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. Michael

    Paul Ryan QUalifications and the 112th Congressional Republicans have introduced: 46 Bills on Abortion,113 Bills on Religion, 73 bills on family relationships, 36 bills on marriage,72 bills on firearms, 604 bills on taxation, and 467 bills on government investigations, but BLOCKED the American Jobs Act. Not a bad deal for those who only work 9 days a month for full pay and benefits! Lucky for us, they've made repealing Obamacare a priority for the 31st time again just recently! Repuglicans are the liars! They cry for 4 years where are the jobs Mr President! But, voted against or fillibusterd or cried against every jobs bill President Obama presented them! These repuglicans extemist obstructionist, who are king of the fillibuster and "DOING NOTHING," for 4 years, but trying to make sure President Obama is a one term President!

    September 8, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. luke,az

    Yes, I am better off. I have a small electronics mfg business and I am still in business after 24 years. If it wasn't for President Obama's policies I would have been out of business back in 2010 because of President Bush's failed policies.
    Thankyou President Obama.

    September 8, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Shannon

    lyin Ryan has some explaining to do, just because Republicans don't care that their candidates are blatant liars, the rest of America does, and we don't like it. The family values crowd has the strangest beliefs, when lying is ok, and the truth doesn't matter.

    September 8, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Shannon

    Ancient Texcan, lynin Ryan past two bills his entire time in Congress, one to rename a post office and the other to lower taxes on hunting arrows. Wow, he is really qualified to be in the oval office....

    September 8, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. bobden

    Being an expert at telling lies without even a slight giggle makes him qualified to be president?

    He was hired to be a law maker, not a law blocker.

    Ryan and almost all the repugs in congress have violated their oath of office, and have promised their loalty to a dishonest bum - for money.

    September 8, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. vc

    I'm not a millionaire (nowhere near it). I'm just a middle class person who works hard to support my family. Am I better off than 4 years ago? YES AND VERY MUCH SO.

    I am truly delighted about the fair pay act, Obamacare, and the mandate on credit card companies (who seem eager now to explain any charges I may not understand on my bill). President Obama has done a LOT.

    There's still work that needs to be done, but I am seeing a change for the better.

    September 8, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. moonghaelela

    The Republicans are trying to raise the bar in the off chance Ryan comes out on top. These are not debates. Each candidate will make sure the talking points he wants to get across are made regardless of what the question is.

    What will be interesting is how many lies Ryan will be allowed to get away with.

    September 8, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Yvonne

    I can't believe this juvenile drivel I am reading , hence I say that you deserve another 4 years with Obama.

    September 8, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. w l jones

    Being a heavy weight my thinking he were a liberal because all the liberal I know can speak on most any subject known to modern man at a moment notice. Look like this conserv..serv.. er wont to be a liberal in this come up debate. Bless.

    September 8, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. rs

    A piece of avice for Mr. Ryan: Try telling the truth for a change. It will make you appear less delusional.

    September 8, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Mark

    My Grandparents Congressman Lyin Ryan. My grandmother would say that WI had the best senior support of any state. What will Ryan do to it? coupons for subsidized lunch. Anything congress shoves on us they have to take too. Put them all on medicare/medicade make them live it too. Cut their pay as a budget fix. No more tans for baner or golf. oh that's right he plays for free with his lobyists. I am a public employee and I am not allowed to have a consultant we have allready hired take me to a $5 lunch when we are out in the field. I have no problem with avoiding even the look of inpropriety. Congress has no problem being bought. Congress needs to be forced to do the same ethical action. who else do you know who sets the rules for themselves?

    September 8, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Tim

    I guess Ryan has to prepare lies to cover his lies in his acceptance speech about GM closing in Janesville. I lived in area at that time and I know what he said is blunt line. This Guy is a liar that thinks everybody is dumb.
    Good looking doesn't win election ask Sarah Palin.
    Based on their question are you better off? Obama wins since Romney pay less tax this year than 4 years ago and Ryan got a pay increase for passing no single legislation this year than 4 years ago

    September 8, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. carly

    Guess he is practicing to lie even more than he has been.

    September 8, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. NVa Native

    It's too bad they don't have debate rules that would keep them from telling lies, but that's apparently where Ryan (as with all GOPs) gets all his credibility?

    September 8, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Gigi

    Obama can't run on his own record , so he blames Bush for everything that is wrong and brings back Clinton to cover up his dismal failure as President.

    September 8, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Mark

    and what is all this talk about how good looking ryan is and such pretty blue eyes. His voice is like fingernails on chalkboard. Vote for ugly and effective not a pretty liar-and a poor liar at that. But he sticks by his stories-stubborn liar.

    September 8, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. NVa Native

    Obama was quailified and is our President.

    September 8, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Crop1981

    Anyone who idolizes the sociopath Ayn Rand is a very dangerous person to be anywhere near the Whitehouse.

    September 8, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Mark

    how can we be better off we are broke but borrow to give tax cuts. No tax cuts for anybody untill we are out of debt. These congresspeople don't know math. Bill clinton stole my 12 year line but called it arithmetic. Bush-we have a 274 billion dollar surplus so a 2 trillion dollar tax cut is in order-and we are still living under that underfunding of government. If anybody doesn't think we are doomed, tell me why.

    September 8, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. WatchDawg

    ..aah...the School of Lyin' with a Straight Face...you go Ryan...lol

    September 8, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Lyin Ryan and romney the tax cheat will lose big time in Nov ,I bet 10,000 dallars !!!

    September 8, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. Pander Bear

    I heard that Ryan was going to prep for the debate in under 3 hours.

    September 8, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Would we be better off with the constant threats of losing our medical ,maybe Social Security and all the other drastic changes that the Repubs threaten us with???? At least with the president ....... we have hopes that we will keep what we have and maybe be able to improve things in the coming months............Just imagine how things would have been if the Repub, party had worked with the Democrats right from the start .....working together we could be in great shape.... No thanks to McConnell and his edict ...." "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one term President" ,,
    ,,

    September 8, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. David

    The Repubs want to move to a complete plutocratic society, empower the megacorps so that small businesses are unable to compete, give them unfair tax advantages and remove regulations, etc. Also privatizing Social Security (creating another to big to fail), and voucherizing Medicare. All their plans will kill the middle class and enslave the people to their corporate masters. Have to be a fool to vote for todays GOP.

    September 8, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Jack V

    Paul Ryan is the new Don Knotts!

    September 8, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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