Priebus plays expectations game for VP debate
October 7th, 2012
10:29 AM ET
6 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. ThinkAgain: Hey, networks, fact-check the debates in real-time and put it in the crawl!

    Joe Biden may make the occasional verbal gaffe, but the man is and has always been an advocate for the American middle class, which is the economic engine of our country and the reason why so many have risked so much to come and work here.

    Lyin' Ryan is a dolt who thinks that if the rich could just have more power and money, everything for everyone would be roses. Munster needs to go live in a third-world country as a person of modest means to see for real just how dumb his ideas are ... and how the playing field he envisions for our country never has and never will succeed in bringing broad-based, sustainable prosperity.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    October 7, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. davidfarrar

    Whether you believe Obama is legit or not, most people are astonished to find out that there is no real vetting, for national security clearance or otherwise, of presidential candidates...none, not even FBI checks.

    For this reason, Romney should lead by example and allow public access to his Michigan natal records and call on Obama to do the same with his Hawaiian natal records. With 73% of Romney's base questioning Obama birth history, it would certainly behoove Romney to attempt to get this issue successfully confronted before the election. In this way we can finally put this matter to rest and face the challenges of the future together as one nation, regardless of who wins this next presidential election.

    Even if Obama refuses, as we all know he must, that would still act to shore up Romney's leadership credentials with his base at Obama's expense.

    ex animo

    October 7, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. ColdBeerz

    I cannot wait for the dumb stuff that will pour out of Joe's mouth. They have no accomplishments that better the American people, Ryan will crush Joe.

    October 7, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. philliyboy

    Politicians lie, not just Dems or Repubs. Your side lies too

    October 7, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Jeetu

    How do you trust these republicans? They will say and do anything to win the elections. Damn the public and the voters. They just want to make sure that their lies appear to be true. Unemployment has been measured the same way now as it was in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. If these current numbers are wrong then the number given at the end of Bush presidency must be wrong as well. Thus, if 7.8% is not correct, then the number of 10% in January 2009 must be wrong and must be 15% at that time.

    Regardless of the measures, it is clear that unemployment rate has come down significantly under Obama Administration. Housing has picked up, consumer confidence is higher. To deny these is to admit they republicans are living in a fantasy land. Romney/Ryan wants to go back to policies that created the mess in the first place. Giving tax breaks to the rich by Bush did not create any jobs. In fact, it destroyed jobs. How could it be that Romney intends to create 12 million jobs in four years by going back to policies Bush used? When asked, he says his plan is not that of Bush. What is it? Then he says he does not device a plan but just tells us the policy. What is the policy and how will it get passed in to the details?

    Anyway you think about Romney/Ryan and other republican statements, it is clear that they are lying and hence can do better in debates. However, Americans know better and have seen through their colors. In November we all intend to vote for Obama and other democrats to let the truth prevail and make sure that the WH, the House and Senate are all controlled by the democrats. Then, we will see how the bipartisanship works and solves the problems of America rather than be a hindrance that republicans have been for four years as their only goal has been to defeat Obama reelection while causing undue burden to Americans, particularly the middle class and the poor.

    Thus, vote for Obama and the democrats in November elections.

    October 7, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. nona

    Biden has a habit of sticking BOTH of his feet in his mouth just about every time he opens it!

    Should be a 'fun' debate to watch...I'm betting on Ryan to win!

    Romney/Ryan 2012

    October 7, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. SafeJourney

    Lets see, how many lies did Lyin Ryan tell in his GOP convention speech? 4 or 5 lies at least. Anyone wanna bet Ryan can top his former lie record..

    October 7, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. BPepik

    Clint Eastwood vindicated: Abe Lincoln-looking Mitt Romney is debating our Empty Chair president on cover of the latest New Yorker magazine! LOL
    Our Eye-Candy Barry Kardashian Obozo president still doesn’t know what hit him.. LOL
    OMG and wait when Paul Ryan makes Bozo out of Biden next week..?!
    The DNC propaganda wing (ABC, CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, NYT, PBS, NPR, AP, Yahoo & Google “news”, Reuters) are hiding it, but Obozo is going down pretty bad.. The landslide is looming – just like in 2010..
    Can you imagine all the Liberal “reporters” and pundits after that hammering Obozo will get?? That’s gonna be one of those days you actually watch ABC, CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC – to get laughs of a lifetime..

    October 7, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Matt

    Stranger: What "science committee" are these guys ON?

    Are you aware that Al Gore, who chaired the Science & Space Committee on Capitol Hill and started his "global warming" campaigns based on a misstatement by a NASA bureaucrat testifying before his committee, got a 'D' in science in college??

