Ryan V.P. debate prep intensifies
September 8th, 2012
09:51 AM ET
2 years ago

Ryan V.P. debate prep intensifies

San Ramon, California (CNN) – With the vice presidential debate five weeks away, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan will hold his first all-day prep session this weekend, campaign aides say.

The Wisconsin lawmaker will convene with aides in Oregon on Sunday, which has been described to reporters as the first of many sessions where they will discuss likely debate topics and counterpoints.

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Two Mitt Romney campaign aides would not reveal who has been tapped to play the role of Joe Biden in upcoming mock debates, but given Biden's experience - a two-time presidential hopeful, U.S. senator for more than 30 years and now Barack Obama's vice president - they say they are not taking "the challenge lightly."

"You'd be hard-pressed to find someone in American political life today with more experience in national political debates than Vice President Biden," said one Romney aide who travels with Romney and asked not to be named.

In a recent interview with CNN, the House Budget Committee chairman expressed confidence in his ability to spar with Biden in the upcoming debate in Kentucky on October 11.

"He's good, but I've been in Congress 14 years and this is what we do, especially in the House. In the Senate they don't debate as often and as frequently," Ryan said during an August 30 interview on CNN's “The Situation Room.”

"That's all we do in the House is we debate. I love debating. It's one of the things I like about this job."

Ryan said he had been reading Biden speeches, "watching Joe Biden tape" and "studying on all of the various issues." Aides told reporters that Ryan watched the 2008 vice presidential debate between Biden and Sarah Palin when he was home in Janesville, Wisconsin, on September 2.

His aides, who spend just about every day on the road with him, suggested they are not concerned about how the young lawmaker will match up against the more experienced Biden.

An aide said of Ryan: "He knows a lot, and he knows a lot about a lot of things, so it's not so much a crash course on how to get smarter in a particular policy area as it is how to think about debating someone who is extremely experienced."

The Romney campaign thinks it has a "very informed legislator with a lot of experience dealing with a range of policy issues,” according to one aide who travels with the vice presidential hopeful. “Now you are about to be thrust into a debate with one of the most experienced debaters in American politics who's debated on this level with these high stakes many times. So it's more thinking about how to prepare for debating on these issues rather than just becoming an expert on these issues."

Ryan has been participating in policy briefings prior to Sunday to help prepare him for the only vice presidential debate, but now that the convention speech is behind him, an aide said he can now "focus quite intensively on debate prep."

Oregon was chosen as Sunday’s prep site because Ryan is on a West Coast campaign swing, with rallies and fund-raising events in Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington.

At some point the campaign will designate a series of days for debate prep, much like Romney did last week in Vermont.

After a rally Friday in Sparks, Nevada, Ryan spent a couple of hours in a hotel conference room meeting with staff and poring over briefing materials in huge white binders divided by issue areas.

The binders have become so cumbersome the campaign is considering using a backpack to accommodate the bulky binders instead of a briefcase-style bag Ryan typically carries.

Aides said despite the long workday this Sunday the plan is for the candidate to get one day off the trail to return to Janesville and spend the day with his family.

He may be thousands of miles away from home this weekend, but if he's lucky, he might get to watch a little football.

"We will give him a little bit of a break in the middle of the day to watch the Packers game – but not much," a Romney aide traveling with Ryan told reporters. "We are negotiating right now how much of it he gets to watch."


Filed under: 2012 • Debate • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Mike in Texas

    I have a feeling this might be one of those Bensten/Quayle debates. Ryan will come across as smug and arrogant and Biden will put him in his place....especially on Foreign Policy.

    Don't underestimate Biden....

    September 8, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    This guy is an idiot that wants to ban your SS and Medicare under his budget plan.....

    September 8, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"That's all we do in the House is we debate. I love debating. It's one of the things I like about this job"◄ and the second is LYING – Boy, I love to LIE and will keep LYING until it sounds like the truth!!!

    Paul Lyan is a young "whipper-snapper" and it will be a JOKE – you have this young-looking joke, boy-lying figure trying to look serious about our country – this young negative "whipper-snapper" will look childish and seeing that he cannot "refrain" from lying – you will LITERALLY see the soap bubbles coming from his mouth as he speaks!!!

    Oh, PS, Paul Lyan did a LOT of debating while in Congress but NOTHING got done – Debate That!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    September 8, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Michael

    I agree with Bill Clinton, repuglicans brought this country, to the point of depression and to its knees with their policies, and now because its not climbing out of the bottomless pit fast enough want to fire our President!

    September 8, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Desmond, a Canadian

    The more this guy opens his mouth, the more he reveals he is a phoney.

    September 8, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. SafeJourney

    Lyin Ryan has a real "problem" with telling the truth.

    September 8, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Mark

    Debates, Ryan and Romney will lose all the debates. They have no message. They will be telling us what the Bush advisors have told them to tell us. This is the old Bush tale all over again. They are using all Bush ex advisors.
    Another interesting absent from there conventions was the old party leaders. They were missing. Thrown out by the radical Tea Party. Old Republicans are NOT welcome to the new Republican Taliban, not extremist enough for Romney and Ryan.

    September 8, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. Pete

    Isn't this funny ,cramming for a debate especially on foriegn affairs policies,domestic security policies.Don't you emember him saying years ago why does he have to know anything like that,he's in congress,he doesn't want or care for that garbage,how's that now Ryan.This debate is for all the marbles,you'll be debating against a career specialist in both fields ,have fun at the debates,we most certainly will watching Biden school ya,that's for sure!!Later loser!!

    September 8, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Tony

    Ryan should debate a fact checker. Ryan has been waging a war against facts.

