October 11th, 2012
01:11 PM ET
6 years ago

Campaign: Ryan to 'focus on substance' at debate

(CNN) - Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will "focus on substance" on Thursday evening in his debate face-off against Vice President Joe Biden, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign told CNN.

In seeking to set expectations for the GOP candidate, the adviser said the high-profile debate stage is "certainly a new environment for him."

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"Biden has so much more experience debating in the Senate, during his two presidential campaigns and then again during the 2008 (general election) campaign," the adviser said. "Ryan is looking to focus on substance, which voters seemed to like about the Denver debate, and continue to drive the message about there being a clear choice between the status quo of Obama-Biden and charting a new course with Romney-Ryan."

The Romney campaign could be suggesting Ryan will steer clear from memorable one-liners - "zingers" - as Romney did in the first debate.

Top Democrats on Thursday predicted the competition would be scrappy but collegial.

Romney and President Barack Obama met just over a week ago for their first of three debate sessions. Romney was widely credited with having a significantly more successful debate than Obama.

Thursday is the only debate between Ryan and Biden. Romney and Obama go head-to-head next on Tuesday in the second presidential debate.

- CNN's Jessica Yellin and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Also on the CNN Political Ticker:

- CNN exclusive: Ryan's debate prep as meticulous as he is

- CNN exclusive: Paul Ryan hasn't called Palin for advice

Filed under: 2012 • Debate • Joe Biden • Kentucky • Paul Ryan
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Canada trusts Obama and Biden

    Well that would be a welcome change. Substance vs. his daily chamelleon performance where he pretends to support Romney's ever changing plans/stances would be a nice step in the right direction but I have my doubts.

    It's more likely Ryan will simply state "I don't want to go wonky on you or I don't have the time to explain".

    October 11, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. J

    Substance huh? OK, how about we start with the loopholes you plan to close that will balance your budget...

    October 11, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    Paul Ryan will "focus on substance"

    Really? Will he try to make-up for Willard's lack of it?
    Are they finding out people want more than just style and that they want direct answers and not floppy arms, rudeness and cute slogans?

    Substance and the Ryan/Romney ticket will NEVER meet each other.

    October 11, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. chuck

    Is that substance abuse?????

    October 11, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Phil Thomas

    Substance is that what were calling Pathological lying and running to the left like Ray Rice on the Detriot Lions Defence these days. The lying worked so well with Mitts I don't see how they don't repeat it

    October 11, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. NVa Native

    If Paul Ryan will "focus on substance" honestly he'd be doomed.
    If Americans knew all of what Congressman Ryan and Romoney want to do, just on their most recent statements, they would soundly reject them in a heart beat.
    That's why the GOP dances back and forth from their claiming to be a helpless victim who's always bullied by the other guy, and then five minutes later claiming to be the forceful bully who's always right.

    October 11, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Jonnie Irwin

    At least Ryan won't be nervously waving both his arms around.! Ryan hopefully will have more self control, but his substance won't be the kind the electorate want to hear.

    October 11, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Uhhhh. WHAT? The GOP campaign itself cannot help from lying even about the blandest of things. What the title of this article SHOULD say: "Campaign: Ryan to 'double-down on the tidal wave of Romney's lies' at debate".

    I wonder if Ryan has been able to keep up with Romney's etch-a-sketch lying? Wonder if he knows which of the lies are the ones being peddled this week? Biden better be ready to face any number of blatant rightwing fairytales.

    October 11, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Marry

    Oh, they do know about the substance they like but the GOP and R+R will not tell us! It’s going to be like in the photo should they get elected – except it will be us laying „dead“ at their feet and they will be laughing so hard, the country will shake!

    October 11, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Woman In California


    Woman In California

    He's pathetic looking if you ask me and his clothes always look as if they were given to him by his older brother

    What's wrong with people wearing clothes given to them by an older/younger sibling?? What's wrong with someone using used/second hand clothing???? Many people buy their clothes at Goodwill or second hand shops.

    There you go again......
    We are talking about Paul Ryan and no one else. Since the Ryan / Romney ticket is ALL about style and not substance, he should try and find a tailor who will work with him but then again, I really don't care how he looks.

    October 11, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. simp

    Biden will mop the floor with this liar. He has a big head but after Biden is done with this idiot that big head and big ears with simmer down a bit. by the way what a bad choice in pictures to have bambi as your propt, dead,

    October 11, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Independent411

    Relax folks Biden has a chance. At least Obama won't be on stage to get thoroughly beaten by Ryan.. Having lied about Romney for so long, the president and Biden are now confused and disorganized when the public believed what they saw and heard from Romney and not the vitrioloc negative campaign adds from Obama/biden.

    October 11, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |

    Substance as in MATH?? I've gotta see this!

    October 11, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. cybercmdr

    One thing I would love to hear Biden ask during the debate is whether Romney and Ryan unreservedly denounce racially based insults, signs, or arguments in political discourse. If Ryan says yes, he'll alienate a large chunk of the Republican base. If he hems and haws about free speech, everyone will know that the Republicans give that behavior a wink and a nod while saying "but that's not me!"

    October 11, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. rob

    For all of you screaming that Romney/Ryan don't have any substance, would you please tell everyone what President Obama's plan is to reduce the deficit and the debt which EVERYONE knows will lead to disaster to the country ???? What is the plan to stop the entitltments going bankrupt in a decade ?? Other than raising taxes on the "millionaires and billionaires" (anyone who makes more than $250000 per year) THEY DON'T HAVE ANY PLANS AT ALL !!!!!

    Ryan will win this debate simply because the Democrats can't run on the record and they don't have a positive agenda for the future.

    Nov 6th can't come fast enough.

    Romney/Ryan 2012

    October 11, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Substance? Yes...and that "substance" is feces. He'll be piling it high and wide. Bring a shovel, Joe. I've got a pitchfork.

    October 11, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. NVa Native

    "What's wrong with people wearing clothes given to them by an older/younger sibling?? What's wrong with someone using used/second hand clothing???? Many people buy their clothes at Goodwill or second hand shops."
    Always the crybaby victim, then turning 180 degrees trying to be the bully – typical GOP BS of twisting everything to support their life in the bubble......when will they start to take responsibility?

    October 11, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Sussay

    Somebody ought to make sure Ryan knows what the word "substance" means... or not

    October 11, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. PAW

    What a blatant set up. The photo of ryan accompanying this article is him with a dead deer. A couple of articles down, the piece is accompanied by Ryan lifting weights. O.K., we get it. Ryan is macho. Biden just has more substance.

    October 11, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. 4moreyears

    Real nice picture of Ryan with a deer. This man is suppose to be pro life but he out there killing deer. Life is life

    October 11, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. sam

    How anyone could possibly claim that Biden has more substance than Paul Ryan is simply delusional, just like most of the Left. What a sad story – wake up lefty, do some homework, you might realize how an economy works!

    October 11, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    This particular photo must be one of CNNs favorite of WonderBoy. Enough of a favorite anyway that they used it in an earlier article this AM to explain how "meticulous" Ryan is.

    Can't quite see what a "dead" deer has to do with either Ryan's debate "substance" or Ryan as "meticulous" VP candidate debater, but maybe it's just me ... ?

    October 11, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Marilynn

    I really don't want to see a candidate posing with something he's killed. Then again, perhaps someone else killed it, and he just saw a photo opportunity. This pic is sickening.

    October 11, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. Gurgyl

    This lying animal needs to focus on substance abuse. Lies, lies, lies of GOP., this nation will be doomed with lack of education.

    October 11, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Karen

    Ryan is an animal killer!

    October 11, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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