Joe Biden went after Paul Ryan aggressively during the US vice presidential debate on Thursday evening, as the Democrat sought to make up for Barack Obama's lackluster performance against Mitt Romney.

Since last week's presidential debate, widely seen to have been won by Romney, the polls have narrowed, giving a boost to the Republican campaign which had been falling significantly behind with less than one month to go until election day.

Smiling broadly in incredulity, rolling his eyes and raising his eyebrows, Vice President Biden gave expressive reactions to Congressman Ryan's answers and frequently interrupted the Republican candidate.

The fiery debate that covered both foreign affairs and domestic policy was moderated by Martha Raddatz, the senior foreign affairs correspondent for ABC News.

Describing Ryan's "loose talk" criticisms of the Obama administration's foreign policy as alternatively "malarkey" and "this is a bunch of stuff", Biden did not sit back as the president had done with Romney.

Ryan attacked Obama and Biden for failing to secure the US embassy in Benghazi in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans we killed.

He also said that while the Republican campaign agreed with the White House's timeline to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan in 2014, that fixed date should not be made public.

"What we are witnessing is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy, problems are growing abroad but jobs aren't growing here at home," he said.

"What we do not want to do is give our allies a reason to trust us less and we don't want to embolden our enemies to hold and wait until we leave."

He added: "We have been sceptical about negations with the Taliban, especially when they are shooting at us."

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Biden's best and most awkward debate reaction faces

But Biden said a strict timeline was needed to make the Afghan government "step up" and take responsibility for security in the country.

He said: "Unless you set a timeline … Kabul will not step up, they are happy to let us do the job, the only way they step up is if we say fellas, we're leaving, step up. "

"Lets keep our eye on the ball. we went there for one reason, to get those people who killed Americans, al-Qaeda, we have decimated al-Qaeda central, we have killed Osama Bin Laden," he said.

Biden echoed the words of prime minister David Cameron when he said there would be no "cliff edge" of troop withdrawals.

"We've agreed on a gradual draw down so we are out of there in the year 2014," he said. "We are leaving in 2014. Period."

biden ryan

As the discussion turned to the US economy, Biden attacked Ryan for voting in favour of measures during the George W. Bush administration that caused the economic crisis.

"They talk about this great recession like it fell out of the sky," Biden said. "Now all these guys are so seized with concern about the debt that they created."

"My record stands for itself, I never say what I don't mean, whatever I say I do, my whole life has been devoted to levelling the playing field for middle class people."

However Ryan said Obama and Biden had not delivered on promises made in 2008 and were more interested in making speeches than taking action.

"That's what we get in this administration, speeches, we're not getting leadership. He [Obama] broke his big promise to bring people together to solve this country's big problems," he said.

He added: "What you need are people who when they say they are going to do something they go do it. This is not what a real recovery looks like, you deserve better."

An hour into the debate, a survey of more than 300 debate watchers conducted for The Huffington Post from across the political spectrum found that Biden was beating Ryan by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin watches as Vice President Joe Biden answers a question during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Joe Biden, Paul Ryan

    Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin spar during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin shake hands after the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin gesture after the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Joe Biden, Jill Biden

    Vice President Joe Biden kisses his wife, Jill Biden, following the vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Paul Ryan, Janna Ryan

    Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, kisses his wife Janna following the vice presidential debate with Vice President Joe Biden at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Joe Biden, Paul Ryan

    Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Vice President Joe Biden pass each other after the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and wife Janna Ryan talk to Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden after the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

  • Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, Charlie Ryan, Jill Biden, Janna Ryan

    Vice President Joe Biden, center, and his wife Jill Biden, meet with Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., right, his wife Janna Ryan, left, and son Charlie Ryan, center, on stage after the vice presidential debate, at Centre College in Danville, Ky., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • 2012 Vice Presidential Debate

    DANVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 11: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Republican vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) after the vice presidential debate at Centre College October 11, 2012 in Danville, Kentucky. This is the second of four debates during the presidential election season and the only debate between the vice presidential candidates before the closely-contested election November 6. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • 2012 Vice Presidential Debate

    DANVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 11: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C) and Republican vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) participate in the vice presidential debate as moderator Martha Raddatz looks on at Centre College October 11, 2012 in Danville, Kentucky. This is the second of four debates during the presidential election season and the only debate between the vice presidential candidates before the closely-contested election November 6. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News awaits the start of the vice presidential debate between US Vice President Joe Biden and Republican candidate Paul Ryan at the Norton Center, Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Jill Biden, wife of US Vice President Joe Biden, awaits the start of the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 2012 Vice Presidential Debate

    DANVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 11: Janna Biden (C)speaks with Jill Biden (R) as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) look on after the vice presidential debate at Centre College October 11, 2012 in Danville, Kentucky. This is the second of four debates during the presidential election season and the only debate between the vice presidential candidates before the closely-contested election November 6. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) participate in the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (C) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) participate in the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (C) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) participates in the vice presidential debate with US Vice President Joe Biden (out of frame) at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (L) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden participates in the vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (out of frame) at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) participates in the vice presidential debate with US Vice President Joe Biden (out of frame) at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (L) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) participate in the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (C) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) participate in the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (C) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) participate in the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (C) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) participates in the vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (C) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    A combination picture shows the US Vice President Joe Biden's reactions during his vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 11, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan greets family following his debate with US Vice President Joe Biden at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (R) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) greets Janna Ryan, wife of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, following the vice presidential debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) participates in the vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (C) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) participates in the vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (C) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan greets family following his debate with US Vice President Joe Biden at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (R) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan greets family following his debate with US Vice President Joe Biden at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (R) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R) shake hands following their debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (C) shake hands following their debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz (R) of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US Vice President Joe Biden (R) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (L) depart the stage following their debate at the Norton Center at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 10, 2012, moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Joe Biden, Paul Ryan

    Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, right, watches as Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Joe Biden

    Vice President Joe Biden reacts to a question during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Joe Biden, Paul Ryan

    Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Republican vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, challenge each other during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Joe Biden, Paul Ryan

    Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, respond to moderator Martha Raddatz during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the vice presidential debate with Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • In a combo photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, face off during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)