(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden personally called his newly-minted VP challenger Rep. Paul Ryan Saturday morning to essentially say: “game on.”
In a statement following the call, the Obama campaign said Biden wanted to congratulate Ryan, a congressional colleague for the past 13 years, and “welcome him to the race.”
“The Vice President urged Congressman Ryan to enjoy the day with his family,” the statement reads, “and said he looked forward to engaging him on the clear choice voters face this November.”
Biden, 69, and Ryan, 42, will face-off in one nationally-televised vice presidential debate set for Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky.
Both men, who have spent their entire political careers on Capitol Hill at a young age, are considered leading policymakers within their parties, with Biden possessing a particular foreign policy expertise and Ryan specializing in economics. Biden served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009, Ryan in the House since 1999.
The VP rivals’ phone call follows a similar personal exchange between President Obama and Mitt Romney in May after Romney clinched the Republican nomination.
Obama at the time said that he was looking forward to “an important and healthy debate about America’s future, and wished Governor Romney and his family well throughout the upcoming campaign.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tal Kopan and Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Herb Scribner, Deseret News
Theodore Schleifer, CNN