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. f. allen

    abortion is a sin against humanity and jehovah.no good government or good leader should welcome abortion.Romney position is right.

    October 10, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Canchange

    Keep saying diferent thinks of what happens to you?? Nothing happen only you hear front Mitt all the true, what you don't want to hear, it badest you; it was good for the American people knows the true.

    October 10, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. Don

    At least your's was only one bad night. The American people have had a bad four years.

    October 10, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. B

    Obama had a bad 4years. Next.

    October 10, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Jon Samuel

    Obama "I had a bad four years because of Bush ... but reelect me so I can continue messing up the American economy"

    October 10, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. cloudy in alaska

    The POTUS should be on top of his game all the time, not just part time.

    October 10, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  7. jungleboo

    I would like someone to explain to me how a debate has a "winner"? Elections have winners. Polls have leading figures. Debates provide information to an audience. What goofball started this "winner" concept after a debate closes?? If people are asked whether they have been persuaded by one or the other candidate during the debate, that question qualifies as a poll. Nobody WINS a debate. It's not about winning. It's about informing the audience about the issues. Period.

    October 10, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Daniel

    Anyone can have a bad night. Obama 2012!

    October 10, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Canchange

    When I was a little boy, if I win to my friend I hear all excuses! Obama do the same! Thanks

    October 10, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Obama on debate: 'I had a bad night'◄
    I guess you did – what a bummer; you need to come out with all of your might
    and send Romney back to one of his rich homes- call him the LIAR that he is to his face
    NO ONE will fault you for it because we ALL SEE IT; but it has to be YOU to put him in his place!!!

    Come on President Obama – We're out here knocking on doors for you and you're supposed to thank us by giving the final "KNOCK OUT!!!"

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The ONLY Trusted Way Forward!!!

    October 10, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. Chick-a-dee

    The president has the responsibility of making decisions for the defense of the entire nation. He has 1 ally (Israel) hounding us for commitment so they can start a war with Iran. we still have troops deployed in Iraq & Afganistan. Our embassies need reinforced defense all over the middle east. Another ally (Turkey), one we have sworn to defend under the terms of NATO, is shelling Syria. I bet Obama was in security meetings all night & dead tired @ the debate.

    October 10, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. ctguy

    Obama had a bad night, well I've had a bad four years under his Admin.

    October 10, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. Tony

    Mr. President, those things- the 47% tape, Bain Capital– may not be game changers, but you still need to raise them. They are relevant because they speak to Romney's character. Mention them, and let Romney defend himself. You know it by now, but sometimes Romney does things that are just rude. For example, Romney talked about meeting the SEAL who was killed in the Libya consulate attack at a party, before he went to Libya. That was fine, except Romney did not even ask the grieving family first before talking about his meeting with the SEAL. It is common human courtesy and decency that you don't invade the privacy of a grieving family. It does not matter what the family's political leaning is. Even if they are your supporters, you need to ask first. Somehow that escaped Romney and his campaign staff. Are they really that out of touch?

    October 10, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Mary Broussard

    President Obama you are protected by the blood of the LAMB JESUS CHRIST. Do not fear. You are our President now and on November 6th. Winners always win.

    October 10, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Jamieska

    You mean, " I've had a very bad four years"

    October 10, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. MajorRumpRoaster

    "I had a bad night" "because they didn't allow me to bring in my teleprompter..

    October 10, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  17. Moses Lane

    He had one bad night, we had four years... Enjoy your final days at the WH

    October 10, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. rrd

    I thought Obama said earlier he was too polite, now he's saying he had a bad night? The debate was a week ago. I wounder when he'll get over it and starting talking about what he's going to do if he's elected.

    October 10, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    October 10, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. gloria de silva

    Pres, Obama might had a bad night... but no one can you compare the 47% speech that NIGHT, unless you are RICH!!!

    October 10, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. Mike Miller

    Really American choose a president off a debate? Mitt flip flop on every subject ,I have never seem a person change so much basically he just telling the American people what they want to hear and when he in office there nothing you can do. I wonder if Obama was white would this many people be trying to get him out of office.
    There a reason why Mitt has never made it to this level for the last five years, no one trusts him. and why would a president keep millions in a off shore account , and not in the good old US and help the economy. It all about making money , the only reason why he doing this is because this is something to add to the resume not because he cares

    October 10, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. saftgek

    The people who continue to support the Romney/Ryan ticket demonstrate profound absence of objectivity. Very sad. If there was objective thought, the ticket would be in the cellar of an outdoor toilet.

    October 10, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. OSILAMA ABU FROM TORONTO,ONTARIO

    Hey Mr President,not to worry- Mr Romneys lies will only last till 9pm thursday 11th Oct 2012 and by the time Biden is finished with his puppet Paul Ryan-You can now finish Romney OFF, next week and thereafter for a landslide election victory.

    October 10, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. Yellow Bird

    It appears to me you don't want the job. If not why haven't you say so? So, the Dems might have another Dem to run. Don't just try to find an excuse. Do something????

    October 10, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. No

    Abraham Lincoln had a bad night. You were embarrassing.

    October 10, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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