Biden: 'You ever seen me rope-a-dope?'
October 11th, 2012
01:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Biden: 'You ever seen me rope-a-dope?'

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden indicated he expects to go toe-to-toe with his rival, Rep. Paul Ryan, during Thursday's only vice presidential debate in Kentucky.

Departing for the debate from the National Guard base in New Castle, Delaware Thursday Biden said he's "looking forward" to the faceoff, according to pool reports.

Tune to CNN for Thursday's vice presidential debate coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV, and via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Web users can become video editors with a new clip-and-share feature that allows them to share favorite debate moments on Facebook and Twitter.

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Asked by a reporter if his debate strategy was the boxing tactic known as "rope-a-dope" the 69-year-old, former Senator Biden replied, "You ever seen me rope-a-dope?"

The rope-a-dope strategy–famously used by boxing legend Muhammad Ali in a match against the younger George Foreman in 1974–is a method of tiring out the opponent, resting against the ropes and blocking punches as the opponent wears himself out.

Ryan, who is 27 years Biden's junior, said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Dana Bash he's not intimated by Biden's age.

"I'm actually excited about it," said Ryan of the vice presidential debate. "I came to Congress when I was 28 years old. I'm used to debating people who are older."

Ryan noted, however, that one of the reasons his team chose Ted Olson, a conservative legal scholar, to play the role of Biden in debate preparation is because he is "about Joe's age."

Fittingly, the vice presidential candidates will square off Thursday in Danville, Kentucky - Ali's home state. CNN's coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET.

CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Vice presidential debate
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    We already know Joe Biden. He is who he is and I don't expect he will be transformed before the debate.
    But many Americans will get to see what a brilliant man Paul Ryan is tonight. He is extremely impressive by his values, his intelligence and his ability to talk about solutions to issues that leave you with confidence they will work.
    His place in American politics will go up a notch or two tonight.

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

    This debate will be very inteesting. Biden will have to actknowlege that there were mistakes in the Obama's policies that caused Ameicans jobs and even their lives. If it is proven that the administration was asked to provide more security in Libyia and refused to do so , so to show the Libyian forces would stand up for Ameican there, the death of 4 Ameicans rest of the shoulders of the Obama administration. If Biden brings up about the saving of the automobile industry, the only jobs saved were union jobs, everyone else especially Delphi and dealers, lost jobs and pensions. As usual Obama picked and choose who he was willing to help, that contrdicts his famous line, he is president of all Americans.

    October 11, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Don

    Shouldn't it be, Soap on a rope?

    October 11, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. myviewis

    I think Ryan can forget this one, Biden is too much of a Club fighter. Ryan will be going on about figures and Biden will be attacking like an attack dog. Sorry Ryan but Biden bites.

    October 11, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "his ability to talk about solutions to issues that leave you with confidence they will work.' sure does build up confidence when someone says "it would take too long to explain it to you and the math is really complicated, so I'm not going to answer your direct questions." Ryan is a fraud just like Mittens. The American public already watched him lie his smug little face off at the RNC and he's going to do it again tonight. Guaranteed.

    October 11, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Ryan will be going on about figures"

    Ryan has yet to "go on about figures." The only time he has ever talked anything close to specifics was in his Pathology of Plutocracy budget plan and I'll tell you something: if they end up spending any significant time whatsoever on Ryan's budget "plan" tonight, that means Ryan is losing and losing very VERY badly.

    October 11, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. The Heavyweight Champ

    Don't forget the rest of it: "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee."

    October 11, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Just rope that dope Biden.
    Looking forward to seeing you do your thing tonight.
    Obama 2012.

    October 11, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Whome

    Rope-a Dope, just leave off the rope-a and you have described him to a T.

    October 11, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Elephant Memory

    When all is said and done Vice President Biden will send Ryan to time out when Ryan throws a childish tantrum.

    October 11, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    I think the Ryan/Akin bill that defnes legitimate rape should be brought to the forefront. Ryan, in all his years, has sponsored only 2 bills that passed and one of those was taxes on arrow shafts. He knows a lot about shafts - he intends to give the elderly a very big one.

    How would you like to work 14 or 15 years, produce two "widgets" and get $174,000/ year for doing nothing else? I see why we have financial problems. It's NOT the middle class. It's the Republican HOUSE.

    October 11, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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