Obama Campaign Chooses Ryan Rival Chris Van Hollen for Debate Prep

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The Obama campaign has confirmed its choice of the five-term Democratic Congressman from Maryland to do his best Paul Ryan impression in Vice-President Joe Biden's preparations for his October 11 debate with the Republican nominee for vice-president, reports CBS News. The ranking member of the Ryan-chaired House Budget Committee, Van Hollen has frequently battled with Ryan over budget policy, deficit reduction, and Medicare, which has become a big campaign issue"There's no place where Ryan could go that Van Hollen didn't go up with him toe to toe," a Democratic aide told CBS. "On any issue dealing with the budget deficit, Medicare, you name it, Van Hollen has the policy and political wit to give the soundbite that's just like Paul Ryan immediately."

On a conference call with reporters Thursday, Van Hollen also chimed in on the state of the race and on Romney's Medicare plan. "It's a reckless plan, and we can't afford to take the guarantee out of Medicare for seniors," Van Hollen said.

Although Van Hollen is awfully well-equipped to play Ryan, the Obama campaign still must manage the challenge of extracting the gaffe from Biden.

Here's a look at Ryan and Van Hollen trading barbs over Medicare in June 2011 on Special Report with Bret Baier.