Priebus plays expectations game for VP debate
October 7th, 2012
10:29 AM ET
2 years ago

Priebus plays expectations game for VP debate

(CNN) - The Republican National Committee chairman continued to downplay debate expectations for the GOP ticket Sunday, this time setting the stage for the upcoming showdown between Vice President Joe Biden and GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

"I think people realize that Joe Biden is a gifted orator. He's very good at rhetoric. And I think he's very relatable," Priebus said on CNN's "State of the Union."

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While Biden is known to make gaffes on the campaign trail, the vice president – who was a U.S. senator for 36 years - certainly does not lack experience on the debate stage, Priebus said.
"He knows his stuff," the chairman added.

Ryan, however, will do a "great job," Priebus said, pointing to the House budget committee chairman's passion for numbers and commitment to "understanding the problems of this economy." In fact, a recent CNN/ORC International Poll found that 55% of likely voters thought Ryan will fare better in the debate, while 39% said Biden will win.

"I think they're two different people, and I think it's going to be a great night," Priebus told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, who will moderate the second presidential debate on October 16.

Ryan and Biden face off Thursday at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

And while the unemployment rate ticked below 8% for the first time since President Barack Obama took office, Priebus maintained Sunday the economy was still getting "clobbered."

"The fact of the matter is the president and Joe Biden are getting clobbered on the policies that they put in place," Priebus said. "They promised we'd be a heck of a lot better off than we are today. We're nowhere close."

Friday's jobs report showed unemployment unexpectedly fell to 7.8% in September, down from 8.1%, while a separate survey showed 114,000 jobs were added to the economy that same month.

The last time the unemployment rate was that low was in January 2009, the month Obama was inaugurated.
But Republicans argued the new number was nothing to celebrate, with some saying it indicated more Americans were leaving the job force - while others simply said it's too little, too late.

"If you are getting blown out in a football game but are scoring field goals once a quarter, you can't point to the three points every quarter and say at least we're scoring some points," Priebus said. "We're still getting clobbered."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Paul Ryan • Reince Priebus • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Republicans, out side of Romneys debate, did not fare so well this week. Two Republicans on the science committee both made news again. And both for showing that they no little or nothing about science. One belives that women can stop a pregnancy from a rapist by wishing it does not happen. Then, after even Republicans admit he is basically a total fool, continues his try for re-election, saying this week he will win. Then another Republican member of the science committee says that geology, evolution and several other science based facts are all lies. Why?? Because God told him so. If God spoke to this moron the echo in his head must have been tremendous, because there is obviously nothing else in there. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Republican Party shoud stop running candidates that hear voices in their heads. If an invisible friend is whispering in your ear, it might not be God, and suitable help is available, as long as your fellow Republicans don't cancel funding.

    October 7, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    One foreign media head line “TV debate” Mitt Romney won absolutely right
    Line from Last night SNL “Romney claimed he killed Osama Bin Linden” make sense
    Daily show Jon Stewart gave 2 Min answer “ Lie Lie Lie” make sense

    Our media missed the main point on debate night
    Don’t forget Media- The fourth pillar of Democracy

    I wish media learn from Howard Kurtz

    October 7, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. LittleStream

    Check their pockets, and check the podium before the debate begins.

    October 7, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. ST

    I do think in the near future all debates after primaries must be abolished. Get a panel of intellectuals and interview those who are seeking for the job (challengers) while folks are watching the way they watch debates. There are a lot said during campaigns and get twisted during debates. The penal will hold them accountable as they will be keeping on track of what they have been campaigning for. This system can also allow those in power to continue governing without any interference of trying to squeeze their time for debates preparations.

    October 7, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Thomas

    expectations ?

    I wouldn't buy a used car from Priebus .

    October 7, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Cru

    Clobbered, would be unemployment steadily climbing, and the housing market forecasting bad news. We've had a slow increase on both fronts. That's not getting clobbered. Priebus is like the judge of a boxing match that doesn't regard number or accuracy of punches.

    October 7, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Larry L

    Republican could try something new in the VP debate – tell the truth and give some actual specifics! Real debates don't allow debaters to lie and the first Presidential debate grossly violated that practice. Neither Romney nor Ryan seem to be able to make an argument with using lies and distortions – it's almost pathological. If they lie so frequently during a campaign, why expect them to be honest in any other way? Romney constantly uses the "trust me" answer rather than provide anything specific on the budget cuts he proposes to create 5 trillion dollars in cuts. The math absolutely does not even come close to working but he says "trust me"... Where are his tax returns? Trust him?

    October 7, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. clarke

    So glad when this is over and election day is here. IMHO

    October 7, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. Anonymous

    It will be wonderful when this election is over and all the lying Republican talking heads can go back home and live their lives out. This has been the worst election year coverage ever. The media, the Republican candidates, the primaries, the general. It's been nothing but a ratings circus. Including Stewart and O'Reilly. Why people listen to any of these fools is beyond comprehension.

    October 7, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. t.o.

