October 10th, 2012
03:30 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Exclusive: How Ryan sharpens debate skills

(CNN) - As Rep. Paul Ryan prepares for his first and only showdown with Vice President Joe Biden, the GOP vice presidential nominee tells CNN in an exclusive interview that he knows what it takes to meticulously prepare for a big event.

A proud and experienced hunter, the Wisconsin congressman is used to going to great lengths to sharpen his game.

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"I like the strategy of bow hunting and it takes a lot of preparation, and I do take it seriously because I am much more successful if I do things properly and prepare the right way," he told CNN recently while on the campaign trail in Memphis.

With that same mind set, Ryan has been drilling down, getting ready for the debate pretty much since the day he was tapped to be Mitt Romney's running mate.

"I've always just believed that if you're going to do something, do it well," Ryan told CNN..

But while he's been honing his skills, Ryan is also raising the bar for his opponent, pointing to Biden's lengthy experience on the debate stage.

"Joe Biden has been doing this for a long time. He ran for president twice, he's a sitting vice president. He's been on this big stage many times before so this is new for me," he said.

Ryan said he's been doing his homework and "studying the issues," but anticipates Biden will go on the attack.

"The problem he has is, he has Barack Obama's record he has to run on," he said.

But in the end, the Catholic deer hunter from Wisconsin said he's more pumped up than anything. "I'm not intimidated; I'm actually excited about it."

Ryan sources insist that of the four candidates participating in these high profile debates, Ryan has the toughest job.


Not only is he defending his own record over the years, he has to make sure what he says mirrors the positions of the guy at the top of the ticket, Mitt Romney.

That's not as hard for Biden, since he's been part of the Obama administration for four years.

Still, Ryan is quick to remind that he does have experience debating. After all, he is a seven-term member of the House of Representatives.

- Watch more of the interview with Paul Ryan at 4 p.m. ET on CNN's "The Situation Room."

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Paul Ryan • Presidential Debates
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Bill O

    The Economist (a reputable pro business magazine) has published has recently published articles showing:
    1-Expert economists tend to favor Obama policies (based on a sample of over 300 experts), Google:" The economy: Asking the experts The Economist"
    2-America's stockmarket has gained more under Democratic than Republican presidents, Google:"America's stockmarket has gained more under Democratic than Republican presidents The Economist")

    Folks, this is an important election! Go volunteer, motivate your friends and family (ask them if they have registered/voted), use Facebook. Don't sit this one out, your kid future and yours may depend on it. Republicans have a bad record on governing, but they know how to win elections (and the Supreme Court decision: Citizen United made it even easier for them, Adelson gave 8 millions to conservative PACs so far, that's equivalent to 800000 people giving 10 dollars contributions...). Guys we could be stuck with Romney until 2020, and may be Ryan until 2028!!!

    October 10, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. rs

    Debate "skills" aren't impressive in reality (witness any high school debate club events). Truth, however would impress me. I expect Ryan (like Romney) will be very disappointing.

    October 10, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Mack

    Practice lyinig with a straight face like your partner?

    October 10, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Namemaximusgary

    Does it scare anybody other than me that the clown Biden is just a heartbeat away from being president?

    October 10, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Roy Ussery

    Ask Biden about his dismissal of General McCrystal.

    October 10, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. publicmattersblog

    In this debate, I am more focused on content and how each candidate will tackle issues facing Americans today. It sees as though Paul Ryan is practicing to give a performance rather than coming with substance and facts. What good is being a good debater if you are not going to use facts or take what is best for Americans into consideration. My prediction is that Vice President Joe Biden is going to come armed with facts.

    October 10, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. publicmattersblog

    In this debate, I am more concerned with who is going to come prepared with facts and who is going to properly tackle issues affecting Americans today. It seems as though Paul Ryan is practicing for a performance rather than a vice president position. This is a leadership position. My prediction is that Vice President Joe Biden is going to come with solid facts and content like President Obama. Paul Ryan more than likely will go the route as Mitt Romney, lie, talk in circles, and act in a disrespectful manner.

    October 10, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Borderless

    How Biden sharpens his debate skills:
    "Romney's taxes!"
    "Flip flop!"
    Insert inappropriate racist remark.
    Insert comment that embarrasses Obama.

