DANVILLE, Ky. — Likewise, Romney called Ryan and congratulated him on his performance, a campaign spokesman said.
Obama and Romney hold their next debate on Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y, then meet again on Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.
In Kentucky, Biden and Ryan seemed ready for a showdown from their opening moments on stage, and neither seemed willing to let the other have the final word. They interrupted each other repeatedly — and moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC as well.
With Democrats eager for Biden to show the spark the president lacked, he did so.
Ryan focused on dreary economic statistics — 23 million are struggling to work, he said, and 15 percent of the country is living in poverty. "This is not what a real recovery looks like."
Medicare was a flashpoint, as well. Ryan said Obama's health care plan had diverted $716 billion from the program for seniors and created a new board that could deny care to patients who need it.
Democrats "haven't put a credible solution on the table," he said. "They'll tell you about vouchers. They'll say all these things to try to scare people."
Biden quickly said that Ryan had authored not one but two proposals in which seniors would be given government payments that might not cover the entirety of their care. Otherwise, he said, the Romney-Ryan approach wouldn't achieve the savings they claimed.
Unlike Obama, Biden had no qualms about launching a personal attack on Romney.
After Ryan argued that Romney's plan would pay for reduced tax rates by eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthy, Biden noted that on a recent interview on CBS' "60 Minutes," Romney defended the 14 percent tax rate he pays on his $20 million income as fair, even though it's a lower rate than some lower income taxpayers pay.