    I think better of than four years ago....I didn't see any thing Chang much because unemployment still pretty high

    October 7, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney had High expectation Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan and Scott Walker will deliver Wisconsin to Him
    Last poll from Wisconsin Obama 53% Romney 42%

    October 7, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. PJ (the first one)

    Joe Biden will be just fine, I hope. I thought the President would be fine too, and admittedly he fell short. That will
    be taken care of the next debate.
    What bothers me the most, is the fact that the Republicans cheered Romney and his absolute turn around on so
    many subjects, my head was spinning too. We still don't know what to believe, and yet the money keeps rolling
    in, and he has been crowned king of distortion.
    Will he cut taxes 20% "across the board" or not cut taxes on the top 1%?
    His assertion that his health plan included pre-existing conditions was cut down by his surrogates 10 minutes
    after the debate.
    He is a chameleon and I still don't trust him. No doubt, Ryan will try the same tactic. This time, Biden will be
    ready.

    October 7, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Logic N LA

    But he is also a gentelman. and like with Palin and her lies, he won't come out and call Ryan a liar.
    Joe will show up and do fine win or lose.
    And enough with tellingus how inept at speaking these Republican candidates are! they got elected to an office, so they know how to convince people what they are talking about..

    October 7, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. john

    I can't wait for the VP debates. It'll be better than America's Funniest Home Videos. Watching Biden put his foot in his mouth when he has teleprompters and prepared speeches is hilarious enough but get him on camera without those props to keep his mouth from running amok? That's priceless.

    October 7, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    "What bothers me the most, is the fact that the Republicans cheered Romney and his absolute turn around on so
    many subjects, my head was spinning too. We still don't know what to believe, and yet the money keeps rolling
    in, and he has been crowned king of distortion."

    Obama is finding out what most Americans already knew ... Romney can't be held down to one opinion because he stands for nothing. All he will do going forward is what he's done this past year: double talk his way out of whatever it is he's said previously. I actually blame the media for allowing him to get away with it during interview after interview. It's too late now for them to start calling him out on his lies. They allowed it to happen and aren't about to admit they were wrong. Started with the primaries when they kept saying he'd won those debates too. All for rating boosts. Best the media can do now is point out the lies, but instead we are being told Mitt Romney is simply "moving more to the center" and really isn't a "severe conservative" after all. Shameful doesn't even begin to describe this nonsense, but when has the media ever really played by the rules this past decade?

    October 7, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Dzee

    What bothers me the most is that the right are constantly bombarded with flat out lies and misinformation. Over the past 4 years it has evolved into protests against the government organized and even hosted by this network. And making that comment, will start the attacks. But it's true, tea, birther, healthcare rallies, 'american rallies', all these things were done by this network, and they are so blinded that they don't realize what it even means. This is why no Republican should be in power right now. They do not work for the American people. This horrific Congress the past 2 years is more proof. This is the real issue in this country right now, voter supression, lawsuits to keep candidates off ballots, rigging elections with false voter registrations. This is not what America is about.

    October 7, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Woody

    Ryan can't come off as too overwhelming on Joe or it might appear like heckling at the Special Olympics

    October 7, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Robert

    Biden is going to clean Ryan's clock.

    October 7, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. flip flop fizz fizz

    All I can say is thank the stars above that the repubicans have Priebus. He is a weasle and backstabber who deserves to be leading a group of backstbabbing liars. Priebus, the man who worked behind the scenes, letting little bits of "damaging information" slip out about Mr Steele so he could get the job. The man who is upset that the president took time to practice for the debates. Wherever you republs found this guy (and I suspect it was under a rock) just make sure you go back to the same place when you vote him out after losing the White House, Senate, and House this election.

    October 7, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Mobile

    When will you guys get it? This president and his party have decimated this economy by circumventing our laws, our constitution, and the will of the American people. We need to vote them out of office in November.

    October 7, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. rs

    Now that the GOP debate strategy has been shown in the first debate. Mr. Biden will have to assume that Mr. Ryan will (like Romney did with Obama) put up delusion and lies for his debate question answers. Perhaps the debate organizers can use this as a new scoring method- so many points for "white lies" (they haven't perfected that subtly yet); a few more for "misreprestation of facts" ( Obama is taking $716 billion away from Senior's services in Medicare); to more points for bold-faced lies (Romey and Ryan care about all Americans, or we're not going to cut taxes for the rich); to the highest points for a delusional statement- Obama is a Muslim, any Birther type statement, Obama is against religion (or guns, or national defense, etc.). THEN score like a golf game.

    October 7, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. wobbles

    biden can't go a week without saying something incredibly stupid and debilitating for his campaign and he's gonna have 90 minutes unscripted. He makes Dan Quayle look articulate. Biden is just stuck on stupid. This will be ugly.

    October 7, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. rs

    What can one say about a political party that started Mr. Obama's term by deciding they would block every initiative? That was followed by ther "otherness" strategy- all the Birther nonsense, followed by the "he's a Cominist-Fascist-Nazi-Socialist" idiocy, pretty much anything TEA Party related, who don't believe the media, don't believe the polls, don't believe federal agencies (thus spinning glorious conspiracy theories about pretty much anything and everything), yet believe in their candidate when he spins 180 degrees on statements and policies pretty much at will?

    This my friends is mental illness in action- Your Republican Party is now that crazy old coot that lives down the street. Do we really want to turn over the reigns of power (and the "nuclear football" to them?

    I think not.

    October 7, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Stop the hate

    Vic in Nashville. You may want to check your facts...the Ppp poll which leans left has Romney ahead by two points this morning

    October 7, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Stop the hate

    I find it ironic that the biggest lie of all time "Hope and Change" crowd are now running on....He lied , he is lying, Ryan lied, Romney Lied, lie lie lie lie lie lie

    October 7, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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