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McKinstry: Echos of 1988 as Paul Ryan brings up JFK - and Joe Biden pounces

Vice President Joe Biden listens to Republican vice

Vice President Joe Biden listens to Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, during the vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. (Oct. 11, 2012) Credit: AP

Gentleman. That was no Jack Kennedy moment.

Debate watchers of a certain age can recite the line by heart: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy... Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

Sen. Lloyd Bentsen's takedown of Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice president match-up was one of the great debate zingers of all time.

So give Joe Biden credit for trying -- and Paul Ryan chutzpah points for bringing JFK up in the first place.

Ryan invoked Kennedy as he endeavored to prove that it is possible to maintain popular middle-class tax deductions and keep a broad tax cut revenue neutral. Biden's response: "Now you're Jack Kennedy?"

Nice try, Joe. But unlike that great Bentsen line, this one missed.

It was very forgettable.