Both the Obama and Romney campaigns are doing their best to lower expectations ahead of Wednesday's debate.
Ryan's words echoed a memo from Romney adviser Beth Myers who said the president was widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history.
Myers even pointed to a CNN poll showing a 25 point advantage for Obama on who voters think will win the debates.
The Obama camp likes to remind voters the President has not had as much time to prepare for the debates, because he is busy being commander in chief.
when it comes to just how much debates matter....it depends...
These matchups can produce some memorable lines
like in 1980 between then governor Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter or Lloyd Bentsen's swipe at fellow senator dan quayle in 1988.
And then there are the moments that seemed to say more like President George HW Bush looking at his watch in a 1992 debate with Bill Clinton.
Texas Governor Rick Perry's oops remark, and Obama's comment to then rival Hillary Clinton in 2008.
One thing analysts agree on are that the debates may be Romney's big chance. The university of Denver is hosting the debate on Wednesday night.
it begins at 9 pm eastern.