(WASHINGTON) — Just a few days away from the first presidential debate where Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will face off, Paul Ryan tried to tamp down expectations of his running mate saying he doesn’t “think one event is going to make or break this campaign.”
“We’re running against an incumbent president,” Ryan told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace when asked about conservatives saying Romney needs a “clear victory” at Wednesday’s debate. “We’re running against an incumbent president with incredible resources. But more importantly, I don’t think one event is going to make or break this campaign. Look, President Obama is a very — he’s a very gifted speaker. The man’s been on the national stage for many years, he’s an experienced debater, he’s done these kinds of debates before. This is Mitt’s first time on this kind of a stage.”
Wallace quickly reminded him that Romney did 23 debates during the long primary season.
The GOP vice presidential nominee said “what matters in this particular debate and all the debates” is that Romney says what their ticket is “offering to get us back on track.”
“And I think that’s what we’ll get out of Wednesday,” Ryan said. “And if we get that out of Wednesday, then the country understands the choice they have to make.”
Ryan admitted he had been watching tapes of Vice President Joe Biden in preparation for his own vice presidential debate on Oct. 11.
Wallace asked Ryan what Biden’s “techniques,” “tricks,” and “strengths” are.
“He’s fast on the cuff,” Ryan said, before aiming to boost Biden’s debating prowess. “He’s a witty guy. He knows who he is and he’s been doing this for 40 years. So you’re not going to rattle Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s been on the national stage, he ran for president twice, he’s a sitting vice president. What I hope to achieve is to give people an alternative. A very different governing philosophy, different policies. And Joe is very good on the attack. Joe is very good at trying to confuse the issues so that the person leaves the debate confused about who stands for what. My job is to make sure that they’re not – they’re not confused about what we stand for and what they stand for.”
Ryan’s preparing for biden by sparring with former Solicitor General Ted Olson. This coming week the two will practice for at least two days in Virginia ahead of the debate moderated by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal
Kevin Liptak, CNN