October 4th, 2012
01:09 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: 'Real' Mitt Romney was missing from debate

Denver (CNN) – President Barack Obama fired back at Mitt Romney in his first post-debate stop in Denver Thursday, contrasting the Romney he saw at the debate with the Romney seen on the campaign trail over the last year.

"We had our first debate last night, and when I got onto the stage I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney," Obama told the crowd of roughly 12,300. "But it couldn't have been the real Mitt Romney."

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The "real" Romney, he said, has traveled the country promoting tax cuts for the wealthy, education plans that would hurt teachers and was a pioneer of outsourcing jobs overseas.

However, Wednesday night, Obama said Romney reversed those views because he "doesn't want to be held accountable for the real Mitt Romney" and "what he's been saying for the last year."

The president's comments echoed much of what his campaign has been peddling since the showdown, largely in response to criticism Obama did not bring his A-game to the first debate.

But at the campaign event, Obama said he spent the 90 minute event "trying to hit him down."

He also took on a much talked about moment, when Romney said eliminating funding for PBS, among other programs, would help drive down the debt.

"Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird. It's about time," Obama said. "We didn't know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit, but that's what we heard last night. How about that?"

Responding to the crowd, Obama said "Elmo too?"

Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Mitt Romney, defended the candidate's performance, writing in a statement, "Last night, Mitt Romney demonstrated why he should be President, laying out the clear choice in this election."

The Obama event attendees were on the receiving end of a will.i.am DJ fest before hearing from former Transportation Secretary Frederico Pena, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall and then the president.

will.i.am., of Black Eyed Peas fame, is an ardent supporter of the president and attended the debate Wednesday night. An aide to the musician said he plans to help the president's re-election effort "as much as we possibly can," adding that he will join the president next in Ohio next week.

Filed under: 2012 • Colorado • President Obama • Presidential Debates
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. luvbach1

    Dana, it was just the real Obama without his TOTUS. He is an empty suit!

    October 4, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. joe

    What a jerk – he is great at describing how he did things AFTER the event and from a safe distance.

    October 4, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. mane

    This is no time for "no drama Obama. Its time to take off the gloves!

    October 4, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Laverne

    Prez you got to say these things right to Mitt's face and lastnight was a great opportunity. Shake off what ever the fuck was going on with you lastnight and get back in the game. Because if you don't think this blood thirsty man who wants to be POTUS more than any other thing in life won't seize on every opportunity to destroy you, you are once again underestimating your opponent. Actually the real Mitt did show up lastnight full of flip flops as usual, the real Obama did not show up and was not fired up and ready to go! You will not win this race on likeability Mr. President, you better knock this guy out before he knocks you out Sir!

    October 4, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Chat Pata

    Mitt Romney morphes into whatever audience he faces. Last night he said he cared for the poor and disabled because talking to public. Before that he said he did not care about when talking to the super rich.

    October 4, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. MichaelTFL

    Mr. President,

    You fail to "show up" for the debate and your reason is that the "real" Mitt didn't show? You are in a real fight, sir, and the sooner you realize that, the better off you will be. Do you think we are all just a bunch of idiots ready to vote for you and your policies without you justifying them to us?

    You acted like you were the smartest person in the room. That might, might, be true, but it is one thing to be the smartest person in the room and quite a different thing to act like it.

    If you believe you are the better choice, fight for it. Otherwise, get the heck out of the way and let someone with passion for the American people take a shot at it for a change.

    October 4, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Dona

    Romney shows that he knows the issues better than Obama and he has the business sense we need to guide this country in the right direction. Obama today is quick and glib...easy for him to do when he is not in the company of a much more competent opponent. The real Obama showed up. When asked about the government..Romney pointed to the Constitution and Obama pointed to himself.

    October 4, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. tedyouranidiot

    Obama looked like a little school boy being scolded because he didn't do his homework. He rarely looked up, all while Romney looked him straight in the eye while correcting Obama's "facts." The real Romney mopped the floor with the real Obama last night, and the Prez didn't have the media there to protect and filter him.

    October 4, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    One debate does not a president make. President Obama clearly wasn't on his game last night, but that won't affect my vote for him. The challenger just provided warmed over campaign slogans. Granted, with months of preparation and rehearsal he was able to deliver them flawlessly, but he said nothing that he hasn't said before, and provided no specifics of how he plans to do any of it.

    October 4, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Borderless

    I can't help but wonder if Obama Supporters wake up in the middle of the night, having had fitful dreams of Romney taking over the world and ushering in the Apocalypse, and shout "He's lying!" I just picture them in their little footsie Huffpo pajamas in their "Yes We CanĀ®" bedding, their little tin foil hats all askew and dented from their restless night. It's such a cute image.
    "There, there, little Obamakins. It was all in your head. It isn't real. Now go back to sleep and try to have sweet dreams in spite of the wreck Obama has made of his presidency."

