Washington: The US Vice President, Joe Biden, and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan began their high stakes debate on Thursday night with a sharp exchange over Libya and foreign policy.
The debate in Danville, Kentucky, the only one this year between the running mates of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney has assumed more than usual significance with Obama admittedly flubbing the first presidential debate to give his Republican challenger an advantage.
Democrats are hoping that though gaffe prone, a more experienced Biden could put the boss back into the game with his performance tonight.
Republicans on the other hand believe that a younger, smarter Ryan would keep going the momentum gained by an aggressive and vibrant Romney during last week`s debate, where Obama turned in a lacklustre performance.
Responding to the first question about the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans, Biden said: "We will find and bring to justice the men who did this."
As Biden attacked Romney`s initial response to the news saying, "That`s not presidential leadership," Ryan responded with "What we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy."
He criticised what he described as shifting US explanations of the attack and said, "This is becoming more troubling by the day."
Obama and Romney each called their respective running mates Thursday to offer encouragement before the 90-minute debate focused on domestic issues, national security and foreign policy.