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. TR711

    Did Obama really say that? Wow...wow...wow...that just confirms how out of touch he is with reality. He needs to take his liberal/socialist agenda and realize that real hard working tax paying Americans have had enough. He was flat but his real problem was that we finally saw the real Mitt Romney and not the one portrayed by the liberals in their attack ads and also the liberal media version. It was the real Mitt Romney and the real Obama on that stage last night and nobody except for the most hard core supporters thought Obama won. This debate will be rembered in history as the turning point that lead up to Romney's win in November.

    October 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. scarf

    I was going to vote for Obama, but I've changed my mind and decided to vote for Romney. Last night, Romney promised no tax cuts for the wealthy, promised to replace Obamacare with Romneycare, and pushed Simpson-Bowles, which is a balanced way of dealing with the deficit that INCLUDES TAX INCREASES! Romney finally has disavowed all those reprehensible positions he's been flip-flopping about with for the last six years, and now supports the positions Obama has had for years.

    October 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. Fortinbras

    Revenue neutral, my foot! His idea of making up a 7 trillion dollar gap is by cutting spending to public broadcasting. That leaves 6.99999999999999 trillion dallars in deficit.

    October 4, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. trupat


    Do not be fooled voters. Romney, as is normal for this hack, lied throughout the debate. LIED. You want a liar who will not provide his tax returns to the American public, who puts his money in offshore accounts


    Well, if Romney is lying, I wonder would like to know what you would call what Obama does on an hourly basis.

    October 4, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. AnAmericanWHocares

    Here's what the President did do and none of you can debate this as fact

    1. He ended a long bloody pointless war in Iraq ,, the republicans including MItt did not intend to end ..saving trillions of dollars that it would have kept costing us
    2. He made it so it was affordable again to get a education ,,so kids and families could afford to be able to college , by inccreasing the pell grant to 5,600 dollars. And if you are against education , well you are in the wrong country buddy.
    3. He has actively had a continued policy started by Bush of hunting down and killing terrorists including the one old George could never catch Osama Bin Laden.

    Now you debate these three facts nothing else ......because they are pretty dam big accomplishments ...but I know you Romnatons will just change the subject or come up with some unrelated counter argument , or just get on here and lie like your precious Mitt does. LOL I bet hardly any of you make over 200 thousand dollars net , but yet Mitt says that's what he thinks the middle class is all about.

    October 4, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Mike in SA

    Wheee...Free spinning classes now being opered by Obama and the DNC.

    October 4, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Lawrence R Daglieri

    its not over till the fat lady sings,now where does mitt go,how are you going to do the things you say you are going to change,lets get real,where were you in 2008 remember what he came into,anyone with any kind of smarts,knows who to vote for,voter beware! vote Obama.

    October 4, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. WiredWrong, S.F.

    Joe Biden: "Obama said he got game, I didn't realized he was only talking about golf and basketball."

    October 4, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. PD77

    Yes, The real Mitt Romney, did show up. He is Mitt the lair, he lied about everything!!

    October 4, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. nora

    For those who support Romney: do believ in facts? You know, things like this - the Earth revolves around the sun, and around its own axis, human body is aprox 90% water etc. Because if you believe in facts, you cannot say Romney won. He said ONLY lies – his 5 billion tax cuts, the 716 "cuts" to Medicare, you name it!

    October 4, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. SuperD

    More excuses here for Obama. Did it ever occur to you that maybe he's not all he's claimed to be?

    It is true, without the media to protect him, to filter, and attack Romney with Dem talking points as actual news, he showed his true self.

    Obama is so sick of being President, you could tell it in his eyes. Do him a favor, vote for Romney for goodness sakes and let Obama have his much deserved rest.

    October 4, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    Funny reading all the comments form the right-wing filth. You all come running out into daylight as if someone overturned your dumpster. Romney is still going to lose, because of his lack of specifics, as well as being a serial liar. The reality is, is that Obama is getting re-elected, Hillary Clinton will run in 2016, win, and serve two terms, then in 2024, the nation will elect its first Hispanic president, who will undoubtedly be a Democrat, and he or she will serve two terms. By 2032, the GOP will be extinct, or they will have disavowed their extreme right-wing, and moved back to the center. What true American patriots like myself believe, is conservatism is a disease, and the sooner conservative ideology and its supporters are extinct, the better.

