As we come on the air, vice president biden and his opponent, congressman paul ryan, are preparing to take their cements at this table and begin the big debate. There it is. And our very own martha... See More
As we come on the air, vice president biden and his opponent, congressman paul ryan, are preparing to take their cements at this table and begin the big debate. There it is. And our very own martha raddatz will be moderating, sitting across from them at that table. She's our senior foreign affairs correspondent, former white house correspondent. And the two men have been preparing in marathon practice sessions, behind closed doors for days. 26 days now to go before americans get to the polls. Your voice, your vote. And the race has been tighten tightening. The pressure is on. And our team is right there on the ground in danville, kentucky, and abc's jake tapper is going to start us off tonight. Reporter: Good evening, diane. First, let's talk about the stage craft. Vice president biden will be coming on stage from that side. Congressman ryan from the other. The vice president cannot cede energy or desire to his challenger as the president seemed to do last week. Their campaigns are relishing the spotlight. Biden's team sent out these photos of him practicing on a mock set in a delaware hotel where congressman chris van hollen has played biden's opponent, congressman paul ryan in practice debates. Ryan has been in debate camp with top republican lawyer, ted olson playing the vice president. And now, practice time is over. The time to memorize your answers or practice a pivot and punch is over. By this point, you are trying to get to that happy place, the happy warrior. You are usually with the family. Reporter: Ryan tweeted this shot of him and his 7-year-old son sam, writing "great pep talk from one of my most trusted advisors." Ryan's challenge? To be seen as credible and keep romney's momentum going. In most battleground states, the race is essentially tied, and obama's lead in ohio appears to be narrowing. Ryan has only previously participated in around eight debates for his congressional seat. The vice president has run for president twice, debating 16 times, plus squaring off against sarah palin for the gig he has now. Can I call you joe? Reporter: Biden has been cramming, studying ryan's positions and the book, "young guns," the book that the congressman co-wrote, looking for fodder. I just want to make sure when I say these things that I don't have the congressman saying, "no, no, no, I don't have that position." Reporter: Though he is known for gaffes and verbosity, the structure of the debates seems to help him, forcing him to be concise and stick to script. 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. Reporter: In addition to watching clips of the vice president's many debates, ryan has studied news clips of the moderator, abc news senior foreign affairs correspondent, martha raddatz. The congressman tweeted late this afternoon, "let's get this done!" Congressman ryan has been in the house of representatives for seven terms but he's asked that he be addressed this evening as mr. Ryan, the campaign says that's because it's shorter. Romney will be watching the debate from his hotel room in north carolina. We're told that president obama will watch the festivities from air force one as he flies from miami, back to the white house. We, of course, will be watching it right here, all night, diane, ringside. We sure will, jake.
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