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. Edward

    No, it wasn't a bad night. You let the entire free world down. What happened to you? What happened to the hope and change? I am sorely disappointed in your Mr. President. If you give this election to Romney, it is inexcusable and shameful. Yes, shameful.

    October 10, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Adam Ryan Spears

    President Obama said he "had a bad night". Not only was his night bad, bit long...4 yrs. long. He's had a bad, long night.

    October 10, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. JohnnyU

    Had a bad night, comon man "YOU CAN"T FIX STUPID"

    October 10, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. Spock500

    Well, Mr. President, why don't you do something about it [Romney] and show up to the next debate?

    October 10, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. Brew

    Had a bad night? Geeze, an hour ago it was an article of you saying you were too nice. Each time I check the news it's a new excuse.

    October 10, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. OggieBoogie

    Let me help you there, bud.

    Correction: "I have had a bad presidency."

    There, that's more accurate.

    October 10, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. bill Fitzgerald

    No Mr. O, You have had 365 bad nghts for he past four years and you were crushed by Romney. He is way ahead of you in itellect and common sense. You fumbled all the way through the debate

    October 10, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  8. step andclihk

    what a freaking butt head.....ummm, maybe the country will believe this lie also.

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

    Bad Night? Our Country has had a bad 4 years. This guys an idiot and his debate performance showed it.

    October 10, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Smarterest Human

    This is the first time we have seen this headline. That says a lot about our expectations of Obama.

    October 10, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. boomer696

    I see a 2nd and 3rd bad night in my crystal ball for you

    October 10, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. boomer696

    Also, I wish CNN and MSNBC would stop calling a post-debate swing a 'bounce'. Stop that jargon. It's not a bounce if it permanently swings in Romney's favor. Get over your buzz words losers.

    October 10, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. SugarKube

    It's Bush's fault.

    October 10, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. bob

    Obama is a joke. He is a fraud hiding behind a good speech and smile. Wake up America! Romney isn't a knight & shining armour to the economy and America's thousands of other problems, but its got to be an improvement from where we are...the bottom!

    October 10, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. Simon

    Me too man, can we have a do over. I mean can you help me with the bail.

    October 10, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. Larry

    What a bunch a bunk ABC give Obama free air time and then leads and slants the questions for Obama and against Romney. They are not news they are liberal press pursuing their agenda to get this clown re-elected. Why not ask him about his details , he has none. Why does the press give this guy a 90%-100% free pass? News used to be unbiassed and a way to have checks and balance. ABC NBS and yes you CNN have moved away from protecting society from fraud to being the biggest leader of fraud themselves.

    October 10, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. Draxta

    Obumbler has has a bad 4 years. Talk about a man in denial.

    October 10, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  18. mk

    Romney is a very good actor and confident lier. He is the one who said that 47% of us who do not pay taxes. It is very clear that he is going to throw middle class under the bus. He is rich and he won't care for us. As an independent voter, I see a clear choice and I don't judge somebody just by one debate. Where is his honesty? He also doesn't care about women's choice. Obama has done lots of good work.

    October 10, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. evensteven

    How can we trust a person such as Mitt Romney when he changes his direction more frequently than a traffic light.

    October 10, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. hansbronson

    sucks not having your teleprompter, doesn't it.

    October 10, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. The Dude.Abides

    Is that Obama's excuse for a failure of a first term? I had a bad night?

    October 10, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  22. Dan

    Bad night, only one night?

    October 10, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    You got two debates–USA is watching for you to excell. Good luck. Do not let those idiots lie. If you smell lies, cut them out right. God is in your side.

    October 10, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. clarinet

    Time for BO & CO to pack it up. As helpful concerned Americans let's all mail the White House an empty cardboard box to put his stuff in. Just mailed one. How about you?

    October 10, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  25. robert

    NO TELEPROMPTER = A bad day for Obama.

    October 10, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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