Danville, Kentucky (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden's primary goal in Thursday's debate is to make the president's case on the economy and tie Mitt Romney to the Ryan budget, according to multiple Democratic sources.
Top Democrats said it's important to remind viewers that Rep. Paul Ryan is "the intellectual leader of the House Republicans," especially given polling that shows members of Congress from both parties are not especially popular.
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"Romney has called the Ryan budget a marvelous budget," Democratic surrogate and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland told CNN in Danville Thursday. "It's devastating to the middle class and I hope the vice president allows Ryan to have sufficient time to explain to us what deductions they'd get rid of."
Strickland was referring to the Romney-Ryan fiscal plan that calls for changes in tax deductions. The GOP ticket has not specified which deductions they'd eliminate and Democrats suggest they'd have to eliminate popular policies like the home mortgage deduction that would impact middle class voters, to meet their bottom line.
According to Democrats, one of the vice president's challenges Thursday night will be to simultaneously push Ryan to talk policy details - usually a comfort zone for the congressman - while keeping the discussion broad enough to connect with voters.
Also expect the vice president to look for an opening to bring up Romney's hidden camera talk about the 47%, Strickland said.
"I hope he brings up the 47%," the former governor said. "It's out there. It is the quiet noise in the background, overshadowing everything because Gov. Romney spoke from the heart" with those remarks.