Vice President Joe Biden will be facing off against Congressman Paul Ryan in their one and only debate tonight, and high anticipation has led to much speculation about the rhetorical tactics the two candidates will employ. Some of that speculation has included the thought that Mr. Biden will employ a “rope-a-dope” strategy, in which, in a game of psychological warfare, a debater initially adopts a losing position before rallying back to a win.
Asked about this possibility today at the New Castle Airport in Delaware, Mr. Biden quipped, “You ever see me rope-a-dope?”
According to the pool report, the usually loquacious vice president also said he’s “looking forward” to the debate, but didn’t add much additional flavor.
Of course, the “rope-a-dope” speculation goes both ways, and a Politico report this morning mused that Mr. Ryan may actually be the one to employ the tactic, suggesting “his wonkery and penchant for speaking in numbers” could turn out to be a “rope-a-dope tactic that will take voters into the policy weeds and blunt Biden’s attacks on tax policy, spending and foreign affairs.”
Mr. Biden and Mr. Ryan face off at 9 p.m. tonight.