July 23, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Paul Ryan Downplays Mitt Romney's Debate Performance, Admits to 'Missteps'

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

"First of all, the polls are close. This is going to be a close race," Ryan said. He added, "Well, we're running against an incumbent president. We're running against an incumbent president with incredible resources."

As for his own upcoming debate against Vice President Joseph Biden, Ryan acknowledged he has been watching tapes of the former Delaware Senator in preparation.

"He's fast on the cuff. He's a witty guy. He knows who he is, and he's been doing this for 40 years," Ryan said. "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."

But just as he hopes Romney will do, Ryan said his goal "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."

Asked whether he's hoping Biden will make the kind of rhetorical mistakes he has become somewhat famous for, Ryan said Biden is more disciplined during debates than he is on the campaign trail.

"I'm not counting on a gaffe, no," he said.

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