentucky, the site of last night's debate.

A lot to tell you about. It was a feisty showdown as you've been talking about all morning. Vice President Joe Biden, Congressman Paul Ryan facing off.

It's going to be their only debate. They talked about everything from Libya to health care to the economy. What was fact? What was fiction? We'll dig through that for you. We're breaking the night down with lots of guests this morning.

Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen will join us. Mark Zandi, he is Moody's chief economist. Republican Congressman Ron Johnson will be our guest. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of the vice president will be joining us, as well.

Also this morning, protests around that courageous young Pakistani woman. She was shot by the Taliban. There are groups that are expected to take to the streets in support of her in opposition for the -- of the Taliban in supporting her fight for women's rights.

We're going to bring you all those developing details this morning as well. That's when STARTING POINT gets under way right at the top of hour. We'll see right then.\

SAMBOLIN: All right, Soledad, thank you.

So, let's get right to Rob Marciano with your forecast. Good morning.


I want to start off with tropical storm Patty. Still hurricane season, just east of the Bahamas. Forecast to drift that way. It's likely not to develop much more than it is right now. But we'll watch it very closely.

Hard to believe the fact that we've got frost on the ground, spots across the Northeast. And this leading edge of precip with a little bit of snow at the higher elevations, the next front that will bring a reinforcing shot of cool air, kind of dragging its feet across parts of the Central Plains. A lot of lightning strikes there, and also some flooding rains.

And this piece of energy which had tornado warnings in parts of New Mexico and Arizona this morning, maybe some flooding as far north as Nevada and into parts of southern Utah, will bring some snow to the higher elevations as well. But that chunk of energy will come out into the plains as we go through tomorrow and meet up with that front pushing east. And we'll look for severe weather not only today but tomorrow across the central plains. That may spell isolated tornadoes and potentially some damaging wind and large hail.

Highs today 55. Chicago 55. A chilly night tonight ad a frosty wake- up call across the Tri-State area of New York City tomorrow. May want to sleep in and wait until things warm up in the afternoon. Guys, back up to you. SAMBOLIN: Such great advice. Thank you very much, Rob. 45 minutes past the hour. New this morning, a new U.S. ambassador reporting for duty in Libya. The White House recalled veteran diplomat Lawrence Pope to serve temporarily as a senior envoy in Libya. The appointment comes a month after Ambassador Chris Stevens died in the Benghazi consulate attack. Pope retired from the foreign service 12 years ago.

BERMAN: Happening right now at this very moment, the space shuttle Endeavour, five stories tall with a 78 foot wing span, is squeezing its way through the streets of Los Angeles. The two mile an hour crawl began overnight at Los Angeles International Airport. Endeavour is headed to its retirement home at the California Science Center. This 12-mile trip it's on right now expected to be completed by sometime tomorrow night. And it is a vision.

SAMBOLIN: Photographers on hand. 84 million wristbands with the phrase "Live strong" have been distributed by Lance Armstrong's cancer charity. Critics of the legendary cyclist are crossing out the v, saying the phrase should really read "Lie strong". Armstrong has long been dogged by accusations of doping. On Wednesday the U.S. Anti- Doping Agency released more documents that it says show beyond a reasonable doubt that Armstrong cheated.

And tonight, Armstrong's former teammate, Tyler Hamilton, will be a guest on "ANDERSON COOPER 360". Hamilton just wrote a book where he outright accuses Armstrong of doping.

BERMAN: Man, so many great questions. That will be interesting.

All right, it is official. Michael Vick owns a dog. This revelation comes three years after the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback finished serving a prison sentence on dog fighting charges. In a statement, Vick says the dog is well cared for and he wants his children to develop a healthy relationship with animals.

All right. The Detroit Tigers headed back to the American League championship series. Zoraida's making me read this because she's so mad about it. They shut out the Oakland A's 6-0. Behind their ace, Justin Verlander. Justin Verlander, this just in, is very good. This was the decisive fifth game of the ALDS.

In the National League, the San Francisco Giants, they completed an improbable comeback with a game five win over the Cincinnati Reds. They lost the first two games at home and came back to win the next three straight on the road in Cincinnati. Now, the Giants will be playing for the pennant.

Meantime, the Baltimore Orioles, thank goodness for the Baltimore Orioles.

SAMBOLIN: Go Yankees.

