York County Democrats and Republicans can agree on at least one thing about prime-time viewing from Thursday night - boy, that was some game between the O's and the Yankees.

But beyond that, those who actually turned the channel from the game to the debate had very different positions on the contest between Vice President Joe Biden and vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Republicans characterized Biden as a maniacal laugher while Democrats said Ryan avoided questions and outright lied.

After eating breakfast at a York City Denny's restaurant, registered Republicans and father-and-son construction workers Justin Miller, 27, of Jackson Township and Randy Miller, 64, of West Manheim Township said Thursday's debate showed Biden trying to compensate for the lack of fire his boss brought to the first presidential debate.

Justin Miller admitted he only watched the first part of the debate, prior to the game. But what he saw was enough to make him skeptical of the vice president, he said.

"Biden with that constant laughing," he said from under the brim of a Yankees hat. "The things Ryan was saying weren't that off-the-wall. Instead of keeping his head down, he reacted to everything. It felt forced. It didn't look natural."

Randy Miller said Biden seemed arrogant.

"It was just his gestures," he said. "As soon as I turned on the TV, there's Biden with that big smirk."

But the breakfast conversation at Central Family Restaurant in York City favored Biden, with Ryan being cast as elusive and disingenuous.


Registered Democrat Toussaint Sexton, 42, said Biden cited websites to back up the facts he presented, while Ryan "doesn't have anything" and distorted facts.

The York City man said Romney and Ryan have switched positions so often that they're not sticking with the platform on which they started the race.

"It's like they're riding the fence, and they drop off wherever they think it's convenient at the time," Sexton said. "If they get elected on one thing and then do a different thing, that's a problem. Everybody in York County needs to read between the lines and do other research."

He said the debate brought to light inconsistencies in, for example, what Romney and Ryan feel about abortion. While Biden clearly presented his pro-choice views, Sexton said he felt Ryan eluded the question.

Sexton, who said he's a devoted MSNBC fan who craves political knowledge, said he watched the entire debate. He has a stake in the election because he plans to go back to college to repair computers, and an Obama win is likely to mean he'll have more government assistance paying for classes.

Comments: As The York Dispatch streamed the debate on its website via YouTube, and commenters on the Facebook forum also said Biden seemed arrogant.

Poster Cathy Post said she's politically neutral, but it was "condescending and pompous of Biden to be laughing at serious questions. It makes Biden look like he thinks it's all beneath him!"

Commenter "Laser Bob Giegerich" said he agreed.

"I was the captain of the debate team and he would be off the team," he said.

Commenter Troy Whitney drew contrast between Biden's performance and that of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the last debate.

"Hmmm - so Romney interrupts and lies throughout his entire debate 'performance' and he's 'forceful' Biden interrupts and is forceful, and he's 'rude'? I disagree. I think Biden did his job and he did it well."

- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.