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. RichardS

    Conceding what was obvious to everyone. There are two more to go that he can dig a deeper hole to take him down a little futher. He has no record to be proud of.

    October 10, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. Endalk

    We r confident we will have a good night on November 6. Forward!!

    October 10, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. m.z netty

    president Obama looked tired, mitt romney stood there running off like his mouth lying like a dog disrespecting the president, talking about what all he,s gonna do obama has done good from where we came from, he even talked about the pipeine from texas to alaska he really did,nt give mr obama a chance the little the president said was truth congress blocked everything he tryed to do romney is a liar!

    October 10, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. Laughable POTUS

    Last Week: " It is hard to debate a liar "
    This Morning: " I was too polite "
    This Evening: : " had a bad night "
    Next Week: " The room was too hot "
    Hopefully by election: "Let's be honest ... I have no good ideas even after four years "

    October 10, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  5. ben

    we had bad night during 4 years......

    October 10, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. eojsmada

    You had a bad four years. Its hard to have a debate on issues, when you don't have a leg to stand on. Obama has been avoiding the issues for the last four years, because of his "standing" with the media, and now has to live up to his horrible record. The voters are starting to realize that you don't get a free pass on four years of THEIR life, while Obama gets to vacation and play golf for 1/4 of his term. It's going to be extremely hard for him to avoid talking about his record, in the debates, so just get used to the next 2 debates being more of the same.

    October 10, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. jan

    this is funny, I had a bad night, my tooth hurts, the day is too long, Axlerod is mad at me, Michele wont talk to me, its Bush's fault, too funny

    October 10, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. cami100k

    Sometimes I think Obama wants to lose this election. Talk about flip flopping, lying, changing positions, trying to use influence to stack the deck even further and mismanagement etc, etc....sheesh Obama and his team of bumblers have cornered the market on them all. I'm sure his campaign will completely contradict him again tomorrow.

    October 10, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. bengalskuta82

    As an Independent, I have to say that out of the two candidates, I trust Mitt Romney more when it comes to handling the economy. I made up my mind last debate and I will vote for Romney.Obama looked lost because he didn't have his teleprompter with him.He really got exposed by Romney.I voted for him last time but NOT this time

    October 10, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. Harry Golos

    The President of The United States of America regardless of political lean cannot afford to have 1 "bad" day or night. It's 4 yrs of being on top of your game. Where's it been for the last 3 yrs and 264 days??

    October 10, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. The Truth Hurts

    What we saw was Obama without a teleprompter. He cant run on the debt, unemployment, domestic policy, foreign policy, cost of living, anything. But he will attempt to divide by race, income, age etc.

    October 10, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. The Truth Hurts

    Obama is the best thing to ever happen to this country

    October 10, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. The Truth Hurts

    Romney is the best thing to ever happen to this country

    October 10, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Intelligentbeauty83

    One bad night shouldn't decide our presidents capability in running our country after all it is Obama who has deacreased unemployment rate his first term in office he has jumps tart the economy despite the mess his republican predecessor dumped in his lap upon taking office for the mess he has had to endure as president of the u.s I feel one bad might should not determine his capabilities to carry the u.s. another term

    October 10, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. Melo-D

    You get one Obama, luckily it was the first one. One more like that and you're probably toast. Having said that, debating Romney can't be that hard you have soooooo much material to work with. The hard part should be picking which Romney flip-flop and double talk you plan on calling out. I know there's a lot to pick from. I bet even gaffe master Biden can flip the tables on Ryan. Wouldn't that be something, Biden actually helping the campaign.

    October 10, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. NoBozo2012

    He had a bad night? It was more like homie was too lazy to prepare for a debate. :(

    October 10, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. WISCONSINITE

    You know I could respect Romney for a great debate performance but you cant dance around the issues all the time. He lies too much I want him to clarify his stance on that 47%, or releasing the rest of his tax returns. Say what you want about President Obama, show me another choice if you don't like him. And Paul Ryan Wisconsin is in peril because of him and Governor Scott Walker returning railroad money that could have created several jobs. The moment they said give the elderly vouchers is the moment they lost the race.

    October 10, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  18. JS

    America has had a BAD 4 years with the socialist dictator – so, hopefully, he will have a bad night on November 7th or the country will be filled with socialist programs and weak, brain washed people in 2016. He is right that the stakes are high...and the bottom line is he must LOSE or America is a goner

    October 10, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  19. Nelly

    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."
    ------
    This is my problem with Obama. Just come out and call Romney a flip-flopper. What's this hide his position crap? Call Romney a two-faced liar. That's what he is. Being polite? Save that s.h.i.t for friends and family. Not enemies.

    October 10, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  20. Tom Arnold

    No Barry, you had a baaaad four years. Time to pack up the jeffersons and move back to Chicago baby

    October 10, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  21. NameJan Washington

    Tell it like it is president, mitt is
    Try to win by saying what
    He thinks people want to hear. I thought you did fine, yet I knew the gate keeper would lie they always lie. Sometime freedom of speech is not all what it cracks up to be

    October 10, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  22. Patrick

    Where are we at now? Excuse number seven?

    Be a man. Admit Romney came better prepared and won the night. Stop grasping for every excuse you can to avoid taking responsibility for yourself.

    October 10, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  23. Rhastuss

    He was coming down from a CM session and they wouldn't allow him to bring his teleprompter.

    He was also suffering from a Bad Term as President.

    Most people would have been too embarrassed to even show up.

    October 10, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. John

    Bad night indeed. Very bad, almost as if Romney was charging like a tiger but he just let it be. I guess America wants suspense, anger and brawling in debate.

    How about presidential wrestling next time?

    October 10, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  25. Valar Morghulis

    A bad night, that is an understatement! Although who expected robotic Romney to show up in his new disguise?

    October 10, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
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