BERMAN: They forced game fifth in a deciding game tonight in the Bronx. They beat the New York Yankees 2-1 in 13 innings. Never give up, O's. Never give up. Another big game yesterday. A home run by Jayson Werth. He gave the Washington Nationals a breath of life, a walkoff win against the St. Louis Cardinals. That sets up another game. We have Game Fives all around here, all four division series have gone the distance, ending in Game Fives. Playoff baseball, it is fantastic.

SAMBOLIN: 48 minutes past the hour. Fact versus fiction. Vice President Biden and Paul Ryan threw out a lot of claims about Medicare. But what was actually factually true? We're going to break it down.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. 51 minutes past the hour. After last night's vice presidential debate, many Americans must still be wondering which party will better preserve Medicare. Both candidates insist their opponent's plan will have tragic consequences for millions of seniors. So what exactly are the plans? and which one is better for you? It's time for a Medicare fact check. And here is Tom Foreman.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John, Zoraida. Medicare, as you know, is the government health insurance program for people mostly over the age of 65. About 50 million Americans depend on this program and its long-term financial future is pretty shaky.

But here's the really scary part. Each campaign says the other side's plans for dealing with it are terrible.

RYAN: Obamacare takes $716 billion from Medicare to spend on Obamacare.

BIDEN: All you seniors out there, have you been denied choices? Have you lost Medicare advantage?

RYAN: Because they haven't put a credible solution on the table.

BIDEN: Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad, and they eliminate the guarantee of Medicare.

FOREMAN: This is their essential claim, that my opponent will destroy Medicare. But is that really true? Let's take a look at some of the facts and consider it. I'll bring in some tools.

Look at the White House plan to begin with. This is the landscape they're dealing with. The cost of Medicare is going to generally increase over the next 10 years. To about $1 trillion annually. They want to reduce that by about 10 percent. That's the orange part here. That's the part they're cutting out. Now, their opponents look at that and say, that's real care for real people that you're getting rid of, and you just can't do that. The White House says hold on. No it's not. That's a reduction in the amount of money that we're paying to the administrative cost of hospitals and to insurance programs. In a word, they say, that is waste. We can get rid of it and we should get rid of it. That's the White House take on things. Now, if you bring in the Romney/Ryan plan, you'll se the landscape is just the same. They have the same increase. They also want to reduce it by about 10 percent, but they want to rely on the private sector, not government, to get that done. In a word they're going for vouchers. Now, they don't like calling it vouchers, but that's really what it is.

Right now if you're on Medicare, what happens is the government pays Medicare, Medicare pays the hospital, the hospital takes care of you. Under this plan, the government would pay you, and you would decide if you wanted to buy into Medicare or into private insurance that will create competition between the two, in their theory, and that is how you get out that very same waste what that the White House wants to get out.

These are two very complicated huge programs. There are critics on both sides who say this plan won't work or that plan won't work, or this plan will leave people stranded or that plan will leave people stranded. But the truth is, it is complicated. So if we go to this basic claim that both sides have raised here that somehow this is al about destroying Medicare -- that is simply false. That is a scare tactic, no matter which side is saying it.

So why are they saying it so much? all you have to do is look at the map and you know. Across the country, the baby boomers are getting older. They're becoming a bigger percentage of the voting population, fast, all those dark states where the percentage is highest. And look at Florida down here. Battleground state? More than 17 percent of the population there is over the age of 65. These are engaged voters. They are voters who show up when it's time to vote. And they're very concerned about Medicare, even though both sides say neither plan is going to affect people over the age of 65 right now. They're engaged on this issue, and whichever side wins the Medicare debate will probably win a lot of senior votes.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Coming up.

BERMAN: We have some fantastic Best Advice. How to live your life according to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

SAMBOLIN: Ooh. Everybody wants to know that.


SAMBOLIN: 58 minutes after the hour.

BERMAN: As always we wrap it up with Best Advice. Romans.

ROMANS: Drew Brees. Today's Best Advice comes from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.


DREW BREES, NFL QUATERBACK, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: The best advice I've ever gotten is to never let anyone tell you that you can't accomplish something that you're willing to work for. (END VIDEO CLIP)


BERMAN: That's a dude who should know. He's accomplished a heck of a lot.

ROMANS: Always work so hard in sports.

SAMBOLIN: He's a nice guy, too.

BERMAN: All right. Enjoy the football this weekend. That is all from EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien, live in Danville, Kentucky, starts right now.