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. yellowbird

    good thing he didnt have access to red buttons on his bad night

    October 10, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Mike500

    A more honest appraisal: "I was lazy and arrogant, didn't prepare, and thought that since everyone loves me, no one would notice"

    October 10, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. DrPaul

    You had a bad night!?! You had a bad first term!!

    October 10, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. Pepou

    He had a bad night but will have a wonderful one on November 6th! Obama 2012.

    October 10, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  5. Beezy

    more like a bad 3 and a half years

    October 10, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Joy

    Why can't those who want an abortion pay for it? Why does the government have to have anything to say about it? Why do we want the government to fund it? I am surprised that this is still a debate?

    October 10, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. Theresa

    Obama better show up at the next debate.

    October 10, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  8. Brian

    He'll be saying that again on November 7th.

    October 10, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. Peggy Grace

    Maybe he don't want the job anymore

    October 10, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  10. Triple A

    The State Department has come on line today, over a month later admitting the had recieved cables from Stevens about his fear of violence in Libya and the fact that they denied his requests for more security. Obama has outright lied to America about what went down that day. Their only concern was covering everything up to save their own skin. Every day that goes by only convincing me more that Romney even with his faults is by far far a better choice to lead America. As far as I am concerned Obama is anti America and any one that supports him is the same. The Liberals can call me every name they have (and they have so many for fellow Americans that do not think like them) and it will not sway me from my convictions to Vote R & R this election. Obama is disfucntional and he has surrounded himself with people that hate America and want to change the foundation America was built on.

    October 10, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. Hollie

    At some point, everybody has a bad night when they need one the least. He's human. It's part of what I like about him.

    October 10, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. freddie nerk

    Romney is a phoney as well as a tax avoiding, draft dodging, job killing bigoted cult leader unfir for the White House

    October 10, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. SBM

    HE had a bad night and I'VE HAD A BAD 4 F O U R Y E A R S

    October 10, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. Mciver3

    Obama still has to blame his bad debate performance on Romney. Obama has been lying for 4 years but mainstream media has been covering his tail all this time.

    October 10, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. bill davis

    Make my day, another one is on the way.. said Clint and empty chair...

    How did Eastwood know Obo was like an empty chair...

    October 10, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. Will

    Romney have been in politics since the 90s and he still dnt know were he stands. Obama, have made progress and he's done a good job due to congress. if they work with him we can get things done. instead the repubilicans ojective is to make him a one term president. maybe we need 2 vote congress out. if theyre not concern about the people. wake up people.

    October 10, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. Travis B

    At least he is being honest about his performance as opposed to his opponent who can just candidly lie to everyone through that fake smile that he now cares about even the 47 percent.

    October 10, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. Liberal Nutjob

    Every good red blooded American hopes Obama has a bad night on Nov 6 too.

    October 10, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. wassupUSA

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

    October 10, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. All Aboard the Comeback Train

    It only took him a week of excuses before he finally admitted it.

    October 10, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. KBNJ

    LOL, earlier today CNN had a headline with Obama claiming he was "too polite". Yea right, that explains the extra 4 minutes he talked over the "moderator", huh? At least this headline is honest. It'd be even more honest if he said he had a bad 3-1/2 years.

    October 10, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. Dele from MA

    I was watching Erin Burnett today and as they show Obama and Romney entering the stage, Romney took a folded paper out of his pocket onto the podium. Weren't they suppose not to have any written information with them as they come onto the stage? That was cheating. Big time cheating.

    October 10, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  23. MartiM, TX

    Sorry, with what is at stake here, you don't get to have a "bad night."

    October 10, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    The Shape-shifter, Robme, himself!! How do you debate that kind of animal?

    October 10, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Rob

    Yeah, it's called a NIGHTMARE Obama...and it's gonna get worse for you tonight. Lets see what the trolls in the CNN basement have to say in response.

    October 10, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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