Mitchell Reports | October 11, 2012
>>> in their debate tonight, the only debate they're going to have, pressure is on joe biden to do a better job than president obama did last week in denver. the challenge for paul ryan is to defend his own somewhat controversial budget cuts and mitt romney 's often different proposals. that is a big challenge. joining me now, maggie haberman and mark halperin , also of course "time" magazine's he editor the large. welcome. first of all i wanted to play something that happened on cnbc. steve leaseman, senior economics correspondent questioning alan simpson , passionate about the failure of the administration and in fact paul ryan who voted against it and was on the simpson - bowles commission and rest of the teams in congress, you know, to embrace the simpson - bowles outline at least. this is likely to come up tonight as well. he is here because he's a member of the presidential debate commission, has been for decades. let's watch.
>> i asked you to talk to romney and ryan what would you say to them --
>> i would say --
>> that you have concerns about.
>> we have a leaderless government and they lead. they can govern. this gentleman can't govern. he can't governor earn. he's doing politics day and night .
>> alan simpson being alan simpson . i've covered him for decades, mark you have as well. but it's certainly gives the republicans a little bit of a talking point since alan simpson is someone the president points to as being, you know, the simpson - bowles plan that i appointed.
>> if you like me to feign shocked alan simpson said something newsworthy and outrageous, i will. some say he shouldn't be in that mode on the day of the debate. that's the republicans' increase lig full-floated argument why the president should be replaced as the economy's gotten better it's harder for them to make a straight economic argument and simpson is giving voice to what you hear a lot not just the romney campaign, it's about leadership overseas, leadership at home and alan simpson says -- said in his colorful manner.
>> pithy way.
>> maggie you've been writing for politico on five things to watch tonight. what are you watching for tonight?
>> the main thing i'm watching for is how joe biden performs we all are. joe biden has gotten this reputation, somewhat deserved as a gaffe machine but that's not what he does in debates. in debates he's more skilled, controlled. a huge stage for paul ryan . we're going to be looking for how joe biden addresses the issue of seniors and medicare, we're going to be look at how paul ryan carries those attacks and how he's able defend the romney / ryan ticket as opposed to his own positions and his own statements. romney 's been modulating a little bit or saying some things that were somewhat garbled on abortion this week. i think you're going to hear a lot about that tonight.
>> medicare, abortion, i think benghazi.
>> i i agree.
>> joe biden , former chairman of the foreign relation committee and this very strong attack from the republican on leading the committee that had a four-hour hearing pillaring the state department yesterday.
>> an area where anticipation had been joe biden would be able to press a grav as it. benghazi complicated that and you'll see paul ryan hit that.
>> "time" magazine, your magazine out, and preprized kick pictures they took for the runner-up when paul ryan was runner-up for man of the year. do we need more proof than this man likes to work out?
>> the man's in good shape. good photos. very colorful and i think people will see a side of paul ryan that not all of us have got tonight see unless we're members of the house gym. guy's in good shape as is joe biden by the way.
>> he's a runner. mark, i know you've probably done your major workout this morning when you arrived overnight.
>> i did 25 minutes on the elliptic elliptical.
>> that is major.
>> kel melman who managed burns re- election campaign said in a presidential year three months out you can only do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. that's ken's rule. he won 2004 . i'm going with that.
>> you'll win, that's good.
>> what about ryan defending his record?
>> i think he's going to be extremely well prepared for lines of attack that joe biden 's going to have. but again -- i think that paul ryan 's going to do pretty well. he is aggressive. he likes to engage. he likes to fight. we've seen that in the house for a while.
>> i think it's going to be played to both of their strengths that they're seated because they have a personal relationship. they kind of like each other, as strange as that may seem in the political world .
>> when seated you're not as combative.
>> that's right.
>> it's a different dynamic.
>> very conversational. it's amazing people aren't questioning whether ryan will be nervous. he's a poised guy. so much national experience. dine think anybody thinks he's going to go in and have a deer in the headlight moment.
>> people are talking about him running for president. thank you so much. mark halperin , maggie