    October 10, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Chester

    One thing about Joe Biden is that he will speak what is on his mind. It may not always be the right thing to say, but that is one thing that you can count on. This will be a great debate, Joe is not going to nice like Pres Obama was.

    October 10, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. harry

    This dumb Ryan is a great Liar.Failed in his wrong Budget plan and he rejected President Obama's proposal ans walk away so irresponsibly.He do not care for suffering people.

    October 10, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. Wake up People!

    Come on Lyin Ryan bring it on! Anyone with half a brain knows your strategy. Lie, attack, and lie some more all with a straight face. The difference will be, VP Biden doesn't have to look presidential, and lord knows he will NEVER be called the angry black man. So watch your back Lyin Ryan and do not count VP Biden out.

    Had President Obama did the exact thing Willard did, every supposed conservative would have called him the angry black man that didn't look presidential. The POTUS is damned if he do and damned if he don't.

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 10, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Lisa in Ga

    Ryan better be.. Joe Biden is no joke

    October 10, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Critical Thinking

    One tip for Paul Ryan, dont stare at VP Biden's botox enriched forehead, it might freak you out. Also dont mention his hair plugs, he is very sensitive about those. Or don't mention that it's the 21st century, not the 20th century that we live in, he gets confused by that. Dont mention the Fisker federal loan to build the fisker electric car because its bankrupt now. good luck 🙂

    October 10, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. LegalizeReason

    This story seems to conflict with the GOP strategy of setting the bar so low for Ryan's debate performance that if he somehow does not suffer an episode of Tourette's Syndrome and avoids soiling himself it will be hailed by his party and Fox as a great triumph and turning point in American history.

    October 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Pretty simple: stand in front of a mirror and practice batting his pretty lapdog eyes while lying through his piehole. Mittens and the GOP/Teatrolls certainly hope the female population will be "distracted."

    October 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Willie K.

    Maybe he can go hunting with Tricky Dick Cheney to prepare for the debate. That would get him ready for the kind of unfriendy fire he is about to receive Thursday night.

    October 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. eric

    Typical left wing: "Ryan and Romney are a bunch of liars, all they do is lie!"
    Common sense: "But what about the last 4 years and how bad everything is?"
    Typical left wing: "See thats your problem, your too worried about how things are and not worried about liars!"
    Common sense: "You were dropped on your head as a child weren't you?...."
    Typical left wing: "No my parents LIED about that!"

    October 10, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. Khaleeshi

    I sure hope Joe is ready for all the lies that will spew out of Lyin Ryan's mouth. Ryan's weepy eyes are so creepy.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 10, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. MC

    Like how he "prepared" his string of un-truths or mis-truths at the RNC? That was veerrrryyyy young of him.
    Hope you really are a good preparer this time Mr. Ryan, because Joe Biden is unflltered and very seasoned.
    Happy Debating!

    October 10, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. CBR

    Oh dear, Mr. Ryan. Your budget does not show the attention to detail that it should. The decisions to make cuts and to change many programs is based on your ideas and those of people in Congress who agree with you. The bad part is you did not work with those who might have different opinions and were unwilling to use any well-known strategies to come to a consensus on the budget.

    October 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. V

    Don't send a Boy to do a Man's job! Get em Joe!!

    October 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Jerry

    Can't wait for Ryan to wipe the streets with Biden tonight. 2-0 Republics. Ryan can just be quite and let Biden talk the whole time.

    October 10, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Mammy

    Joe Biden is an idiot.

    October 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. CM

    Come on Lyin Joe bring it on! Anyone with half a brain knows your strategy. Lie, attack, and lie some more all with a straight face. The difference will be, Ryan doesn't have to look presidential, and lord knows he will NEVER be called the angry black man. So watch your back LyinJoe and do not count Ryan out.

    October 10, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Boo

    eric...by all means let's all vote for the same FAILED POLICIES OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY that got us in this mess. Psychiatrists say that repeating the same behaviour in the hopes of getting a different result is a form of insanity.....CONGRATULATIONS YOU'RE INSANE!!!!

    October 10, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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