    October 7, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    Mitt is a total idiot. He made blatant lies. Yes, obama12.

    October 7, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Dennis1020

    Priebus said of Joe Biden, "And I think he's very relatable." Exactly, and that is why Biden will win the debate and Obama/Biden will defeat Romney/Ryan in the election. Moderate, middle class and thinking Americans can relate to the hard-scrabble upbringing of President Obama and VP Biden, and most importantly, they, in turn, can relate to the common America. Romney was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and relates only to the wealthy.

    October 7, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    Rinse can make all the noise he wants, but the people who are firmly in the president's corner STILL ARE. On the other hand, Willard had to win this debate and only impressed those he already had to begin with. When all was said and done, those "undecided" voters (whom I really dont' think exist), had not changed their minds and gone over to him which tells you all you need to know.

    As for VP Biden, he'll do just fine because Paul Ryan (as we have all seen), becomes extremely agitated and nervous when confronted to give SPECIFICS. He's very immature in his actions and responses and this will not play well in front of a national audience. Score 1 for Biden.

    October 7, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Ryeguy

    So according to the GOP if Biden does well in the debate, it's due to his skill with rhetoric; but when Romney stands up and contradicts several major points upon which he's based his entire campaign in order to score debate points, it's "substance, not style." And up is down and black is white...

    October 7, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    The more Mitt Romney outright lies, the more the Republican party embraces Mitt Romney as their candidate and willingly accept his lies no matter the majority of his lies are directed at them and the "undecided" - if there is such a thing as undecided one month shy of an election. What a zoo eight years of Mitt Romney as president would bring to America. Best thing he's got going for himself ... turning America into a state of complete denial as he sits back and laughs at the fools.

    October 7, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. fargo

    "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"

    Sure, keep thinking along those lines if it makes you feel better. Have you ever seen Joe Biden debate? Apparently not. Do not underestimate Joe Bidin and I'm saying that as someone who has voted Republican all my life. I will probably be voting for Gary Johnson this year though I know that's essentially throwing away my vote. However, I just can't vote for Romney or Ryan due to their unprecedented dishonesty. It insults my intelligence. I hope that the Republican Party gets back to the party it was years ago. Eisenhower would be disgusted with the current Republican Party.

    October 7, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. kim

    I'm not sure I can stomach watching, or listening to, Paul Ryan for the length of the debate. His condescending manners and personality are like scraping finger nails on a chalk board. I hope Big Joe spanks this weasel and shows the world what a fraud Ryan really is.

    October 7, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Gary

    How is Ryan going to respond to Biden when he is asked about his comment from Tuesday's campaign speech when he told the crowd when asked if the 47% could pay more taxes he said lets get them jobs so they can pay taxes. So that means all of the seniors, disabled, disabled vets, retired vets need to go back to work. So Ryan either has no idea who is in the 47% of Romney's moochers or he really wants them to go back to work, it is one or the other.

    October 7, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. jootjoint

    I can't wait to see the republiCANTs get strangled by weaving their own endless web of lies!

    October 7, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. CB

    Biden is the dumbest man to ever hold the office of Vice President. He makes Dan Quayle look like Albert Einstein in comparison. Ryan is going to mop the floor with that dunce. I'm looking forward to counting Biden's gaffes that night.

    October 7, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. Dustin Goldsen

    Stop The Hate: I love your name but I find it ironic that you seem to support the side that invented Hate Radio and has Rush Limbaugh as their primary spokesman. Quite a shock when the other side fights back in kind. Could there perhaps be a little projection going on there?

    October 7, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Antisocialist

    looking forward to the debates

    October 7, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. vic , nashville ,tn

    @ Stop the hate
    Romney ahead 2 points in Wisconsin not true

    October 7, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. TheTraveler

    He's very good at rhetoric. And I think he's very relatable," Priebus said.

    Whenever this fool tool opens his mouth, I think of the old "How can you tell when a politician is lying" joke ...
    Joe Biden is solidly supportive of the Middle Class and always has been. Ryan has already shown us that he is a true acolyte of the GOP and the perfect sidekick to Romney, all mouth and no substance.

    I'll expect to see Biden eat Ryan alive in their debate.

    October 7, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Antisocialist

    Let me guess, the democrats are thinking Biden wear tear Ryan up

    October 7, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Antisocialist

    Ryan is very smart where Biden is not so bright. Osama had a hit list and Biden didn't make his list, that in itself tells you something

    October 7, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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