Ryan V.P. debate prep intensifies
September 8th, 2012
09:51 AM ET
10 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. GI Joe

    The ryan/Romney plan (Ryan going rogue, wants top of ticket - more later).
    Let me see.

    Adults (average) pay $2000/yr more in taxes
    Charter schools cost $6-$10 thousand/year per child K-12
    Grammaw and Pappaw each pay $6000+ more with vouchers.


    then they can give each multi-millionaire a $250,000 tax cut.

    Got it.

    September 8, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. drake mallard

    mitt the twit & lying ryan does it again

    September 8, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. normajean @ verizon ,com


    September 8, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Be afraid.

    The repubs scare the hell out of me.....and I am Canadian!

    September 8, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. contessa

    Wonder if "Preppie Sarah Palin" will be there!! She can teach Ryan all about seeing Russia from her house!! Romney really wants another cold war with Russia anyway. Who better to teach Paul Ryan all about Russia but Sarah!!

    September 8, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  6. seeking justice 2

    The hate mongrels are out again, but as for me, my family and my friends, we are not blind to accomplishment, small that it may be, but in the right direction, unlike, the past decades of foolish government spending, outsourcing and irresponsible lending. My brother in law would use words of encouragement which I will pass on, "it is possible to eat and elephant, but it requires one bite at a time". We are donating what we can, trimming a little belly fat and eating healthier, and we will go to the polls,pull up a chair, sit down at Obama's table, do our part to devour the elephant, walk away full and satisfied. We then will savor the sweet flavor of success for this country over the next four years for desert. And, at the end of that four years if the job is still not finished and Obama has to pass the torch, at least the country will be moving in the right direction, forward not backward. Now that keep his promise to rid the world of Bin Lauden and is ending the war he will be able to foucus on other pressing matters.

    September 8, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. Voter

    Three of the reasons we are in this predicament.
    1. People who can vote don't, probably because they just don't care or it won't make a difference who is in office.
    2. A lot of People who do vote are misinformed because of the irresponsible behavior of lies, deceit, and misrepresentation of politicians. I got a bridge to sell those people . My feeling is there are a lot of them.
    3. Voter suppression.
    Don't blame the politicians. You voted them into office.
    If we don't vote moderate politicians into congress this country is doomed no matter who occupies the White House.

    September 8, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  8. Voter

    @don in albuquerque
    one more... Corporations are people. huh?

    September 8, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  9. Dan B

    Noo... Gotta make sure you have a response to Biden's lies

    September 8, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. OCCavoter

    This is voter that will not cast a vote for Willard and Lyin Ryan. Obama2012

    September 8, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  11. Indy

    Lie,lie,lie,'lie,lie and then bring Mommy for your Lie Fest Tour,then keep lying across the land and tell everyone that you are a deficit hawk that voted yes for every single thing that caused the country to go into the worst recession since the great depression

    September 8, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    I wish CNN will be fair min it's posting on the ticker. Team Romney 8 postings and Team Obama 2

    September 8, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. 1zb1

    The guy Romney calls the intellectual soul of the Republican Part will probably have lots of fun trying to explain his Voucher Care program and his connection with Aikens on woman's rights..

    September 9, 2012 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Yes he needs to prcatice telling the truth.

    Biden is going to eat him for lunch.

    September 9, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. Angelina

    It takes a lot of practice to be a ggod liar.

    Biden will eat him for lunch

    September 9, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  16. GI Joe

    Don't worry, as soon as Norquist and the Koch's figure out what they want cut, they'll tell Robme, and Robme might tell us or he might not.

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    September 9, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
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