Doppelganger alert: John Kerry to play Romney in debate prep
June 18th, 2012
04:59 PM ET
2 years ago

Doppelganger alert: John Kerry to play Romney in debate prep

(CNN) - Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has been tapped to play Mitt Romney in debate preparations for President Barack Obama, an Obama campaign official confirmed Monday.

Kerry will mimic the presumptive GOP nominee in debate practice, anticipating Romney's answers and speaking style so the president can know what to expect in their face-to-face showdowns this fall.

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Obama's campaign has made Romney's record as a one-term Massachusetts governor one of their prime lines of attack–a record Kerry knows well as a five-term senator from the state.

First reported by The Boston Globe, Obama's senior strategist David Axelrod said Kerry was the best pick for the job.

"He's an expert debater who has a fundamental mastery of a wide range of issues, including Mitt Romney's Massachusetts. He's the obvious choice," Axelrod said in a statement to the Globe.

The senator himself had plenty of practice on the presidential debate stage when he took on President George W. Bush three times in 2004 as the Democratic nominee.

Obama is scheduled to battle his Republican contender in three presidential debates in October. The events are set to occur in Denver, Colorado; and Hempstead, New York; and Boca Raton, Florida. Also in October, the vice presidential candidates will debate in Danville, Kentucky.

Also see:

Golfer-in-chief hits 100th round as president

Lawmakers mum on health care contingency plans

Romney sees bright side of rain-soaked campaign event


Filed under: 2012 • John Kerry • Massachusetts • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Presidential Debate
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Obama - Protecting the rights of ILLEGAL ALIENS to invade our country while SUING states to make sure they can vote as well

    Where were all the attacks on Kerry's wealth and being an out of touch rich person when he ran for President? Oh yeah, he was the liberal media's darling. It didn't matter then....

    I wonder if the Romney campaign can get Hugo Chevez to play the part of a lying socialist Barack Obama?!!

    June 18, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Myviewis

    John Kerry, is he going to bring his sailboat? or Heinz Ketchup?

    June 18, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    As someone who always wanted John Kerry as president, I hate to see him play ignorant just to act the part of Willard but this should be easy. All he has to do is wait to hear what the president says, object to everything, deny the FACTS, (even though the record states the opposite) and make stupid remarks about his wealth.

    Obama 2012 ALL the way.

    June 18, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    Where were all the attacks on Kerry's wealth and being an out of touch rich person when he ran for President? Oh yeah, he was the liberal media's darling. It didn't matter then....

    John Kerry didn't make remarks about trees being the right height, his wife driving TWO Cadillacs and most of all he didn't BRAG about firing people. Don't get mad because your guy is stupid, unpopular and phoney because he IS.

    June 18, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Thomas

    @Obama – Protecting the rights of ILLEGAL ALIENS to invade our country while SUING states to make sure they can vote as well
    Why did you change your name from Bend over Obama ?

    At least John Kerry did his service in the military , went to Vietnam . Unlike Romney who went to France looking for Mormon converts !

    Then again , none of the Romney's carry the Torch of Freedom that Mitt referd to on Memorial Day in San Diego.

    June 18, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Indy

    How hard can it be to Flip Flop N Lie ? This should be an easy part for anyone to play,Romney has no spine or conviction and all Kerry will have to say a thousand times is no to anything that would help the middle class

    June 18, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. nolimits3333

    Romney was amazed by the touch screen at Wawa.

    Talk about being out of touch.....

    June 18, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Nate W. VA

    @Obama – protecting illegal immagrants...
    The GOP was too busy mocking him for having a purple heart and discrediting his service to the US. Also labeling him as a flip-flopper. Kinda ironic when you think of the GOP candidate to be now.

    June 18, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. The REAL Truth...

    @Obama – Protecting the rights - "I wonder if the Romney campaign can get Hugo Chevez to play the part of a lying socialist Barack Obama?!!
    ------------------–
    If you meant the Hugo ChAvez from South America.. sorry.. he's all tied up. He's busy trying to get Rubio's relatives on the next boat to FL, so they can vote Mittens in Nov and count hanging chad's.

