Vice President Joe Biden is a “very skillful” debater who could give Rep. Paul Ryan a run for his money, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson said Wednesday.
Johnson mingled politics with football in his visit with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” reiterating his support for the Romney-Ryan ticket while pledging to stick by the Jets’ embattled quarterback, Mark Sanchez.
In the wake of what is widely perceived as President Barack Obama’s lackluster performance against Republican challenger Mitt Romney during last week’s first presidential debate in Denver, observers say the pressure is now on Biden to try to halt the GOP ticket’s momentum. (Read more: What CEOs Can Learn From the President's Poor Debate Performance.)
Romney's running mate is known as a policy wonk with a youthful demeanor, assets that could work in his favor as he spars against Biden. However, Johnson — a top fundraiser for the Romney campaign — told Squawk Box that Biden is a “savant” with years of policy experience.
“Both he and Ryan … have the same experience in terms of election,” Johnson said. “But 40 years of debating [puts] Biden in somewhat of the driver's seat … just because of his experience.”
Johnson also clarified a remark he made recently, implying he’d rather see Romney win the presidency than have the Jets get a winning season.
“I said country first, but probably I would have characterized it saying that I’ve … got great passion [and] I’ve devoted my life to both of those things.”
He also linked his comment to Romney’s strong debate performance. “I will point out, I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but right after Romney had a debate [he] did extremely well, as we all know.”
Johnson also voiced confidence in the team's top signal-caller, Sanchez. The fourth-year quarterback has been under increased scrutinysince the arrival of Tim Tebow as his backup.
“A quarterback's job ultimately is to win games, and Mark Sanchez has proven he can do that,” Johnson said. He indicated that Tebow was also integral to the team's plans.
“He’ll be with us for three years, and I think he’s going to be a real valuable asset in terms of helping us win games,” Johnson said.