Report: Romney set to begin his debate prep with Sen. Portman

Mitt Romney will spend this upcoming week preparing for his debates against President Obama, according to reports.

According to a campaign source, Romney will go head-to-head against Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) who is standing in for Obama to help prepare the GOP candidate, CNN first reported.

Senior Romney adviser Kevin Madden said that Romney would hold the debate preparations at the Vermont home of former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R), a campaign surrogate, from Tuesday to Thursday.

Reports said Romney’s campaign had not decided if the candidate would hold any public events this week, as Democrats meet in Charlotte, N.C. for their convention.

Romney and Obama will face off in three presidential debates this fall. 

PBS's Jim Lehrer will host the first debate on Oct. 3 at the University of Denver. CNN's Candy Crowley will host the second debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. on Oct. 16 and CBS's Bob Schieffer will moderate Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. 

Romney campaign sources confirmed last week that Portman, who was reportedly considered for the GOP vice presidential pick, had been tapped to play Obama during mock debates. 

Portman also played Obama in 2008 to assist Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential bid.

The Obama campaign is using Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to play Romney in Obama's debate prep and ranking House Budget Committee member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) will play Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in Vice President Joe Biden's practice sessions. 

Earlier this week, Portman said that in his experience, mock debate sessions can often get heated. 

“You kinda swing back and forth — I mean, nothing physical, although it's come close at times,” said Portman, during an interview.

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