October 10th, 2012
05:51 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama on debate: 'I had a bad night'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama conceded in an interview Wednesday his first faceoff with Mitt Romney last week in Denver was a "bad night" for him, but maintained his performance at the debate didn't alter the state of the presidential race.

"Gov. Romney had a good night," Obama said in a sit down with ABC News. "I had a bad night."

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"It's not the first time I've had a bad night," he continued.

Following last week's matchup in Denver, most observers named Romney the clear winner, saying Obama seemed unenthusiastic. Many of Obama's supporters wondered why he didn't raise some contentious campaign issues, including Romney's remarks on the 47% of Americans reliant on government support, or his time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded.

Obama said in Wednesday's interview those omissions from the first debate would not be game changers come November.

"What's important is the fundamentals of what this race is about haven't changed," Obama said. "Gov. Romney went to a lot of trouble to try to hide what his positions are."

"One thing, maybe this is because I played a lot of sports when I was a kid and still do, if you have a bad game, you just move on," the president continued. "You look forward to the next one. And it makes you that much more determined. The difference between this and sports is that the stakes are so high."

One of those high stakes is abortion, which became an issue on the campaign trail Wednesday after Romney said in an interview with the Des Moines Register he was not aware of any abortion legislation that would become part of his presidential agenda.

Obama said that remark was "another example of Gov. Romney hiding positions he's been campaigning on for a year and a half."

"He thinks that it is appropriate for politicians to inject themselves into those decisions," Obama said of Romney's position on abortion.

During the primary campaign, Romney maintained he would support efforts to remove funding for Planned Parenthood, a women's health clinic that provides abortion services. Several House Republicans have introduced legislation that would strip funding from the group.

On Wednesday, Romney said he would support removing the group's funding through the federal budget, which must be passed by Congress.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (310 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    ya think?

    October 10, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. Leede

    Stick your chin out there unprotected again for the next two debates and help us turn around the country.

    October 10, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Lisa P

    Last Thursday night President Obama tried to reason with a man who was only interested in repeating his campaign talking points as many times as he could in a 90 minute "debate." I don't blame President Obama for trying, but I'm glad to hear that he is reconsidering his tactics for the next debate. Though I hope he keeps his fundamental politeness, his honest, thoughtful responses, and his very subtle, very wicked sense of humor (which seems to have totally escaped the insta-pundits in their rush to declare a winner).

    October 10, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Borderless

    Yes he did. It capped off a bad four years.

    October 10, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. Thaw

    Just make sure that you really get that two faced lying flip flop Romney at the next Debate Obama. Romney has many faces ; make all of them known as they really are.!!!! He should never ever be President of the USA.

    October 10, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Can't wait for Mittens to jump on this one...lemme see...ahem ahem *clears throat and dons smarmy smirk*..."when you're president, you don't get to have "bad nights.""

    Ok, so, pre-emptively, please explain all of Mittens' bad nights on the campaign trail so far. If you think he hasn't had any, then you need to remoev your head from your hiney so you don;'t miss the next one...it's coming real soon.

    October 10, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. West Coast

    Bad night? More like a bad 4 years?

    October 10, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Yes, it was a bad night but now you need to wake up for the next debate and please, please DNC run ads of the twit debating himself.
    In 1994 and 2002 he was for pro choice now he isn't. He is talking about China jobs when he has sent American jobs to China.
    This man has been for or against everything and anything. USE IT!!! DARN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    His delivery wasn't the problem. What he has been delivering is the issue. Seriously, Obama/ Biden 2012 has built it's campaign not around issues or plans or accomplishments. It has been built around personal attacks on Mitt Romney. They don't play well on live TV, not when he is standing up to answer to them.

    October 10, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    Yes, you did but your supporters are STILL firmly behind you (notice the crowd the next day)? Unlike Willard, who has finally become the bride after years of being the bridesmaid and an ugly one at that.

    Words of advice: move past this and concentrate on giving the performance of your life next time around.

    Go President Obama and VP Biden!

    October 10, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. Name Lazarus

    Well I guess Gov Romney won on style, pure rhetorics and acting while President Obama simply lay out the fundamentals substantuating the administration's policy initiatives, but without much fanfare. To put it in context, the Republican candidate has had six years running for public office, practicing his debating skills yet still cannot give specifics on his key policies.

    October 10, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. lil

    Its okay. Just remember you are fighting for the less of these who cant fight for themselves. Just call Romney what he is. We want get mad.

    October 10, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. CanadaONE

    hard to argue with a liar

    Canadian media counted his false claimes in the last debate – came up with 67 lies or change in Romney policy from previous statements

    he lies like a rug – Obama step all over him

    October 10, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. 1crusader

    Yes, Mr. President: You were TOO polite.We don't want you to be nasty, but we just want you to turn to Mitt Romney and say, "Governor, respectfully, everyone knows that that wasn't your position yesterday, or even this morning, on pre-existing conditions, tax cuts, education,teachers,abortion, nor any other issue.

    October 10, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. john s.

    Sore loser?

    How many excuses can he come up with? You lost, suck it up, try harder next time.

    Stop making stupid excuses cause it makes you desperate.

    October 10, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. rae sunners

    He;s such a lying crybaby and a sore loser and a whiny a–. He was probably thinking about how great he was and checking that mirror to admire himself and – well darn- he just lost track of the whole debate. Bad night? How about a bad four years. ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. jbq

    well at least he admit it!

    October 10, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. bb

    Obama lost because he thought he was running against Bush (though he probably would have lost to him too). I don't think he even realizes he has been president for almost 4 years or that it has been his policies for the last 4 years that have kept the economy from fully recovering. Just keep blaming someone else, that's the Obama platform.

    October 10, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. KarenFaye

    Bad Night???? The U.S. has had a bad 4 years – and he whines about a night????? Bullhockey - inept is inept -and there's no hiding it. Without the shields of the media, his teleprompter and prewritten words, he's totally clueless. All this man understands is name calling, backbiting, lying and being dishonest with America.

    October 10, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. Larry L

    A lot of politicians could stand a little more civility and less arrogance. Still, it's time for the "nut-cutting" now and it's time to call Romney out for his lies, distortions, and complete lack of specificity in his outrageous promises. Republicans have worked hard to obstruct economic progress and should not be rewarded for dishonesty!

    October 10, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  21. tampajoey

    Obama on presidency... "I've had a bad 4 years"

    October 10, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. *

    What's important is the fundamentals of what this race is about haven't changed," Obama said. "Gov. Romney went to a lot of trouble to try to hide what his positions are."

    Yes, he did. And you let him get away with it, almost entirely unchallenged. This most definitely has had an impact on the race, have you looked at the polls lately? Millions of low information voters listened to Romney stand there and lie, and took him at his word because you stood there and said nothing.

    October 10, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. wally eye

    so I guess obama also will claim he had a 'bad night' over his foreign policy that resulted in the death of 4 Americans and 2 weeks of lies when his administration blamed it on a lousy youtube video.

    October 10, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. CDM

    A bad night??? More like a bad four years.

    October 10, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Scott, CA

    captain obvious has landed

    October 10, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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