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. New Yorkers against Trump

    everyone has had a bad night. it takes a humble, honest man to admit it. and Obama is both. unlike that lying, tax cheating, ken doll looking Romney who is trying to flip flop his way to the presidency. Romney stinks.

    October 10, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. Bill R

    yeah, we know you play games. thats why we are where we are.

    October 10, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    Mr. President, please call Gov. Romney out on those contradictions.

    October 10, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Canchange

    Any black person in this country can do a better job as a president than Barack Obama.thanks

    October 10, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. janicewolfe

    Obama has had more than one bad night... he has had FOUR YEARS of them.

    October 10, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Dick Hertz

    He had a bad night. America's been having bad nights for over 3 1/2 years now.

    October 10, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. Engineer

    Mr. President,
    That is alright. You deserve a break, you are human. You have been tested time and time again. It would not surprise me if you had literally no rest since taking office. You heart is in the right place. Take a moment, pause, re-calibrate, and come back strong. I have and will continue to support you. Whether we may know it or not, we all need you.
    Ω

    October 10, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Guest

    "I had a bad night" ...since I was elected! But I'll keep my bs promises if you vote for me again! Ha, ha...yeah right!
    ROMNEY/RYAN 2012

    October 10, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. atlhebrew

    First it was Romney was dishonest the whole time to now I had a bad night. Maybe he should stop spending so much time saying I approve of these smear campaigns and get his issues straight.

    October 10, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. LiberalismRequiresTyranny

    The Libya debacle came about a week after the Dems in Charlotte had celebrated the whoopin' Obraggart was giving Al Qaeda.

    The Al Qaeda attack that killed our Ambassador and 3 other Americans lasted 6 hours. Regardless of the fact the CNN refuses to cover it, it will be remembered as the final sad act of this leaderless and honorless administration. I expect every liberal to happily sacrifice themselves to Dear Leader by defending his behavior, no matter how amateurish. They will go down with his ship.

    The GOP will own all three branches. They'll reap the economic benefits of all this money that was going to be spent after the election anyway. They'll stack the court and repeal ObungleCare.

    Justice.

    October 10, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. WhatDa?

    A bad night? Well, we've had a bad 4 years under you Mr. President and I say that very loosely.

    October 10, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. isolate

    Hold on, I've lost track. Which side is he on now?

    October 10, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. erin

    We understand that Obama has to run the country, contrary to Romney who can use 100% of his time to get groomed for the debates, but we don't want more blunders like the one in Denver. It was as if Obama's brain was asleep while Romney turned a half democrat pronouncing his love and approval for....regulations, health insurance and similar lies.

    October 10, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. Philip

    A bad night? But you knew that you came to debate! I am a supporter, but I have been sick attempting to figure out the mindset that you and your advisers went into this debate with?

    You are the captain of your fate. Do not listen to your young brilliant advisors. Talk to your dauthers and tell them in language that the understand what it is that you set out to do.

    Stop being so self assured and state what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Being is fine, but being real is better.

    Using basketball terms, take the shoot, when you are open!

    October 10, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. Kevin

    I am glad Mr. Obama finally came out and conceded publicly that he "had a bad night". The first step to overcoming a problem is admitting one exists. NOW I have more faith the President will not make the same mistakes in the next debate. Four words Mr. Obama : "eye of the tiger"!! Watch Rocky III several times prior to the next debate. (Ha!)

    October 10, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. bill

    I don't like either. but Obama is the lesser poison. voting Obama. Hopefully in 4 years we'll have better choices.

    October 10, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  17. shedrick cain jr

    Obama knows what he is doing,stay the course

    October 10, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Jo

    Planned Parenthood seriously has some issues. I don't see how it can pay for expensive political ads for one candidate when it demands so much money from the overall American public through taxes. Also it has very shady practices. I think there might be some good services that PP does, but compared to its abortion-promoting services that also have been somewhat questionable, it's extremely small.

    October 10, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. QS

    You spoke the truth, told people how things are, explained the things your administration has done to improve the country and you did it all while maintaining a presidential demeanor.

    Romney told lies, danced around the truth, made things up and denied positions of his own that have been long-confirmed and he did it all while appearing to be smug, arrogant, patronizing and condescending.

    When debates are no longer about substance and are instead judged based on body language and "zingers", it makes sense that people say Romney won this debate.

    October 10, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. Kathy Mills

    Go Obama! Go Obama ! call Romney out on all his lies. As the saying goes Romney can"t handle the truth nor does he even know what he stands for. Wake up America. Vote Obama, for yourself, for your parents and your children. Romney flip flops so much it is dangerous! Romney's mouth will get the USA in trouble around the world!

    October 10, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. Harry

    Ready for round 2?

    October 10, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. Independent Voter Who voted for Obama

    Bad Debate? Mr president, you have had a bad 4 years.

    October 10, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Alex

    At least he didn't blame Bush for this awful debacle, no teleprompter and no record, what else do you expect...

    October 10, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. el rob o

    Enough with the excuses. Like your failed economy, the failed foreign policy, the failed presidency, enough already. My kids don't whine nearly as much as you do. You got beat, suck it up!

    The only ones to buy into your excuses are CNN.com and MSNBC. The rest of us see through you.

    October 10, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  25. Jeremy Clarkson

    It is clear what one is when faced with a respectful opponent, isn't it! Mr.Romney has obviously spent days in heavy business meetings. He knows the facts. This takes years of experience to master.

    October 10, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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