Carney: Biden's Smirk 'Passion and Joy,' Not Condescension

White House press secretary Jay Carney found nothing wrong with Vice President Joe Biden's laughs, smirks, giggles, and guffaws while discussing some of the most important -- and somber -- foreign and domestic policy issues during Thursday night's vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan. 

Carney said Biden's laughter represented someone who brings an "enormous amount of passion and joy" to his job. 

He continued:

The person I saw up there last night is somebody who is absolutely passionate about fighting for and defending the middle class... and who comes to his job -- this many years in to serving his country in the Senate and now to the White House -- with an enormous amount of passion and joy.

Biden rubbed many viewers the wrong way by laughing off nearly every issue put on the table during Thursday night's debate with Paul Ryan. Biden smirked while contradicting State Department officials and throwing the U.S. intelligence community under the bus by claiming the administration never heard U.S. interests in Libya needed more security. Biden grinned when discussing Iran's nuclear threat and guffawed while talking about America's struggling economy.

Even progressive journalists like Tom Brokaw said Biden should not have been laughing while discussing a potential nuclear war that could break out in the Middle East. 

But Carney doubled down:

As someone who worked with the vice president for two years and traveled with him around the country and the world, I took extreme pleasure in watching the debate last night because of the way that he demonstrated his passion and his wisdom and the joy that he brings to the job of serving the American people as vice president.

Carney also said Biden was joyous in attacking Paul Ryan on Medicare, the stimulus, and entitlements, even though the Obama administration does not have serious plans to address any of these issues except to propose more government spending while the country goes further into debt. 

When pressed by reporters about whether some Americans found Biden's antics to be condescending, though, Carney was not quite so defensive. "I think it is for the American people to decide," he responded.


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