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October 11th, 2012
09:25 AM ET

Pressure is on for Biden, Ryan in debate – debate advisor Brett O’Donnell on what each candidate needs to do to win votes

Tonight, Vice President Joe Biden will face Republican rival Congressman Paul Ryan in the first and only vice presidential debate. It's now expected to be an integral moment in the race after President Obama gave a lackluster performance against Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate.

Veteran debate advisor Brett O’Donnell joins “Early Start” this morning to explain just how important this debate is for Biden.

O’Donnell, who has worked with Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in the past, says the pressure is really on Biden. “There’s a lot of downside and not much upside for him,” after Obama’s defeat last week, O'Donnell says. “Vice President Biden has to blunt that momentum and turn the narrative around.”

O’Donnell believes that Biden is capable of doing so. “I think he definitely has the passion to turn in a great performance,” he says. “He’s got the experience. The problem for him might be, you know, if he goes out and really attacks, it may even call attention to the president’s weakness last week, or it presents the opportunity for him to make a serious mistake.”

Ryan, on the other hand, needs to “make sure the debate stays about the president’s policies on the economy. And he also has to make sure the debate stays more about the Romney vision rather than the Ryan plan,” O’Donnell says. “I think he’s got to defend the Romney vision as opposed to defending the Ryan plan.”

“This election’s about jobs and the economy, and I think as long as Congressman Ryan focuses on that tonight, he’ll be able to litigate a debate he wants,” O’Donnell says. If Biden is able to put social issues like the ‘war on women’ back on the table, "then it might put Congressman Ryan on his heels.”

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Filed under: 2012 election • Paul Ryan
August 14th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Erick Erickson: Paul Ryan was a good pick, GOP convention will be 'carefully orchestrated'

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention later this month. Christie, himself, revealed the news in an interview with the "USA Today." He says his speech will focus more on the case of electing Mitt Romney rather than the case against President Obama.

Also new this morning, Republican rising star and Florida senator Marco Rubio will be introducing Mitt Romney at the convention when Romney formally accepts the party's nomination. He was also in the vetting process for vice president before Paul Ryan became the pick.

On the trail, it's day two all alone for VP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, as he tries to convert the positive Republican reaction to this election into votes. Today, Ryan will campaign in Colorado after spending yesterday at the Iowa State Fair.

CNN contributor and RedState.com editor in chief Erick Erickson was among the first that suggested Paul Ryan be Mitt Romney's pick. He explains this morning why he thinks Paul Ryan was a good pick by Romney for vice president, and why he thinks the Republican convention will be 'carefully orchestrated.'

Filed under: 2012 election • Chris Christie • Paul Ryan