David Axelrod: ‘There will be adjustments’ after Obama’s Terrible Debate Performance

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Mitt Romney Delivered a Sucker Punch on President Obama’s Chin in Denver

After President Obama stumbled badly in his first debate against Mitt Romney last night in Denver, Obama’s senior campaign strategist, David Axelrod said they will take a “hard look” at the president’s debate performance and admitted they’ll “have to make some judgments about where to draw the lines in these debates and how to use our time.”

On a conference call to reporters, Axelrod compared the debates to “a playoff in sports.”

Obama aides told The Hill that the president will try to be more aggressive in the next debate scheduled for Oct. 16 in Hofstra, NY by launching a more full-throttled attack when he believes Romney isn’t telling the truth.

Aides acknowledged there was a shell-shocked mood on Thursday because while they anticipated that Romney was going to do well, they didn’t anticipate his tacks in the debate.

From the president’s staunchest loyalists to donors and even some aides who tried to make sense of the thrashing they witnessed Wednesday night conceded the president came off as listless, tired and did nothing to combat a fiery Romney, who was on the attack and dominated much of the debate.

They called Wednesday’s debate a missed opportunity for Obama in terms of putting the race away, after a strong month coming off of the Democratic National Convention.

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17 Responses to David Axelrod: ‘There will be adjustments’ after Obama’s Terrible Debate Performance

  1. DMason says:

    I hope it’s not too late. Obama looked like he was medicated and the damage was profound. Snap polls said 7-in-10 and 8-in-10 people believed Romney won the first debate. This puts Obama under Romney’s thumb. Not good.

  2. The Real Adam says:

    I am an Obama supporter but I don’t want a president who is afraid to get angry.

    Obama is the President of the United States and he deferred and bowed and let Mitt Romney lie and interrupt and dominate the proceedings. If perception is reality then, Romney came off as strong and Obama came off as a wimp.

  3. Frankly, I thought Obama came off as “dignified” while Romney was pretty much an asshole.

    The debates are a waste of time. Everyone’s already made up their minds. Either they want to give the president four more years or they don’t. If they don’t, they’ll be voting “Against Obama” and not “For Romney”.

    I just want it over with.

  4. ChiTOM says:

    Everyone knows Romney is a liar. But who was this person who showed up who resembled President Obama but looked like he wanted to be anywhere but in Denver? Surely the people who run Obama’s campaign understand elections — whether right or wrong, are usually won on style, not substance. If you don’t believe me, please explain George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection?

  5. Rachel says:

    What the hell was President Obama looking at on his podium desk? His I-Pad? Baseball scores? Playboy? It looked like Obama wasn’t remotely interested in being there. Not exactly the impression you want to leave in a close election.

  6. TOM339 says:

    This liberal Democrat and Obama supporter, is pissed at the president.

    Obama didn’t debate his Republican challenge — far from it, Obama delivered a concession speech and he looked and sounded like a loser. I kept thinking it’s Jimmy Carter all over again and I cringed.

    Look, folks. If Obama is worn out and doesn’t want another term as president, that’s fine, just tell the country the truth and step aside. I’m certain Joe Biden is ready to take the helm.

  7. ajihani says:

    I was out last night at the theater and judging on the comments I’ve seen, I’m glad I miss the debate.

  8. Zarathustra says:

    I suggest, first waking the President up!

  9. Randy Arroyo says:

    One bad debate an election isn’t lost. Now, if Obama sleepwalks through the next debate, he and Michelle should rent a moving truck because they’re headed back to Chicago in January and our national nightmare begins.

  10. Scott Dancer says:

    I’m not expert on such matters but am I the only one who thinks President Obama looked like he had taken a Valium before stepping on stage?

    Obama isn’t the strongest debater in America politics but to see him get trounced by Mitt Romney was just painful.

    Didn’t the president prepare? Romney has been running for president for 5 or 6 years and he’s hungry. He has the fire in the belly. Unfortunately, the fire in Obama’s belly seemed extinguished.