    October 4, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Dominicants 4 Nobama

    by "real" you mean the mitt romney that your campaign and the msm has be trying to portray? because the one that showed up last night was the real mitt romney, you just got surprised that he wasn't the one you imagined.

    October 4, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. BDR

    Romney is a flip-flopper. He doesn't know who he is yet, which is a shame for a grown man. It is simply impossible for Romney to do anything he is talking about. On top of that, he gives no details...no specifics. Call it what you want but He is a great BS'er and it's a shame that people are actually falling for it. Yes, he came off as aggressive and trying to set the tone but realize that this is done as a way for it to be a distraction of the uncertainty of his own plans. Please people, be smart about this. The 47% comment is how he truly feels. Have you notice that he is trying to flip that comment now??A flip-flopping, uncertain person is what he is. It will show sooner than later.

    October 4, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. HenkV

    I can understand Ohmama's frustrations: This actually was not Mitt Romney talking: is was George Bush disguised as Mitt, articulate and intelligent. In other words: it is Bushes fault. Again.

    October 4, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    Obama is liberal-lite and debater-lite. In 2008 he could get away with making wild promises, many of which he knew he would break. Now he is just a nice talker. How can you really promise to fix the economy again, and work happily with everyone in DC again, and close Gitmo again, and change the way DC operates again, and stop killing people with our military again,......

    Vote Green Party.

    October 4, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. Ready

    I'm so sick of Obama and his minions making excuses and blaming others for their own short comings. They actually had the nerve to blame the moderator, typical Obama play book. We need a president who has a pair and it's not Obama. The curtain has come down, and the wizard of O has been exposed!!

    October 4, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. Wake up People!

    I agree with Dominican Mama, last night that was the real Romney. Lying through his teeth at the drop of a hat.

    Begging your pardon also Mr. President. It's time for you to realize these people hate you and will do anything to get you out of office. Lie, cheat and steal. It's time you took the gloves off and be the POTUS that we know and love.

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 4, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Gary

    Obama ,you may think the rest of us think this is a big joke. I am working for half of what I was making in 2007 and paying twice as much to get to this new half job and you want to talk about BIG BIRD ! This country needs to stop the BS and get us all back to work with good pay because eating crap and BIRD seed is getting real old just like OBAMA is getting real old to listen to. Give the new guy a chance I can only see things getting worse with OBAMA!

    October 4, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. Tom

    What a joke you are Mr. Obama. That's the best you can come up with, joking about Sesamee Street? You were so outclassed last night without your teleprompters. You rambled on about 30% cuts in medicaid and made no sense. Mr. Romney wants to fix the problems and help get the 23 million jobs again and you have no "comebacks" to your pathetic 4 years in office. You did not keep your promises to cut the debt in half, my health insurance premiums are way up now do to OBAMAcare... Those of you who actually think Obama is honest and trustworthy need to see a physician.

    October 4, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. tr

    Guys.....relax... whoopty doo. Okay, lets give mitt and the team a shiny blue ribbon for their wonderful performance. The Repub nation is so pumped because mittens and the crew just hadn't had a lot to cheer about. It's easy yo br aggressive when you do the absolute opposite from your campaign. So what now....all of you that are sooooooo excited about his win, for once. Enjoy it for now ...it won't last long ...trust me....or mittens Robme.

    October 4, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. jerseydevils76

    That was the REAL Obama who doesn't have an answer to our issues. He doesn't understand the notion of lower taxes = higher tax revenue.

    October 4, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. MrBeenThere

    Obama took notes...... it's hard to debate someone who you have know Idea what he stands for from day to day. But Mitt put it in BOLD in front of the Nation he can't walk back his facts and figures now. I think the Pres. is playing a game of chess with Mitt who only knows how to play checkers. Lets see where this leads......

    October 4, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Thomas

    "Mitt Romney was a star last night. He clearly accomplished everything he needed to and this put him where he needs to be to win this thing."

    I'll give you that he went on offense and it looked good, but don't you at all care that he claimed Obama was a liar based on information he still hasn't released? Tax plan, healthcare reform, jobs plan? 0/3. I get that people are happy that he basically yelled at Obama for an hour, sure he needs a good wake up call.

    But whats wrong with debating factual information?


    I agree with you Thomas . It's very hard to debate a guy who makes stuff up as he goes along . Never committing to what he said yesterday.

    Romney referred to his sons as boys , not young men .. No wonder none of them volunteered for military service , reinstate the draft !

    October 4, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. big joel

    What were you expecting Mr President? I am sure i could have done better at debating the Robot. You realy did disaapoint all of us. Just hoping you and Biden can correct this slip. I expected you to use the debate to end the white house race for Romney but you did not. The GOP base is now energized again.

    October 4, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. rla

    Obama wishes!

    October 4, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. bob

    So why didn't you point those things out last night? I don't agree with the crazy left wingers who think you should have gone for blood, but you do need to make your case if you think he is lying. If you don't call him out on what you think are lies, then they look like truths to all us here in tv land. It's not really rocket science.

    October 4, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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