Tags: | ryan | biden | debate | election

Ex-Ryan Debate Foes: Don’t Underestimate the Congressman

Thursday, 11 Oct 2012 07:29 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Paul Ryan may come into Thursday’s debate with vice president Joe Biden an underdog, but don’t underestimate the Wisconsin congressman’s debate savvy, say several former foes.

“What Paul Ryan does is he portrays himself to people as if he were a Washington outsider, he talks as if he’s in another room when decisions are being made in Washington,” Lydia Spottswood, who debated Ryan in October 1988 for a seat in the Wisconsin House of Representatives, told Politico. “This is an intentionally misleading tactic.”

Spottswood, a Democrat, was a former Kenosha City Council member and nurse.

“I would say he should not — not just the vice president, but the average person watching this — shouldn’t assume that if Ryan said it that it’s factual,” Spottswood said. “And it shouldn’t be ignored when it’s not factual. It’s necessary for him to be confronted and knocked back.”

Her assessment was among several offered by Ryan debate opponents as the GOP vice presidential nominee, 42, heads into a major test on a national stage with Biden in Danville, Ky.

While Ryan has participated in eight debates for his congressional seat, he is up against a vice president whose scope of experience on the national stage is far greater, Politico reports.

“Look, Joe Biden has been on this stage before,” Ryan told Politico at an impromptu campaign stop in Florida earlier this week. “He has been on these big stages. This is my first time.

“But what he can’t run from is President Obama’s indefensible record. They are just offering more of the same. I am excited because we have a chance yet again to offer this country a very clear choice,” Ryan said.

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