Ryan V.P. debate prep intensifies
September 8th, 2012
09:51 AM ET
6 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. Jean2

    look for the truth olease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. mike

    Yes get those lies down pat Ryan boy Joe is going to wipe the floor with you

    September 8, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. Wise1Speak


    (1.) – First, Ryan has to explain why his current rhetoric does not match his voting record in congress during Bush years.
    (2.) – Then Ryan has to explain why he lies about nearly everything including his marathon record.
    (3.) – Finally, Ryan has to get his lies straight so the Fact-Checkers won't call him out even before he leaves the debate stage.

    September 8, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. The Unsub

    Repubs said "no" for 3 1/2 years to job creation and the economy. All in an effort to make the prez look bad and see our country fail! Now they say its all Obama's fault? Please, we are all smarter than that! President Obama will get 4 more years! Mittens and Lyin Ryan have no credibility!

    September 8, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. works4me

    "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."

    Yea Ryan... you're a real mass debater!

    September 8, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Warren

    Hmmm. Ryan / Romney stand for NO Federal Min wage, No Unions, No Taxes for the wealthiest but more taxes on the Middle class. Sad when Nuns call Lying Ryan a liar...... Ca. much different from many states. But in some, they can pay people as low as 2.85 hr if the make 30.00 or more in tips a month. They want to make it so anyone that has to work, has to work 400 hrs a week to make ends meet. Watch it..... Remeber what Arnold did to CA.....

    September 8, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Turning Blue

    I'm still waiting for R/R plans.......... I want details...............

    September 8, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Logic N LA

    I hope biden has real facts to counter the lies he will tell. Too bad this man can't just tell the truth, voice his different approach and go on. The other issue here is will he be puppeting the Romeny ideas or will he give his? Either way, the RR team are on different pages as far as how to govern.

    September 8, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. paul

    i feel ashamed to have the same name as this guy. please call him Agent Smith after the character from the movie The Matrix

    September 8, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Mike

    JohnRJohnson wrote

    "How will Ryan explain in this debate why he would be qualified to act as President? The man has zero foreign policy experience. I mean, ZERO! On top of that, he has a history of refusing to compromise. I think, in this regard, he is as unqualified as Sarah Palin was to hold national office."

    He might not be as qualified as others but, if you recall in 2008 Barack Obama was the presidential nominee and he had even less experience than Paul Ryan does as the vp nominee now. So it is highly hypocritical to say he wont get my vote because he has no experience on _______ to be president, even though i voted for a guy last time who had even less...

    Why is refusing to compromise a bad thing? If you ran for office and one of your campaign promises was to never infringe on a women's right to have an abortion, and then there is this big political fight in Washington and the only way you can pass a bill was to have in place a section that says something about infringing on the rights of women to have an abortion, do you vote for it? Or do you say "no" i was elected on a platform that said I won't do that, and that's what i am going to do.

    Sometimes you can compromise but, if you were elected to on a set of core values and principles then you can't "compromise" the values you were elected to uphold.

    September 8, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Jessie P.

    I will never vote for people who claim they "will not let
    independent fact checkers dictate their campaign" so
    therefore I wll not be voting for Mitt R and Paul R......
    how can anyone in America vote for two people who
    lie and when they get caught. they claim they won't
    run their campaign with facts.............Wake up people and
    vote for Obama ... and I am a registered Republican!

    September 8, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Karl Jonas

    As Wynter pointed out, Republicans don't believe in the rule of law when it comes to intellectual property. It's evident in the way they use musicians' songs without permission, and in this photo using Obama's trademark without permission.

    So I guess they're just fine with China ripping off US tech companies' patented technologies?

    September 8, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. DRE

    The GOP plan for the majority of America...

    Raise taxes making = (more than) 350K = Huge prosperity and savings for the rich. Now while the plan is still pretty fuzzy since the GOP is soft on arithmetic they figure it's going to be 1.8 – 2K for middle class household for future taxes.

    I guess that when the GOP says "No New Taxes" that really only applies to the wealthy and the rest of the GOP used for their vote gets tossed out in the cold.

    Think about it...

    September 8, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Disgusted X's 2

    Some of you need to watch a movie called To Big to Fail a few times before you vote. Pay particular attention to scene where mortgage backed derivatives are explained. If this doesn't curl your hair, you must be bald! Part of what the Romney/Ryan proposals will do is to roll back regulations put in place to ensure that we never travel this road again. I can't believe any sane person would willingly go back into that nightmare!

    September 8, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. ga.democrat

    If Lying Ryan loves debating so much, maybe he could get on a debate team somewhere and get out of the lives of the American people who have been paying him to do a job. His arrogance makes him a perfect fit for the Romneys. He reminds me of a cartoon character on speed.....talking so fast and spewing his lies with his little high pitched voice. All he knows to do is follow his leader Mitt, and bash Obama. While Ryan may be a good debater, Joe Biden is one of the most decent and experienced men in politics with a love for our country and our troops. I am looking forward to the Vice President putting Ryan in his place!
    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 8, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |

    Alfalfa(lyin)Ryan is Snooki Palin in burning pants. He's not qualified to be vice President. Mitt the twit is not qualified to be President.

    September 8, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. LiLa

    It takes Ryan five weeks to prepare for one debate? Slow learner?

    September 8, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. G Smith

    He can "prep" as much as he wants...Unfortunately, he is still "Lying Ryan"

    September 8, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. cashmeremafia

    Here's how I see it – Ryan wants to cut funding for job training with 8.1% unemployment:

    Less job training = workers w/no skills = lower paying jobs = less tax revenue
    More job training = workers w/skills – higher paying jobs = more tax revenue

    If I am wrong, please enlighten me, b/c this is what I'm seeing. Tax cuts don't mean squat if workers don't have the skills/training employers need/want.

    September 8, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Cal

    BTW, "jimranes"; Did you happen to hear the facts on exactly WHO currently possesses the fourth largest stockpile of non-nuke WMDs?
    The same guy who Saddam sent his gold & wife,for "safe keeping". WHAT A COINCIDENCE!

    September 8, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. DC from NJ

    I agree with JohnRJohnson. This story demonstrates that Paul Ryan, like Sarah Palin, is unqualified to be President. Joe Biden doesn't need to prep for debates; he has the knowledge and experience. Obama/Biden 2012!

    September 8, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. Elizabeth

    Is he running out of lies to tell. Guess he has to think of some more.

    September 8, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Ambrose Smith

    What was his marathon time again??WOW!! Impressive!!

    September 8, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. GB

    So many lies to learn....so little time.

    September 8, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. Dave

    The Republicans have yet to show us a detailed alternative plan to build the economy back up. Sure they want to cut taxes and de-regulate, but that's all they've talked about. I'm sorry, but until they offer something more detailed, I'll take a slow recovery over the promise of some imaginary one. I don't care if it's a Democrat or Republican, show me a good plan and I'll vote for it. Things are getting better (despite what the GOP says), and we're much better now, than in 2008 with Bush. I'm not saying Obama is the best, he's not. But, at least he's made some progress (regardless of the republican congress that vowed to "make sure Obama fails" from day one). In four years if we're in the same boat, then yes it will be time for another plan, but for now I'll stick with what's working (albeit, slowly).

    September 8, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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