Image: Joe Biden
Paul Sancya  /  AP
Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop at Renaissance High School, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, in Detroit.
NBC News
updated 10/11/2012 4:22:26 PM ET 2012-10-11T20:22:26

Vice President Joe Biden is “fired up and ready to go” for the debate with Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday.

Traveling with reporters to Miami for President Barack Obama’s campaign events, Psaki said the president and campaign has “great confidence in the vice president’s performance.”

She added later that the president called Biden on Air Force One during the flight to wish him luck tonight.

A pre-debate guide to BidenSpeak

Psaki pushed back, however, on the notion, that it’s up to Biden to blunt the momentum Mitt Romney built up after his performance in last week’s presidential debate, from which he emerged, by most accounts, the winner.

Indicating, perhaps, Biden’s line of attack against Ryan, she said the real question was “which Paul Ryan will show up this evening,” saying he has a tendency to be misleading about his positions on Medicare and tax cuts. But she also noted that, as the opponents will be sitting down, the debate will likely be "more of a conversation" than the first presidential debate, which featured both candidates sparring from podiums at opposite sides of the stage.

Fight night: More jabs expected in VP showdown

At the president's campaign event later in Miami, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson was much more bullish when previewing the vice president's debate performance, saying he would make "mincemeat" of Ryan Thursday night.

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Video: Biden prepared to counter Ryan’s policies

  1. Closed captioning of: Biden prepared to counter Ryan’s policies

    >>> welcome back. beautiful campus here at center college in danville, kentucky. paul ryan has a lot on his plate, in addition to preparing for the vice presidential debate, he has a whole other campaign to deal with. ryan is simultaneously doing what a lot of other vice presidential candidates have had to do, run for re-election as well as be the number two on the ticket. in this case, it's representative of the first congressional district of wisconsin. his opponent is democratic candidate rob zerbahn, and you came here to follow paul ryan why?

    >> i'm here because paul ryan has refused to engage the voters of the first congressional candidate since he was tapped by mitt romney . he's authored the most destructive budget the united states has ever seen.

    >> if by running on the national ticket, is he not answering these same questions that voters in a swing district like the first congressional district of wisconsin? isn't he answering these questions?

    >> they're seeing a side of paul ryan they've never seen before. the national spotlight has not been very kind in his positions. he co-sponsored hr-3 with todd akin , redefining rape, and he wrote a budget that calls for killing medicare .

    >> everybody thinks it kills medicare . it is the premium support. and he redid it. he reconfigured his plan because it was getting so much criticism.

    >> it's no longer the guaranteed benefit medicare is. it turns it into a voucher program. if you're using that program to opt into medicare or going out and buying private insurance. nobody feels it's going to meet the need of an aging population .

    >> you have had a surge in fund fund-raisi fund-raising. you outraised paul ryan 's congressional committee in the last period. are you running tv ads? are you getting a debate? are you getting any air time where a local network might have a debate?

    >> we've accepted invitations from the local news stations. and i did go out on tv. we're getting a message out about the alternative the voters want. we sent unemployment sky rocketing in our district since wees been our congressman. in jansville, our hometown, it's more than tripled. and on the eastern side of the district, it's more than doubled. he needs to answer these questions.

    >> and the unemployment, why is that congressman's fault and not president obama 's?

    >> we've seen paul ryan point out in his convention speech he tried to lay the blame of opposing the gm plan at the feet of president obama . there's a disturbing pattern of dishonesty coming from the vice presidential nominee that people haven't seen in the past. he's certainly supported policies in washington, d.c., to allow companies to export these jobs overseas. we need to make sure that he comes back and answers the question why does he support these policies? why do you support free trade deals and not fair trade deals?

    >> do you believe you're getting enough support from the democratic party ?

    >> the democratic party has been with me from the beginning. they asked me to start this race, and they allowed me to build the organization i have today which helped me outraise paul ryan . -- i guess you're delivering petition signatures, looking for a debate?

    >> i already delivered 53,000 signatures.

    >> i think it would be hard to imagine he's going to pull off the ticket and debate in your district.

    >> i don't want him to pull off the ticket. i want him to come back to the district and engage the voters.


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