Vice Presidential Debate: Joe Biden, Paul Ryan Ready

The vice presidential candidates will square off in their only debate of the 2012 election.
3:00 | 10/11/12

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Transcript for Vice Presidential Debate: Joe Biden, Paul Ryan Ready
The race for the white house. And with 26 days to go, it's time for the next big debate. The v.P. Candidates square off. High stakes and high pressure, as new polls show mitt romney closing the gap in some key It's "your voice, your vote." And jonathan karl at the debate site in kentucky, where biden and ryan will square off. Good morning, jon. Reporter: Good morning, george. Right down on that stage is the one and only showdown betwee vice president biden and paul ryan. And the stakes are as high as they've ever been for a vice presidential debate. Paul ryan may not have as much experience as joe biden. But he's done least eight debates in previous congressional races, including this one, when he first ran for office and was just 27 years old. His opponent said he was young enough to be her son. Ryan has never had a debate on a stage anywhere near as big as the one tonight. But two years ago, he did have a memorable faceoff against president obama at a bipartisan health care summit at the white house. I've got to tell you, the american people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit you're not listening to them. Reporter: Ryan spent a lot of time preparing for this, including numerous debate sessions. I like joe personally quite a bit. I just disagree with his policies. Reporter: And mitt romney said he is confident ryan will have a strong performance. I think paul ryan will do great. Thank you. Reporter: In an exclusive interview with diane sawyer, the president talked about what he expects from joe biden. What's your message to joe biden about tomorrow night? You know, I think joe just needs to be joe. Reporter: Biden scored points in his last debate four years ago, in what turned out to be the most-watched vice presidential debate in history. The notion that somehow because I'm a man, I don't know what it's like to raise two kids alone. I don't know what it's like to have a child you're not sure is going to make it -- i understand. I understand. Emotional moment four years ago, jon. The audience could top that audience tonight. And it's coming as we're getting new, solid polls from the key battleground states of virginia, florida and ohio. Reporter: Yeah. This is the key thing. We've seen a national poll romney has gained on the president in some cases. Actually moved ahead of the president. Now, what we're seeing that romney is gaining in the key battleground states, where the race really matters. He gained, put it to virtually a tie. In florida and virginia, he was behind in both states. And even in ohio, the president still has a lead there. But in polls this morning, romney is gaining. The president has about a six-point lead in ohio this morning. And diane sawyer and I will have live coverage of the vice presidential debate at 9:00, 6:00 pacific. And we're proud that the moderator will be our friend and colleague, martha raddatz. Looking forward to that,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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