Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA's Becerra in Kentucky for VP debate

Kitty Felde/KPCC

L.A. Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra will be on hand as an official party surrogate at Thursday's VP debate.

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are in Danville, Kentucky for this year’s only Vice Presidential debate. A Southern California Congressman is also on hand to offer his party’s take on the performance.

For reporters covering a debate, the action begins after the two candidates have shaken hands and God blessed America. A room adjacent to the debate hall is filled with prominent Democrats and Republicans waiting to give their take on the night’s events.

Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles is one of those folks in Kentucky. He says obviously the candidates can’t be out there to respond to everyone, so they ask people like him to be on site and play Spin the Press.

Becerra says surrogates get a summary of some of the issues that are likely to come up in the debate and statements the candidate has made in the past. But he says he doesn’t need a list of talking points: "I’ve been around just long enough that I know most of these issues well enough that I usually can express myself with my own words without having to rely on someone else trying to feed me them."

Becerra says he expects to spend quite a bit of time speaking with Spanish-language media covering the debate. 

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