Chris Christie is bursting at the seams with excitement for Wednesday's big debate. That conventional 'manage your expectations' going into the debates wisdom? Not if Chris Christie has anything to say about it. "This whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning,” Gov. Christie told Bob Schieffer on CBS's Face the Nation. Maybe he's had a preview of those well-practiced zingers we've heard so much about. He's excited for Romney to speak on a platform where his message won't be "filtered" or "spun" by the media. Schieffer asked Christie about any aspirations for the oval office he has for 2016, but Christie shot him down. "Mitt Romney is going to win, so it’s a question I don’t have to address," he said.
John McCain knows all about managing debate expectations. He might even sleep through Wednesday's debates. It's not like anything happens anyway. "Sometimes we expect a major breakthrough, but that doesn't happen very often," McCain told CNN's State of the Union host Candy Crowley. He also credited Romney's lagging behind in the polls to a "glimmer of hope" for the economy in the voters' eyes. "I think he's behind because Americans probably feel better than they did about jobs and the economy," he said.
Paul Ryan also worked to manage debate expectations on Fox News Sunday, though he missed one party message memo. "Well, we're running against an incumbent president. We're running against an incumbent president with incredible resources. But more importantly, I don't think one event is going to make or break this campaign," Ryan said. "Look, President Obama is a very -- he's a very gifted speaker. The man's been on the national stage for many years, he's an experienced debater, he's done these kinds of debates before. This is Mitt's first time on this kind of a stage." (Maybe he missed the nationally televised Republican primary debates, who knows.) But when it came time to talk about media coverage, Ryan slipped away from the party line. The directive has been to not complain about media coverage. Ryan didn't bother to read that memo, apparently. "It goes without saying that there is definitely media bias," Ryan said. "I think most people in the mainstream media are left of center and, therefore, they want a very left-of-center president versus a conservative president like Mitt Romney."
Chris Christie, for one, doesn't like whiners. Whining is a sign of losing, he said on an appearance on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous. "I’m not going to sit here and complain about coverage of the campaign," Christie said. "As a candidate, if you do that, you’re losing." Christie also expanded on why he thinks Wednesday night will be so big for the Romney ticket. "But what I will tell you that this is the first moment when the American people are going to see these two guys side by side laying out their vision unfiltered. I think that’s going to be a powerful moment for Mitt Romney," Christie explained.
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt is riding shotgun on the 'rehabilitate Todd Akin' bandwagon. Akin's been behind on polls and receiving next to no funding since his comments about "legitimate rape." Blunt appeared on CNN's State of the Union to offer his thoughts on Akin's chances against Claire McCaskill. "Todd may well yet win," Blunt said on Sunday. He advised making the race about more national issues instead of about past mistakes. "We need to make the race a discussion of those issues rather than the ones Todd raised," Blunt said.
Paul Ryan said he's not getting himself caught up in his boss's big week when he knows he's got a worthy opponent ahead of him in Joe Biden. He knows he has prepared to go against a wily debate veteran like the Vice Presdient. Biden is someone "you're not going to rattle," Ryan said on Fox News Sunday. "He's fast on the cuff," Ryan said. "He's a witty guy. He knows who he is and he's been doing this for 40 years. So you're not going to rattle Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s been on the national stage, he ran for president twice, he's a sitting vice president." Ryan credited his Biden stand-in, former Solicitor General Ted Olson, for getting him prepared for his time to shine. "I hope Joe Biden shows up more than Ted Olson, because I tell you, this is one of the best litigators in America," Ryan said. "But what Ted has done is he has studied Joe Biden's tapes, Joe Biden's record, Joe Biden's, you know, style. And Ted, as you know, is one of the best litigators in America, he's pretty good at adapting to that."
Obama's senior advisor David Plouffe certainly isn't taking Mitt Romney's debate zingers lightly. Romney is more prepared than any candidate, ever, according to Plouffe. "He’s prepared more than any candidate I think maybe in history, certainly in recent memory. So we believe Gov. Romney. He’s been a good debater in the past. He’s very prepared. He’s got all these clever zingers and lines in his pocket, so we understand he’ll probably have a good night on Wednesday night," Plouffe said on ABC's This Week.
Chris Christie actually pulled triple duty this week. He appeared on Face the Nation, This Week, and NBC's Meet the Press to say the same thing. He's really, really excited about Wednesday's debate. He told David Gregory "the entire narrative" would change Thursday morning. He accused Obama of trying to "run out the clock with platitudes that sound nice." (Maybe he didn't see the '47 percent' commercial.) Chris Christie is fired up, you guys. Let's hope he can get some sleep before the big night.