Vice President Biden's laughter during the vice presidential debate Thursday night is still the talk of Twitter on Friday morning, and is turning into one of the most memorable aspects of the first and only VP debate this cycle.
"These are very serious issues and I'll let the American people judge Vice President Biden in terms of his facial expressions," senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie told "Fox & Friends" on Friday. "I thought it was very disrespectful to the American people."
Longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove interpreted Biden's laughter as "cackling" and a sign of "unhinged" desperation. And the Republican National Committee released a video highlighting and condensing Biden's laughter in a split-screen comparison to Ryan talking about Iran and unemployment.
"Vice President Biden is laughing ... are you?" the video asks.
"Several times it was just really inappropriate," Romney spokesman Michael Steel told Yahoo! News of the laughter.
"All you heard from the vice president is laughter and excuses," Ryan's spokesman Brendan Buck said in the spin room post-debate, according to USA Today. "Nobody wants to see him laughing while there are 22 million Americans out of work. There was one person onstage who was the serious adult, and that was Paul Ryan."
But President Obama's campaign was pushing back, too. Lis Smith, director of Obama's rapid response, mocked the other side's spin as Ryan "defenseless in the face of laughter."
If you read @mittromney's campaign's tweets, you'd think "laughing" was #1 polling issue. Try Medicare, jobs, taxes. Ryan lost on all 3.— Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith) October 12, 2012
Bill Burton, a former Obama aide and co-founder of Priorities USA, the primary super-PAC supporting the president's reelection, sent a mocking tweet as well.
GOP spin: Raddatz was mean. Biden wasn't nice. Ryan was adequate?— Bill Burton (@billburton716) October 12, 2012
One question raised by pundits in the aftermath of the debate was whether Biden's laughter compared to Al Gore's sighing in the presidential debates of 2000, a memorable reaction that at the time was considered a distraction from the issues at hand. But with both sides defending their own candidate, the debate will likely be considered a draw as to whether or not Biden gets the last laugh.