TODAY | October 11, 2012
>>> let us begin, though, on a thursday morning with tonight's big political showdown with vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan . ron mott in danville, kentucky, hi, ron.
>> reporter: good morning to you. this is the day that the number twos become the number ones . tonight vice president joe biden and paul ryan taking center stage at centre college and both men say they're ready to go.
>> you ready for tomorrow?
>> reporter: after one final debate plan session in florida, paul ryan emerged wednesday sporting a sweet tooth and an appetite for the fight with the vice president. even flexed his muscles for "time" magazine. a photo shoot from last year heading back to newsstands.
>> he's one of the most extreme debater in modern politics, but the achilles heel he has is president obama 's record. and i'm looking forward to giving the american people a clear choice.
>> reporter: ryan stepped off his plane and into a rock star 's welcome in kentucky signing autographs, posing for pictures. his opponent, vice president joe biden is scheduled to arrive later today having prepped for battle by consuming all things ryan . his speeches, his budget, his book.
>> i just want to make sure that when i see these things that i don't have the congressman saying, no, no, no, i don't have that position or that's not the governor's position.
>> reporter: many expect tonight's debate to feature the kind of fireworks largely absent last week in denver. ryan said he's ready for mr. biden to come at him like quote, a cannonball in an effort to even the score.
>> romney had a good night, i had a bad night.
>> reporter: the president, whose debate performance was widely panned, he vowed to be more active. cite sizing the former governor's punches in an interview from abc news.
>> governor romney went through a lot of trouble to try to hide his positions because he knows those ideas have been rejected. they won't work. and if he's making an honest presentation about what he's proposed, he will lose.
>> reporter: considered the big winner in that first debate, mr. romney has faced a larger, more enthusiastic crowd ever since. campaigning wednesday in the critical battleground state of ohio, trailing in the polls, but narrowing the gap.
>> and the key thing i want people across ohio to understand and to ask themselves as you go into the voting booth , as you vote is can we really afford the cost of barack obama ? and the answer is no.
>> reporter: now tonight's debate will be a town hall format with questions coming from members of the audience. it will focus on both domestic and foreign issues. savannah?