"He gets it," King said.
Ryan also had something others considering a run for Congress in the 1st District of Wisconsin didn't: the Ryan name.
His large family has been in the area since the 19th century. His uncle founded Ryan Inc., a highly successful dirt-moving company. Until Ryan's father died, his name was on the law firm that towers over the center of town.
Luck of the Irish tie
Mitt Romney noted to CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Ryan has never debated in the kind of forum he will be in against Biden, but Ryan has had election year debates as a candidate for Congress.
We showed Ryan a photograph of one of his debates against his Democratic opponent during his first campaign, against Democrat Lydia Spotswood.
He noticed that he was wearing what he called his "lucky Irish tie," a green one that he wore on most of his election nights during his seven congressional campaigns.
Will he wear it during his debate with Biden?
"I don't know. I have to see if I can dig it up," he said with a laugh
'I'm not intimidated'
In that first congressional campaign, Spotswood was 47 years old. She was quoted then as saying she was old enough to be Ryan's mother.
Biden, 69, also is a generation older than Ryan, 42. Not to mention, as Ryan pointed out over and over, Biden has extensive experience debating on a national stage as a vice presidential candidate and presidential candidate during the 2008 Democratic primaries.
Is Ryan intimidated?
"No I'm not intimidated," replied Ryan, "I'm actually excited about it. I came to Congress when I was 28 years old. I'm used to debating people who are older," he said, though he also noted that one of the reasons his team chose Ted Olson to play the role of Biden in mock debates is because he is "about Joe's age."