Denver (CNN) - As Mitt Romney headed into the crunch period of debate preparation with a heavy weight of expectations on his shoulders, he told a sprawling Denver audience that the Wednesday night match-up against President Barack Obama wasn't about a scoring a win.
"People want to know who's going to win - who's going to score the punches and who's going to make the biggest difference in the arguments they make," Romney said. "You know, in my view, it's not so much winning and losing or even the people themselves - the president and myself - it's about something bigger than that."
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Instead, Romney said, the trio of presidential debates offered an opportunity for each candidate to present his own pathway for America.
"And the American people are going to have to make the choice as to what kind of America they want," he told the cheering audience of several thousand packed into a cavernous air and space museum. "I'm delighted that we're going to have three debates. It'll be conversation with the American people that will span almost an entire month."
Earlier in the day, a Romney adviser sought to downplay expectations for the first debate after Romney surrogate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie predicted Romney would turn the race "upside down" at the Wednesday-night face-off.
"I don't think any one event is going to dramatically alter the race," Kevin Madden told reporters on Romney's campaign charter.
On Monday evening in Denver, Romney offered a possible preview of his attack lines against the president on foreign policy.
"For the last four years, we've had a foreign policy led by a president who believes the strength of his personality is going to get people to do the right things," Romney said. "Well, we've seen fires burning in U.S. embassies around the world. We need the strength of American military, America's economy and America's principles if we're going to keep this world more safe and preserve liberty."
Romney also criticized Obama for the congressionally-mandated military cuts that are scheduled to kick in at the beginning of 2013.
"His budget calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in military cuts, and then on top of that was this sequestration deal that puts even more cuts on top of that," Romney said. "That will mean thousands of jobs lost here. It will mean millions of jobs ultimately lost across our great nation."
That's right, Mittens, it's about LOSING! :)
So is it government spending or not, MR. Romney?
Romney wants increased Military spending...? Hmm, sigh.. There's a time for war and a time for peace, and a time to reinvest in America at home, not as a sabre rattling military machine that leads to war abroad. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and it's an ugly one. Thanks but no thanks Bush Jr. 2.0.
No, it is not about win for Romney, it is about a gong show.
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.
The debates are not about winning to Romney. Because first he had to show Americans that he's not totally out of touch with 90%+ of the population. Then he has to explain why anyone should vote for a guy whose only claim to fame is making millions off of sending American jobs overseas. And then he'd have to explain how he thinks his support of repeating the same failed Bush policies that got us into this mess wouldn't double down on the catastrophe.
After he stumbles around those and a few other huge hurdles, just maybe he could think about winning.
I would like to see a "winning" debate answer on how ALL of us can also get a $100,000,000 IRA using legal maximum savings contributions. Now that would cure all the middle class problems.
One thing Mitt Romney should avoid talking about is foreign policy....he's already proven he knows very little and if he were president .he..would have us in major trouble very quickly!!! !His trip overseas starting with the Olympics and the British press proved he does not have the finesse for dealing with other countries!!
Romney is trying to think up some zingers.. wait,.. one minute.. he' got one.
Now if he only had a clear plan, but he doesn't. And if Ryan could add or subtract, but he can't because he is terrible at math.
I would actually agree that a debate is not about "winning". This isn't a game. Debates are about informing the public on different ideas and paths. Dumb ideas are dumb and smart ideas are smart. The public will make that decision.
Generally, when a man says its not about winning....it means he's already lost.
We understand Mitt. You never were able to walk the walk.
Of course not, Mittens. Of course, you will say the same things if the media declares you the winner, right? You are so smarmy looking and you come off as snotty and dishonest. Good luck trying to hide those "delightful" traits.
Romney is a clown, who is supported by people who lack the low intellect necessary to be a clown themselves.
Gov. Romney, you are so right. 0bama is an empty suit and all he cares about are hallow slogans and scoring cheap points.
America needs a real leader with real experiences like you to restore our true American values and principles.
Go Gov. Romney and Go America!
Wow, spoken like a man who has zero fight in him, zero heart and wants everyone to know he does not have what it takes to win against someone who does posses those traits. ** The debates ARE about winning actually, Romney. A debate is an open forum where one speaks their true thoughts, their true beliefs this it is exactly why we hold them – so that we, the American people, can witness and judge for ourselves who is speaking from the heart with real ideas and real heart and soul, and who is just repeating a bunch of memorized numbers and political power phrases meant to instill fear of war abroad, or fear paying more taxes, or fear in general.
This guy is simply the wrong man for the moment.
funny he says the debate is not about winning, that seems to be the slogan of his whole campaign
sounds as if Romney want to prep us for more Republican lead wars. Can you say huzza? anyone got the body bags?
"Debates aren't about a win" – That's what losers say. I guess he knows it's over before it even starts.
Very naive, because win=win me over and get my vote and lose = the other gets my vote.
Man I am so not down with more military this, military that. When are we going to get over the need to flex our military's muscles. Apparently Romney is well aboard the World Police train.
Downplay the fact that he may not be as prepared since he was allegedly more concerned with his "zinger" individual sound bites. I guess that means he still doesn't have specifics to his "plans" nor does he plan on talking about his "notarized" tax estimates.
Set those expectations low Mitt! The vibe is a desperate one, most say the first debate is a make or break it for Romney. Obama has all the momentum so Romney can ill aford to skate through the debates. Obama has earned the rocking chair position and Romney is playing catch up. If Obama keeps showing leadership and Romney keeps floundering then the election is over.
So now Ryan says that they won't "have time" to disclose details on what they plan for the economy... another "trust us" moment? No details, no vote.
Romney's best hope now is great debate zingers, and a bunch of them.