    September 8, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Seattle11

    Mr. Ryan is a proven liar.

    September 8, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Mark

    Ryan and Romney we want the TRUTH in the debates, not the lies that we have heard in the last years. We wants the facts of how you are going to create jobs, and fix the economy better than Obama has. Obama, against big odds has done alot for the people and nation. Against the push back by the extremist party, the GOP. the push back by the Tea Party, the new Taliban of this nation. TP = terrorist party. Yes. The Tea Party wants to destroy this nation and the people. The Republicans have pushed out all the old Republicans, because they are not radical or extreme enough for the TP. Republicans are selective as to who they allow to be called a new Republican.

    September 8, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. basky

    Please! Debate all your lies by yourself. It's an insult to lie to American people and think we will never remember their last eight years. Yes we are better of now than four years ago.

    September 8, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Walter

    Anyone who has heard Ryan speak knows he needs no preparation. His gaffe-prone opponent on the other hand....

    September 8, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Romney Hood's a FRAUD

    Here's the recommended Ryan debate prep plan:
    Step 1. STOP LYING
    Step 2. STOP LYING
    Step 3. TELL THE TRUTH, WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
    Step 4. Repeat the above steps until the debate(s) are over!

    September 8, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. kevin

    It's not going to be much of a debate. The VP has nothing to run on. The only people saved in the auto bailouts was the UAW. Thousands of non-union, white collar employees lost their pensions. Dealerships closed adding another 100,000, at least, to the unemployment ranks, bond holders and stockholders lost all their money and the only real reason GM is selling a lot of cars is because 90% of the car loans are subprime loans so it's only a matter of time when that will send GM crashing. 4.5 million jobs? Once you firgue in all the numbers from nonfarm payrolls, government payrolls and other stats acuatually it is a 300,000 job loss and growing. We just need 4 more years to let our policies work. VP you claimed your policies would create millions of jobs a month. Never happened. Unemployment would be kept under 8%. Never happened. Budget defceit cut in half. Never happened. Record debt, millions giving up of ever finding a job, and proverty growing and you want 4 more years!?!

    September 8, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    The hiring rate could go down to 0% and I would still vote for Obama over the tax cheat phony romney and the teaparty extremest lyin Ryan ,don't forget ,the gop caused this whole recession and have been sabatageing all attempts to fix it for four years !!!!!! So what are you going to do , reward them for keeping you from getting a job ????Obama in a landslide. In Nov ,then romney should leave the country and go to somila with the rest of the gop and take your whole family with you!!!

    September 8, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Tabeth

    I DOUBT VERY MUCH THAT RYAN HAS THE STRENGTH OF HEART AND CHARACTER TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA....TOO YOUNG FOR SUCH A HUGE RESPONSIBILITY

    September 8, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Wynter

    I see Romney/Ryan have no issues with using Obama's campaign trademark without permission. It just goes with their style I guess.

    September 8, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Cam Spurgeon

    Eddie Haskell the liar will have to prep plenty just to get off the stage, not because Biden is so Good, just becaus America instead of a lot ofr ight wingin tea partiers will be judging him. Some of them might even move a little toward the center because they will remember the lying Ryan Haskell from the leave it to Beaver days in America. Everyone in America needss to start tuning into The House Floor and meetings for the next two weeks if they want to see these guys in action. Record and watch at leisure. Its an eyeopener. Some of the media need to tune in too for a morer baslanced look. Gave up on Fox but would sure like to see CNN and MSNBC class it up too. I have been switching to Cspan and even Current for different looks. Anyhow Eddie Haskell is back.

    September 8, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Karl Jonas

    Yeah, they'll provide him with a fresh set of lies to spew...

    September 8, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Ron

    He loves to act in those "Tom Clancy" movies, doesn't he

    September 8, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Squigman

    Go get em. Blow face.

    September 8, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. JohnRJohnson

    Of course, the essential part of Paul Ryan's debate preparation will learning how to avoid to get caught in lie after lie. He'll start with, "What was your best marathon time?" and work his way up to Medicare vouchers.

    September 8, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Gurgyl

    GOP idiots are in TROUBLE in NOVEMBER. True.

    September 8, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Now here is a candidate for VP that America can really embrace.

    1. Foreign experience: "I voted for war. I'm proud to have voted to invade Iraq and it was the right thing to do."
    2. "Devout" Catholic worshipper of Atheist Ayn Rand, who authored Atlas Shrugged: "It's inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff."
    3. Deficit hawk: Voted for Bush's two unfunded wars, the unfunded big pharma doughnut hole giveaway, the unfunded No Child Left Behind program, and indeed, all of Bush's deficit ballooning tax cuts. Indeed, Ryan voted for ALL of Bush's pet projects.
    4. Helped author the Anti-Obama HELL NO ten step program to shut down the government, thereby making Obama a one term President.
    5. Will fight to change Medicare into VoucherCare.
    6. Introduced legislation during Bush Administration to privatize Social Security. Will try again during a Romney Administration.
    7. Authored the budget now sitting in the House of Representatives (passed twice) that among other things, inspired the Catholic Conference of Bishops to invite Mr. Ryan to speak to them to defend what they felt was a budget not inspired by the teachings of Christ, but rather that of Russian Atheist Ayn Rand.
    8. Voted to redefine rape as "forcible" rape.
    9. Voted to introduce a bill sponsoring "personhood" thereby allowing a "fetus" full civil rights protection.
    10. Received the 2008 Americans for Prosperity "Defending the American Dream Award" - Wisconsin chapter. Americans for Prosperity is of course nothing more than the Koch brothers political SuperPAC.

    September 8, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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