    June 18, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Bristol

    It's a shame to see a real American like Kerry slurred by being compared to Romney. One road out Vietnam in Paris while the other served his country.

    June 18, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Johnny Smith

    LOL if you're worth 500 Million and you're driving a Cadillac that seems pretty down to earth to me. I know people who make $60K a year who drive Cadillacs. People who are out of touch drive Porsches and Bentleys not Cadillacs.

    June 18, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Pot calling the kettle .......

    Why is this news worthy? Who cares?

    June 18, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Obama - Protecting the rights of ILLEGAL ALIENS to invade our country while SUING states to make sure they can vote as well

    Darn, Hugo Chavez is still having health problems and might not ba available to play Barack Obama in practice debates with Romney. WAIT! Fidel Castro is the next closest politically to Obama, call him quick before he checks out.

    June 18, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Oliver

    John Kerry also married into most of his wealth, well after serving in Vietnam as a war hero. So for republicans to be in here complaining the "liberal" media didn't attack his wealth is ridiculous. What they did attack was his war record, which was one of the most shameful plays I've ever witnessed in politics. AWOL Bush somehow became a war hero, while Kerry got swift boated into losing an election.

    June 18, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. tpbco

    To Dumb woman in California-

    I then assume you've forgotten his failed attempt to hide his $7 MILLION YACHT in Rhode Island to avoid taxes in Massachusetts...or are just a pathetic liberal hypocrite?

    June 18, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. Dave

    Lots of luck, Kerry, in trying to mimic alexithymic Mitt--Mitt's one of a kind, living on Kolob, no less.

    June 18, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Bill

    Romney does not have a speaking style – he simply reads what is put before hiim. At least he can read.

    June 18, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Somethings need to be kept a secret. Why is this news?

    June 18, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. HenkV

    Romney has his Yacht, Kerry his Swift Boat. That should be fun.

    June 18, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. BO stinks

    Romney never cavorted with Jane Fonda as traitors to the US.

    June 18, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. J.V.Hodgson

    I dont really think all this matters. The president simply needs to say.
    Mitt I know what your policies are which are the exact opposite of any policy I have.
    If I say something whatever it is you disagree.
    On foreign policy you have again made the case that the only way to assert US power is war ( Iran / Syria) and you have made a pretty good attempt by your comments on Russia to re-start the cold war... well done. You just have not got it that warring against Iran has the potential for nuclear holocaust.
    Then when thats done say OK Mitt I know I got everything wrong but for gods sake tell the Americam people how you will fix it.... and Oh please forget trickle down economics and tax cuts for corporations and stop saying complete overall of the tax law thats failed twice already under two previous presidents and took 2 years to come to the Impasse, and would do again. The fiscal cliff is now, debt celiing, Budget act farce, and expiry of Bush temporary tax cuts are Now . Please dear Romney tell me how you will solve that, not with how I got it all wrong but how you can specifically fix it, with congress.
    Waffle and I am business man and Obama got it all wrong dont get congress to act as needed.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    June 18, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. MSamP

    Smart. Romney is nothing if not replicable, especially in terms of debate. Obama, on the other hand, is more nuanced and I think more able to communicate his platform– rather than regurgitate stale party doctrine.

    Unfortunately, the debates' power of influence will be almost entirely diluted by the flood of Super Pac spending. The democrats now suffer a structural disadvantage as a result of Citizens United that will result in Obama's chief asset, his ability to debate, to be marginalized to extinction.

    If you can vote you probably should. Citizens United is a political outlier that can be stopped, but it is important to act as soon as possible. If this law gains momentum, it could become a force onto itself, and instead of distorting the political landscape it could come to define it.

    June 18, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. toadlife

    Actually "Woman In California" there were a *TON* of attacks on Kerry's wealth and him being out of touch when he ran for president. The protective bubble you live in must have shielded you from seeing them.

    June 18, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    John Kerry wishes he understood how to debate as well as Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is brilliant and the experience he draws from when he is debating is unique. Good luck Obama/ Biden 2012. This is getting good.

    Romney 2012 and as many Republican Senators as we can put in place.

    June 18, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. HarvardLaw92

    Somewhat appropriate. They both have the natural charisma of a sofa.

    June 18, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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