Details of Ryan's Debate Cram Session

GOP vice presidential candidate has crammed for meeting with Joe Biden.

ByABC News
October 10, 2012, 9:46 PM

Oct. 11, 2011 -- ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Paul Ryan wrapped up last minute debate prep at a spectacular old Florida hotel replete with Sunshine State pastels and Mediterranean revival architecture, The Vinoy. It would be his last formal session in seclusion before the only vice presidential debate where he faces off against a man nearly 28 years his senior.

An aide, who asked for anonymity, admitted the obvious, especially after his running mate's show stopping performance last week: "He's nervous."

"He's done things on the national stage," the aide said, trying to play the expectations game. "He's given a response to the president, debates in the Budget Committee and on the House floor and his congressional races, but nothing compared to the attention and the pressure that goes with a live nationally televised debate like this."

Ryan has taken part in eight campaign debates as a congressman, but none of those were on a national stage. And only one was in a race against a strong opponent. Read more about Ryan's debate history.

Tune in to on Thursday for livestreaming coverage of the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate moderated by ABC's Martha Raddatz in Danville, Ky. Coverage kicks off with ABC News' live preview show at noon, and full debate coverage begins at 8 p.m.

The aide said his biggest worry was an "Irish uncle moment where the vice president's charm overwhelms his lack of facts or logic."

Before you tune in, here's your one-stop-shopping guide to everything you need to know about Paul Ryan's debate prep.

What Did Prep Look Like?

Ryan started official preparations for the debate back in early September by watching the 2008 debate between Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin, according to an aide. Before this, according to two aides, the only prep he had been doing were policy briefings on a "range of issues," including "domestic, economic, foreign policy and national security." Before this, he was focused on his convention speech and campaigning.

Preps continued outside Bend, Oregon on Sunday, Sept. 9, with close advisers. They took a break for the Green Bay Packers game.

Back in Washington on Sept. 13, Ryan continued debate preps with his official Biden stand-in, former Solicitor General Theodore Olson. They continued practice through multiple sessions in Washington and at a Holiday Inn Express in Janesville, Wis.

But the bulk of Ryan's preparations occurred at an intensive "debate camp" that lasted from Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 through Saturday afternoon Oct. 6, 2012 at the Wintergreen resort in Virginia.

The only break from "debate camp" was a rally with Mitt Romney in Fishersville, Va., on Thursday evening. A Ryan aide told ABC News they did two full-length mock debates. Martha Raddatz was played by former Massachusetts lieutenant governor and Romney foreign policy advisor Kerry Healey (Romney did his own debate prep at Healey's home in Vermont).

Ryan also got in some mountain biking while at a resort in Wintergreen, Va., he told reporters in Florida.

A final set of run-throughs took place at the Vinoy in Florida this week.