Is the pressure of Thursday's debate with Joe Biden getting to Paul Ryan?
On Sunday, a Ryan fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois, prominently featured a sign banning audio and video recording.
Ryan's remarks were reportedly routine, so why the sign? Perhaps Ryan was thinking about those secretly recorded video remarks that Romney made at a fundraiser in May, which caught him saying that 47 percent of Americans were "dependent on government" and saw themselves as "victims."
Then on the following morning, Ryan sounded worried about the upcoming debate.
"Because [Obama] had such a bad debate [on Oct. 3], that Joe is just going to come flying at us," Ryan told radio host Frank Beckmann. "It seems pretty clear that their new strategy is just basically to call us liars, to descend down into a mud pit, and hopefully with enough mudslinging back and forth and distortion, people get demoralized and then they can win by default."
And later in the day, Ryan just lost it, abruptly ended an interview with ABC 12 in Flint, Michigan, after an exchange on gun violence in inner cities:
"Does this country have a gun problem?" WJRT's Terry Camp asked.
"This country has a crime problem," Ryan responded. "If you take a look at the gun laws we have, I don't even think President Obama is proposing more gun laws. We have good, strong gun laws. We have to make sure we enforce our laws. We have lots of laws that aren't being properly enforced. We need to make sure we enforce these laws."
Ryan continued: "But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in the inner cities, is to help teach people get out of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character. That is civil society. That's what charities, and civic groups, and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value in one another."
"And you can do all that by cutting taxes? With a big tax cut?," Camp asked.
"Those are your words, not mine," Ryan responded.
With that, Ryan's press secretary abruptly declared the interview over and a clearly irritated Ryan began removing his microphone, saying to the interviewer, "That was kind of strange. You're trying to stuff words in people's mouths?"
"Well, I don't know if it's strange," said Camp.
"It sounds like you're trying to put answers to questions..." The camera is then covered by white paper.
Ryan is now in Florida for more debate prep, reviewing Biden’s 2008 debate with Sarah Palin and past Biden speeches.
Vice President Biden is home in Delaware, preparing for Thursday’s debate, holding mock debates with sparring partner Rep. Chris Van Hollen and reviewing video of Ryan’s speeches and interviews.
He’s also reviewing video of Ryan’s speeches and interviews and reading Ryan’s book Young Guns.
Thursday’s 90-minute debate at Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky, will be begin at 9pET. It will be moderated by ABC’s Martha Raddatz and will cover both domestic and foreign policy. The candidates will be seated.
You can watch it live both on msnbc and here on The Ed Show blog.