Romney campaign:  No 'knock-out punch' planned
October 3rd, 2012
05:38 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney campaign: No 'knock-out punch' planned

Denver (CNN) - Zingers? Maybe. Knock out punches? No.

Aides to Mitt Romney told CNN the GOP contender will not be looking for a "knock out" punch at tonight's first presidential debate.

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Instead, campaign officials say Romney will try to draw a contrast with President Obama on the economy. "A clear choice," is how Romney aides have repeatedly described it in recent days.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said that's the right approach. "This is not an athletic competition," Rubio said. "This is a debate between two men – one who wants to be president and one who wants to stay there, and one who wants to offer us a new direction," he added.

One of the campaign's other priorities, officials say, is to maintain what they see as a "trajectory" in recent polls showing the race tightening.

Aides to the GOP nominee also expect him to be challenged by the president to offer more specifics about the Romney plan to lower income tax rates by 20 percent.

After months of declining to specify exactly how he would pay those tax cuts, Romney offered a few new details to Denver TV station, KDVR. During the interview he suggested he may seek to limit a whole slew of popular taxpayer deductions to $17,000.

"You could do something for instance, you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction," Romney explained. "You can use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction or others – health care deduction – you can fill that bucket – the $17 thousand bucket. Higher income people may have a lower number."

As for all of the recent talk about zingers, Romney officials did not say whether the Republican contender has a few one-liners ready to go. However, the aides said it "would not be difficult" to challenge the president on the economy. Translation: wait and see.


Filed under: 2012 • Colorado • Debate • Mitt Romney
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. w l jones

    One have presidental experience the other trying to get it!.

    October 3, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. truth hurts

    Aides to Mitt Romney told CNN the GOP contender will not be looking for a "knock out" punch at tonight's first presidential debate.
    ========================================================================================
    They better be lying. Romney better be landing blows with every answer. And if given the opportunity, he better knock him out. Obama might get rattled enough to let another little part of the socialist in him out. Maybe Romney should ask Obama just what the limit should be on how much people should be able to make? Or ask him if he supports France's Socialist Presidents approach of a 75% tax rate.

    October 3, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. Thomas

    This isn't the " Thrilla in Manila " people.

    This is about what direction America chooses .

    Do we want to go back to the GW Bush years or take a path forword ?

    If you think it's easy and correction and change happens in just four years , then vote for Romney. If you see a changing world and you want to be in the forefront of that change , vote Obama.

    October 3, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    lol you can't deliver what you don't have.

    October 3, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Romney > obama

    obama has such a weak record, that only a clown that is already in the tank for him will vote for him.

    Seriously, can anyone claim that the economy is better today than it was when the recession ended (in June of 2009 - without a single cent of stimulus money spent).

    October 3, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Mentalk

    Given his track record, this is probably a good idea. The only victim of Romney's "knockout blow" would probably be himself.

    October 3, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. Joe User

    @Thomas – It's changing all right. Divorce rates up. Crime up. Income down. Freedom diminishing due to more strict laws and regulation. Education down. Poverty rate up. The American dream has been slipping further out of reach for many years. That's what you get if you vote for "progressives" who believe that in order to raise the bottom, you must drag the top down. Don't raise the bar for all, just lower it so the bottom feels closer.

    October 3, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Romney is in a squeeze play; how does he redefine himself once more to votes, and how do you attack Obama knowing that there is a counter-attack at every turn. Classic "BOXED IN" situation.

    October 3, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Carl

    Maybe a few" body blows". If he not going for the knockout.

    October 3, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. Dino

    What no knock outs? I thought Romney had PA in his back pocket and was going to come out swinging and ready to throw down?!

    October 3, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. arosel

    Nobody knows what Romney would do, and they don't like him anyway.

    October 3, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. Larry L

    @Romney > obama

    obama has such a weak record, that only a clown that is already in the tank for him will vote for him.

    Seriously, can anyone claim that the economy is better today than it was when the recession ended (in June of 2009 – without a single cent of stimulus money spent).
    ------------------------------------------------
    It was absolutely impossible to recover quickly with the entire Republican working for failure. The recession had tremendous momentum and a very strong downward trajectory. With a Tea party House and a filibustering Republican-side of the Senate it's like a coach trying to win with half of the team trying to lose.

    October 3, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. cali girl

    Thank you Larry L, and yes, by the way, my last 4 years are better! My 401K is up to record numbers, my house is still mine, business is booming in retail which means Americans are spending money.

    October 3, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. CBR

    That is why these debates are ridiculous. Instead of thinking about giving us their best answers and talking about their platforms and their past statements someone is thinking about a knock-out punch. We have more than a month left to make up our minds. WE need to listen to them for that month and then decide.

    October 3, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. tp1776

    Romney to play rope-a-dope...smart move

    October 3, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    I am with cali girl. My 401k is up, my house is still mine. I can see things getting better. My son works construction, most jobs are stimulus funded on infrastructure. Things are starting to move around here for the better. What Mitt Romney lacks is consistency, every time he opens his mouth it is a different story. My trust in him is gone, too late to make me believe anything he says. He scares me. Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 3, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  17. FarLeft

    No, I wouldn't imagine Romney has a 'knock-out punch'. He seems like a milque-toast to me. Though, if he isn't careful, one-more gaff will certainly knock HIM out.

    October 3, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. FU

    Please, Mitt couldn't land a jab, let alone a knockout!

    October 3, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |