Washington (CNN) – If it wasn't already clear that Mitt Romney and his allies are trying to lower expectations heading into next Wednesday's debate against President Obama in Denver, the campaign is now making it official.
In a memo about the debates distributed to campaign surrogates and provided to CNN on Thursday, longtime Romney adviser Beth Myers outlines a series of reasons why the president is likely to emerge as the winner of the first debate.
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- President Obama is "widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history."
- "This will be the eighth one-on-one presidential debate of his political career. For Mitt Romney, it will be his first."
- "Four years ago, Barack Obama faced John McCain on the debate stage. According to Gallup, voters judged him the winner of each debate by double-digit margins, and their polling showed he won one debate by an astounding 33-point margin."
Myers argues that Obama will "use his ample rhetorical gifts and debating experience to one end: attacking Mitt Romney."
"We fully expect a 90-minute attack ad aimed at tearing down his opponent," she writes in the memo.
Pushing back against emerging conventional wisdom, Myers concludes that the debates will not, in fact, decide the election: "It will be decided by the American people," she says.
Read the full memo below:
From: Beth Myers, Senior Adviser
To: Interested Parties
Date: September 27, 2012
Re: 2012 Presidential Debates
In a matter of days, Governor Romney and President Obama will meet on the presidential debate stage. President Obama is a universally-acclaimed public speaker and has substantial debate experience under his belt. However, the record he's compiled over the last four years – higher unemployment, lower incomes, rising energy costs, and a national debt spiraling out of control – means this will be a close election right up to November 6th.
Between now and then, President Obama and Governor Romney will debate three times. While Governor Romney has the issues and the facts on his side, President Obama enters these contests with a significant advantage on a number of fronts.
Voters already believe – by a 25-point margin – that President Obama is likely to do a better job in these debates. Given President Obama's natural gifts and extensive seasoning under the bright lights of the debate stage, this is unsurprising. President Obama is a uniquely gifted speaker, and is widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history. This will be the eighth one-on-one presidential debate of his political career. For Mitt Romney, it will be his first.
Four years ago, Barack Obama faced John McCain on the debate stage. According to Gallup, voters judged him the winner of each debate by double-digit margins, and their polling showed he won one debate by an astounding 33-point margin. In the 2008 primary, he faced Hillary Clinton, another formidable opponent – debating her one-on-one numerous times and coming out ahead. The takeaway? Not only has President Obama gained valuable experience in these debates, he also won them comfortably.
But what must President Obama overcome? His record. Based on the campaign he's run so far, it's clear that President Obama will use his ample rhetorical gifts and debating experience to one end: attacking Mitt Romney. Since he won't – and can't – talk about his record, he'll talk about Mitt Romney. We fully expect a 90-minute attack ad aimed at tearing down his opponent. If President Obama is as negative as we expect, he will have missed an opportunity to let the American people know his vision for the next four years and the policies he'd pursue. That's not an opportunity Mitt Romney will pass up. He will talk about the big choice in this election – the choice between President Obama's government-centric vision and Mitt Romney's vision for an opportunity society with more jobs, higher take-home pay, a better-educated workforce, and millions of Americans lifted out of poverty into the middle class.
This election will not be decided by the debates, however. It will be decided by the American people. Regardless of who comes out on top in these debates, they know we can't afford another four years like the last four years. And they will ultimately choose a better future by electing Mitt Romney to be our next president.
Has Romney's staff already written his concession speech as well? They're doing damage control BEFORE the debates because they know he's gonna lose. Just like in November.
That "memo" was just a PR note to the Me-Too Media, knowing full well they would ALL publish it again and again and again and get groundless Republican talking points back into the news once more.
President Oboma is the worst President ever...anyone care to debate me on that?
Mitt, you are such a sorry human being.
None of these theatrical productions are "debates" in a reasonably pure sense...how about a REAL debate with classical rules? nah...not good media...
What an ego–pretending that he has not been practicing for two months. Trying to go in as the underdog–he has had twenty- primary debates with three or four other people. He is trying to set-up a major upset–howvwer, we know he is ready. He is practicing his points everyday on the stomp. I believe he already has the actual questions and have worked on them. He has moral problems–like continuing to tell a lie after it has been proven untrue.
Ron Paul made sense to me–however, age probably got him or he didn't hate on the president enough to become the candidate.
This mittens can not even run his campaign, how is he going to run this country of ours?
with what: how big Obama wins? We can take that, don't wory!
Romney's job throughout has been to ensure Obama's second term.
I think they want to shes lying
Is it just me, or does Mitt look like he was separated at birth from Dagwood Bumstead?
Can someone explain to me why CNN publishes a memo clearly written as a sideways ad for Romney under the "Politics" column? Reporting that the memo had been dispersed with an obvious intended political subtext would have been news.
Then they could have published it for people to decide for themselves. Presenting it as an internal memo would have been the only way it should have been published as a straight memo . . . . Life just gets weirder. . . .
great confidence in flip flop Romney
is it how Mr. Romney want to become the president of United State of America. Giving reasons in almost every tough situation. Mr Mitt, office of the presidency is not bain capital incase you forget.
Let me get this straight:
Mitt Romney ran for President in 2008 and had all those political debates leading up the the RNC.
Mitt Romney is running for President in 2012 and had all those political debates leading up the RNC.
Yet, he is not prepared to debate President Obama??
What, Romney doesn't want to bet Obama $10,000 he'll win the debate? There are just some things you can't buy Mittens.
Did Romney hire a black guy to practice the handshake?
My expectations for Mitt during the debate was already low...this just hit a new mark of stupidity. Yet, I do not blame them for the disclaimer. LOL!!!!!
And the repubs call Obama weak...This man is absolutely toast.
There you have it. The people of the USA have spoken. Its time to clean out the repubs in congress and keep the senate dem, and most importanty, re-elect prez Obama. O/B 2O12
I still don'tunderstand why the Tea Party is not upset about Mitt Romneys involvement with Stericycle, a fetus disposal firm that Mitt made millions on. Could someone who belongs to this cult please tell me exactly why this is of no interest to you? I had the idea that morals were important part of your value system. The only thing I can assume is that your lust for no taxes outweighs your moral convections.
Whats this? Lowering expectations for the Mitt? My my...how low can the repubs go. Whaa!
Beth Myers really did not need to send out a memo to lower Romeny's debate expectations. He has done a great job of that all by himself. I wonder if he'll make any bets with the President in the debates or will he come out and tell the American people he doesn't worry about the debates because his party thinks he'll win with the voter suppression they have put into place. Mitt Romney is a train wreck and so is his campaign. Get to the polls and vote for President Obama!
So, he expects to lose? Then he already has.
How pathetic is this ? A candidate for US presidency accepting defeat before it begins :) Funny that happens from a business head of a vulture capitalists.