    October 4, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Brittany

    I was pleasantly surprised at how well the debate went on Romney's end. He clearly has passion for America and its core values, and it showed. Obama looked uncomfortable and confused half the time.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with two specific things Romney discussed: cutting programs and education reform. If we want real change in America, we are going to have to gut it out and do it the right way, instead of continuing to put more and more billions of dollars into the countless red-tape bureaucratic programs. As for schools - clearly we are struggling with priorities when rich school districts with good test scores get all the federal funding while impoverished, urban, leaky-ceiling schools are getting nothing due to poor scores.

    October 4, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Brian

    Obama had nothing to gain and everything to lose in the debate last nite. His record is there to be discussed, so it was real easy for a prepared Romney to go in there, dissect it, and tear it apart. That's the easy part, and Romney did just that. The hard part is laying out the plan, adding specifics and timelines. Romney didn't do that. Again, he went into generalities. He didn't offer specifics. And when he did, Obama consistently called him out on it. Romney won the debate, yes. But he didn't budge an inch regarding the closeness to the Presidency. Just look back on what he said regarding leading by principals, like Reagan ran on. You know, lowering taxes and the debt. But, history proves that neither ever happened under Reagan. So how can you run on principals? We need specifics. We need examples. And he's failed to deliver.

    October 4, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Amom

    Typical Obama. Can't take responsibility for his poor performance so blame it on the other guy who "did not show up".

    October 4, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. RapidOne

    Hmm so Romney tells lies and puts on a 'SHOW' and people buy it? That's pathetic.

    October 4, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Dennis

    Obama should have called Romney what he is, a liar. Romney claimed federal deficit doubled while Obama was in office, in fact it has decreased. In meaningful terms from 10% of GDP to 7% of GDP. In fact Federal spending under Obama has actually decreased. Apparently Romney believes what his sons believe, that if you tell a lie long enough and loud enough, it will somehow become the accepted truth.
    Romney/Ryan plan is one that will shortchange Medicare coverage for all those under 55.
    Bowles-Simpson was not buried, by Obama, but it was buried by Ryan who was on the commission who wrote, but he failed so support it because it had those dirty words, raise taxes, as part of deficit reduction.
    Obama simply was not aggressive enough. After the fact-checkers get done with dissecting this debate, Obama will be free to say to Romney next time "There you go again with another lie."

    October 4, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. hahahaha

    Last night you got to finally meet the real Obama. Stumbler in Cheif.

    October 4, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Deesnutz

    Pathetic, that's your excuse for losing the debate last night?! Just admit your scared to death of the next debates, you got no chance.

    October 4, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |

    Whatever. My early vote for our great President Obama will be in by noon Thursday Oct 11. Mitt the twit is not qualified to be President.

    October 4, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. trupat


    Which Mitt???

    Now we see 'ANOTHER' Mitt...All along we've been asking the question 'WHICH MITT'? Now we have many more reasons to continue asking this question...The ETCH-A-SKETCH Mitt is certainly showing his true colors as a 'FLIP-FlOPPER on ALL the issues, simply saying 'ANYTHING' to get elected. We the people know him too well. DON'T WE???


    Sounds familiar.... I seem to recall that there was a candidate in the 2008 race who ran on "Hope and Change" and "Yes, we can".

    October 4, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. DD2

    No, that was Romney and the soon to be President.

    October 4, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Romney is two-faced

    Romney is saying what he thinks people want to hear. If heaven forbid this man wins he will find a way to "exterminate" the 47% by cutting off access to health care and other life essentials. He is all for the wealthy make no mistake about it.

    October 4, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. regina

    Right now, David Axelrod is asking a crying Barack Obama: "Show me on the doll where the bad man touched you."

    October 4, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. nick287

    Can't wait for the 2nd debate! I enjoyed the first one :). However has a decent IQ can now see what a "leader" Obama is.

    October 4, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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