KENOSHA, Wis. – Four days before the vice presidential debate -- arguably one of the most important political moments of his life so far – Paul Ryan spent the day with his family preparing for Halloween.
Ryan, his wife Janna and their three children, Liza, Charlie and Sam, stopped at Apple Holler, a family farm in Sturtevant, Wis., to pick pumpkins – a Ryan family tradition.
The seven-term Wisconsin congressman noted that his family enjoys carving their pumpkins -- but likely wouldn’t do that until next week -- and said they "love" to scoop out the seeds and toast them.
After Ryan hauled a wagon nearly 50 yards to the pumpkin patch, the family carefully selected four of the largest pumpkins they could find. The winning pumpkins weighed in at 49 pounds, 37 pounds, 35 pounds, and 34 pounds.
The presidential race heated up as Mitt Romney continued his assault of President Obama's record in Florida, saying that a 7.8 percent unemployment rate is nothing to celebrate. NBC's Ron Mott reports.
Two weeks ago in New London, N.H., Vice President Joe Biden visited a pumpkin patch where he bought a 36.75-pound pumpkin.
Asked about the upcoming Oct. 11th debate with the vice president, Ryan maintained a jovial spirit.
"What debate?" he joked. "Oh, yeah – I'd better get ready for that."
Asked how his debate prep was going – he did just spend four days preparing in Virginia -- Ryan laughed: "You know I'd better get started. You just reminded me. No, it’s going well."
After the trip to the local farm, Ryan stopped at Tenuta's Deli here -- his favorite shop to buy spices for venison sausage. He wrapped up the long Sunday -- which he typically takes off to spend in Janesville with his family – speaking at the Annual Columbus Day Dinner hosted by the Italian American Society of Kenosha. He has missed the event only once during his time as a congressman.
"In 14 years – we were just reciting this – I missed this dinner once and it was because of our final Lamaze class in 2001. And my boss made me go to Lamaze," Ryan said at the dinner, referring to his wife.
Monday, the VP nominee will hold two events in Ohio and Michigan, which will likely be the last times Ryan will appear in public before the only vice presidential debate of the campaign cycle.