The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen will play GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) during Vice President Joe Biden’s debate prep.
Van Hollen was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2010 midterm rout in which Republicans took control of the House. He’s also ranking member of the House Budget Committee of which Ryan is chairman.
Thus, Van Hollen is experienced at countering the Ryan budget proposal and has been hitting the national talk-show scene on behalf of the Obama campaign since Mitt Romney picked Ryan.
“Paul and I get along very well personally. We resolved quite some time ago because of our deep differences, we would try to make sure we express them in a civil manner,” Van Hollen told CNN earlier this month. “So, we have had very sharp debates. So, my main responsibility was to make sure I fully inform all the members of the president’s team, vice president’s team about exactly what that budget does, but more importantly how it is presented by Paul Ryan because the vice president’s very familiar with that budget.”
Van Hollen has also been accompanying the campaign team to swing states to speak against Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.”
And when Biden starts prepping for his debate versus the Wisconsin congressman, the Maryland Dem will stand in for his Budget Committee foe.
Ryan has spoken of Van Hollen as a worthy adversary, the Sun reports.
“He’s probably one of the best articulators of the Democrats’ position … but he does it without being too partisan,” Ryan told the paper last year. “He keeps the level of debate where it ought to be — at a high level.”
In 2008, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) played Sarah Palin in Biden’s debate prep.