TODAY   |  October 11, 2012

David Gregory: VP debate could be ‘explosive’

NBC’s David Gregory weighs in on what to expect at the tonight’s high-stakes vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan as the vice president tries to slow the Romney campaign’s momentum following last week’s presidential debate.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> as you well know, vice presidential debates are often more political theater than decisive in the race. does tonight have the potential to be different?

>> well, it has the potential to certainly be explosive because these are two guys who know their stuff. they're going to go after each other. these are now momentum affairs. that's what you saw. notwithstanding the fact that a lot of people in the swing states that chuck mentioned have already made up their minds. we've got undecided voters , softly committed voters, there's volatility in the race. these debates can move the race and we saw that with some of these tightening numbers for romney. still, the undercard, joe biden has one job tonight. that is to slow romney's momentum. he can do that by debating ryan to a draw. and also being more aggressive. make no mistake, this is going to be a precursor for what we'll see next tuesday. because aides for the president say he's going to have a lot more energy, be more aggressive. he watched the tape of the last video, he gets it and knows he has to come out differently.

>> is there any danger that biden overcompensates, overlearns the lesson of the last debate?

>> no question about it. but i think typically these kinds of debates usually are contested to a draw. i think that biden wants to be aggressive, could be overly aggressive, wants to focus on the 47%, wants to sort of draw out ryan in a way who is, after all, an architect in many ways, the conservative thought on budget, taxes and spending.

>> all right, david gregory , chuck todd , thank you. we'll all be up late tonight, you can watch the vice presidential debate, 9:00 eastern, 6:00 pacific