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. MadaminAlabama

    I don't believe the polls have shifted that much over one debate. In fact the next day over 30,000 people showed up at his rally. Everybody I know who was for the President is still with him. The polls can say whatever you want them to say. The republicans believe the polls when they're in their favor but not when they favor the democrats. Just like the jobs numbers, they like it when they are bad. It's time to move on from this debate and focus on the issues, the way Romney keeps changing his positions. I think his shift in positions for the debate was strategically planned because he knew the President would call him out on them. I think the President should have been more engaging and called Romney out on the issues. I thought Romney was rude and arrogant to the President and the moderator. The media keeps driving the conversation with all these polls. They keep saying the Repubs are more enthusiastic than the Dems. That's not true. I see very enthusiastic dems all over the place at these rallies. November 6 is what really counts! Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 10, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  2. more2bits

    Americans have had a bad 4-year period starting with his inauguration.....$6 trillion over spent without a thought where the money was coming from was not only bad karma but bad business.

    October 10, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  3. Margeaux

    Seriously man. Quit with the excuses. Right now you are being challenged by a total meron. That shows how poorly you are doing when a guy who is an out and out liar, a non supporter of women's rights and a religious nutjob is running you neck and neck.

    October 10, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  4. Jerry

    ...Try a bad three and a half years...

    October 10, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  5. Lone Ranger

    So President Obama had a bad night. Well whoopty doo. The American people have been having a bad night every night since you became President.

    October 10, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  6. Socrates

    Really? You are the president and you couldn't say anything to stop the lies of Romney? The guy swept the floor with you and you have a bad night. Grow up.

    October 10, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  7. chauncy

    Soo, stop talking about it, nothing is more degrading. Also, your big bird comments are tiresome, time to move on.

    October 10, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  8. 22

    How many times is Romney going to 'clarify his position ' on every issue? He's not a man of conviction.You can't change your mind on issues every other day!Someone who won't stand up for something is sure to sit for anything.What kind of president will he be? A scary one for sure.

    October 10, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  9. C

    He is off to a good start admitting a bad night, now all he has to do is admit he had a bad 4 years and get the f out of the Whitehouse.

    October 10, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  10. Omni

    Mitt is lying and flip flopping on everything and his supporters love him for it. He lied 30 times in 30 minutes during the debate. Obama wouldn't have been able to say anything about his plans because he would have had to keep calling him out all night. Even though he lied his way through the debate he got a bounce in the polls? This is incredible! America is doomed.

    October 10, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  11. truth hurts

    Yeah... to go along with the bad 4 years. Start packing. We can't afford another 4 years of your insanity and incompetence.

    October 11, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  12. charli

    LOL Thats a understatement, he got a good old fashion Whopping, Sadly it led to 12 point swing in the polls and probably made him a one term President..

    October 11, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  13. alien

    Romneys a magpie can't remember from one day to the next what he had said, so I believe we all will see a different Mr. Romney this next debate amnesia and all.

    October 11, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Gosh, when the current POTUS is faced with a global crisis, let's all hope he is not having a "bad night". Gov Romney will stand up and be the true leader we need in a crisis.

    October 11, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  15. OHOHOZO

    Mr. Obama: please stop barking and blaming, get real and go to work otherwise we wi;; kick you out Wh sooner.

    October 11, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  16. hot air warrior

    Romney looked and sounded so bad at his convention that the improvement he showed in the debate made it seem like he won. Obama was consistent and steady. Romney did a massive flip flop that night and I thought that made him actually look foolish.

    October 11, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. Todd P.

    The next debate type (town hall meeting) should help Obama, according to his supporters. The problem is, he still has to answer questions. If the President continues with the "um", "uh", etc. stuttering answers, and Romney is detailed and concise again, the race will be over. The third debate will be unwatched and irrelevant. The MSM/press has been raising everyone's expectations that Obama will be "on" or stellar this time around. If Obama looks inferior to Romney next week, he might as well go home and pack his belongings......

    October 11, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  18. California

    You had a bad night because you could not only NOT defend your pathetic economic poicies and you have NO ideas for the future.

    ROMNEY / RYAN 2012

    October 11, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  19. jeremy

    Less government. Well...except in the case of abortion. Republicans care so much about a fetus bit once it is out of the mother...its on its own. Don't kill baby jeebus! Noes!

    October 11, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  20. republicans and democrats are pathetic retaardz

    Romney is pathetic

    October 11, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  21. joe

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    October 11, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  22. Jeff H

    Wake up, man! Call him out. The GOP pretty much acts like the Soviet Union at this point. Lie, lie , lie. And for you trivial people, I mention Soviet Union completely intentionally. Been there. Done that. Lying comes easy and they don't even think they're doing it. GOP = Soviet insanity.

    October 11, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  23. Shanghai

    Had a bad Presidency too.

    October 11, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  24. lagnafe

    Try four years of bad nights.......

    October 11, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  25. Dan

    You've had a bad term.

    October 11, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
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