(CNN) – A senior campaign adviser for Mitt Romney's campaign on Monday disagreed with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's sunny prediction for the GOP nominee's performance in this week's presidential debate.
"I don't think any one event is going to dramatically alter the race," Kevin Madden told CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta on the campaign plane heading to Colorado.
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While both campaigns have been playing the game of lowering expectations for the upcoming debates, Christie appeared somewhat out of the loop Sunday when he said he anticipates Romney to turn the race "upside down" and do "extraordinarily well" during Wednesday night's showdown in Denver.
"When we get to Thursday morning, you'll be saying it's a brand new race with 33 days to go," Christie said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, was setting the bar high for President Barack Obama - not Romney.
"(Obama) has been on the national stage for many years, he's an experienced debater, he's done these kinds of debates before," Ryan said in an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News. "This is Mitt's first time on this kind of a stage."
And Sen. John McCain - who has debated both Obama and Romney - said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he can't recall "breakthrough" moments in debates of recent memory.
"I can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention," McCain said.
While Christie's remarks Sunday seemed to fall out of line with Team Romney's pre-debate strategy, Madden said he nonetheless appreciated the Republican governor's enthusiasm.
However, he emphasized debates aren't the end-all, be-all.
"Look, I like his optimism. I think everybody in the campaign feeds off of that optimism," Madden said, but added: "I think that the debates are … one of four conversations that we're going to be having, including the vice presidential debate, and part of a much larger conversation that we're going to be having over the next 35-plus days with voters."
– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
This guy makes me sick, and he's my Governor!
@"I can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention," McCain said.
Old John is getting senile. How about Rick Perry's "Oops!" during the primary?
We know exactly the point of this adviser, and really make more sense than Christie absolute statement; however, in spite of that; there is no way that Romney might win at least one of those conversations.
News flash for Willard....GOP insiders do not like you! Christie is all about sinking Romney so that Christie can run in 2016. Duh. (Is that knife in the back starting to hurt, Willard?)
"This is Mitt's first time on this kind of a stage."
Both Willard and Ryan are like two children playing dress up.
Willard has been running his mouth for years about Obama, and now that it's time for him to MAN UP and face the president on a national stage, they want to make excuses? We don't need excuses in the White House, these are critical times and we need a leader, whose proven time and time again he's up to the job MENTALLY and physically and that man is NOT Willard M. Romney. Willard is and has always been a coward among other things and I can't wait until he makes his EXIT off he national stage for good.
Really? Not even your "that one" remark?
If Mitt's elected, and a democratic senator jumps up, states his job is to make him a one term president, and has a congress who denies him his agenda, how would he execute his presidency?
For Christie, he put his foot in mouth every time he tries out smart Obama. The only problem is he doesn't know he is 10 notches below the President.
For the debate, Romney is the nervous rake debate with the coolest guy in America. you don't know the foregone conclusion, serious?
Romney will bite his tongue, knock over his own chair, look left and right, up and down for help. He is a typical insecured person, and you think he remember what he suppose to say? where is the telepromter for Romney?
It is a guarantee: Romney will blur out things he doesn't understand, written for him, and heck, whatever it comes to mind.
Romney will be a joker in front of 60M Americans, and Millions more around the world.
It will be Romney gong show.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will never have another chance , he's a one time wonder !
For Romney to be deemed a winner in the debate on domestic policy He`s got to objectively adress our lack of trust in him.
TAX policy. The numbers don`t add up and Mitt hasn`t released his tax returns for the prior 10 years. He has not disavowed the "carried interest" treatment of his hedge fund earnings – which is inherently a dishonest sham. And yet he wants us to TRUST him to set a fair tax policy. He can`t "WIN" a domestic policy debate without successfully crossing this threshold.
I`ll judge the press pundits commenting on the debate by the objective criteria they apply before saying Romney "won" or "exceeded expectations". Is Roe Vs Wade settled law or will Romney support a revisionist history role for the Supreme Court which will force it into a perpetual revision machine depending on which party has stacked the court.
President Obama's biggest advantage will be a microphone in Mitt the twit's hand. He has a foot in mouth problem.
He's gonna lie, stutter, sputter, "fake laugh", poke zingers at inappropriate times, etc., all the way to the losing bell. And whatever he says, remember that he's already taken several other sides before this. Use your memory of the past few months, folks.
Going today to vote for Obama/Biden. yippeee