  11. Debbie Banuelos says:

    Romney was too aggressive last night for my taste. He came across like he was taunting Obama and wanted a floor fight. I think Romney may live to regret this tactic. If Obama comes back on Oct. 16th all Southside Chicago, Romney won’t know what his him.

  12. This is not really a surprise, every incumbent President since 1976 has lost the first debate with the exception of Bill Clinton. In 1976 Ford lost, lost election. In 1980 Carter Lost, lost election. in 1984 Reagan Lost, swept 49 states Winning election. In 1992 Bush Lost, Perrot won, Lost election. In 1996 Clinton Won, Won Election. In 2004 Bush Lost, Won election. Sitting Presidents usually loose for a variety of reasons. 1) they are not accustomed to debating, or being challenged. 2) they have a lot going on (Being President is 24/7/365, Last night before the debate Turkey attacked Syria so I’m sure Obama has a little pre-occupied). 3) challenger just went through tough primary process including debate (2012 GOP Primary has something like 23 debates)

    Honestly, Yes Romney hands down won the debate, though he came off as crass and as a bully to the moderator. The majority of the news today was with the FoxNews exception was focused on how Romney won on performance but lost on substance because he lied his way through it, and his lies and changes on position have already begun to bite him in the ass. One of his advisors already walked back his health care (pre-existing condition claim). His campaign web site still calls for a 20% across the tax cut, repealing the AMT, Death Tax, eliminating dividend, interest and capital gains tax for under $200K, and cutting corporate tax rates, costing $5 trillion. Mitt denied that he has a big tax cut plan. The list can go on.

    On a side note, I actually think that Obama lost on purpose. Instead of coming out strong he let the challenger come out strong and get on the record, which Romney did with 27 lies in 38 minutes. Now Obama attacks, which he did today in Denver and Madison. Give Joe Biden ammunition to attack Ryan with. Know exactly how Romney acts and reacts in debates, somewhat know his game.

    Honestly people remember the last debate more than the first! The last debate is closest to the election, the one people remember most.

  13. Josh,

    Interesting theory. I never thought about this. Romney is now positioned for President Obama to go in for the kill in debate no.2 and debate no.3. The Biden ammo theory works too. Great comment.

  14. fran says:

    I was stunned to hear the Abe Lincoln historical reference, Obama served up… one article called Obama the “Befuddled Professor”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-michels/presidential-debate-1-oba_b_1938273.html

    There is a long list of baggage Romney needs to be called out on– and Obama was playing the Mr. Congenial card, talking about all the things they agree upon.
    What?

    My biggest beef is Romney is flipping his numbers.
    Last week age 55 plus need not worry about medicare changes.
    then it was 55 & under would be facing the voucher sham program &
    Then last night he said age 60 plus need not worry or even have to listen about medicare changes.

    Romney is throwing a whole lot of baby boomers under the bus with his ever changing numbers.

    I would love for Obama to take him to task on it…
    Last week it was 55 & older, today it is 60+ what will it be after the election?
    Age 100 plus?

    Obama should talk about people who are cheating the system by not paying their fair share of taxes by stashing money offshore…. tell us about THAT Mitt.
    It may be legal but is it ethical?

  15. Estacada says:

    I think David Axelrod, David Plouffe and, Michelle Obama heard the public’s complaints, read the op-ed pieces and watched cable news. President Obama will be Rocky in the next debate.

    Expect him to annihilate Mitt Romney in the next debate.

  16. Joe in Colorado says:

    Obama can turn this around. Luckily for him, Americans have a short attention spam and most of us are focused on the NFL right now and not politics. That said, if Obama blows debate two, he may be in serious trouble and should prepare for life after leader of the free world.

  17. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    President Obama showed up to a knife fight unarmed. He had a target on his back.

    It was as if Obama was unprepared to to have anyone rub his face in it. He stood there with no one to protect him.

    Team Obama underestimated Romney who stepped into the Octagon fit and hungry. If I were Obama I would stop prepping with Sen. John Kerry and start prepping with Mike Tyson. This is a blood sport — not a fancy Sunday afternoon tea in Newport.

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