First Presidential Debate Draws Closer

7:02 AM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
(Photos: Obama by Marc Serota/Getty Images, Romney by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Mitt Romney's running mate is playing down the need for a breakthrough in the first presidential debate Wednesday night.

Paul Ryan, working to keep debate expectations for Romney in check, is praising Obama's debating skills and calling the Democratic incumbent "a very gifted speaker" with years of experience on the national stage. And he's playing down signs that Obama is gaining distance in the most competitive states. Ryan tells Fox News that polls are tight and will stay that way until the election Nov. 6. He says he doesn't think one event "is going to make or break this campaign."

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie predicts Romney will do "extraordinarily well" in the debate, and that come Thursday morning, as he puts it, "this whole race is going to be turned upside down."

Obama headed to Las Vegas for an evening rally and plans to stay in Nevada as he prepares for the debate.

Romney remains in Boston, going through preparations of his own.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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