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. Gonzodon

    Check that; bad four years. One and done for the worst president in history.

    October 10, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  2. Mr.Davidson

    Yo,play'n wit da big boys now and they be really mad. The public is tired of it ,of all the bailouts for inside billionaires,because we expect it from Mitt and the GOP but you were supposed to have a new message .The CIA took out Bin Laden because he finally outlived his worth ,but they will allow you to take some cred on it because Bush had to keep Osama alive as a poster boy for terror and he was the largest grossing cash cow for insider US gov. corporations in history. When does the IRS begin prosecution for non payment of the several thousand all US broke a%% folks supposed to pay soon for O care or should I say Au care.

    October 10, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  3. Jodie

    Obama/Big Bird 2012!
    Because serious Times call for serious leaders

    October 10, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  4. Joe Kidd

    How many excuses is Obama going to make? "Bad Nights" don't cut it when dealing with world leaders.

    October 10, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. enuff

    Enough with the debate. It's over, it's done. There are still two more to prepare for. It's not like this is the only one that will happen before the election. Nor should it be the only thing to base a vote on.

    October 10, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. FreedomStorm

    "I had a bad night" translated: The latest flavor of the komrad koolaid snakeoil fermentation. Drink up, cupcakes.

    October 10, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  7. Rudy Gonzales

    No, prez...you blew one excellent chance to mow down hubris and choked!

    October 10, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. MrMcGibblets

    Understatement of the year.

    October 10, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  9. Pete Iverson

    I'd say our country has had a bad 4 years. Time to throw in the towel and let us breath again.

    October 10, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  10. Fact

    It wasn't just a bad night; it's a bad 4 years. LORD help us if Obama gets another 4 years of destroying this country.

    October 10, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  11. Me

    No. Romney is an intelligent, experienced businessman and Obama is a community organizer who relies on a teleprompter because he can't think on his feet. There was no "good" day vs "bad" day; it was only reality.

    October 10, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  12. demidiot

    No mr.president, we had a bad 4 years!

    October 10, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. Bad Night?

    Was it a bad night or perhaps four years of bad policy?

    October 10, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  14. m123

    He couldn't think of more ways to blame Bush, so he had nothing
    What a loser

    October 10, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Fortinbras

    Yea, he just let mitt flip, flop, lie, and insult him uncontested. He even let mitt coast that 5 trillion dollar tax cut as tax neutral. Ted Kennedy wouldve bitten mitts head off.

    October 10, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  16. thecanuckboy

    Bad night...how about 4 bad years...Barrack, things go relative to you efforts. Thus you put no effort into debate night, as you have done for the last four years. Even Obamacare is someone else's idea...Romney..even he knows it's flawed.

    That little attack in Libya has not been good...should have sent in the extra security...blame Hilary...she is the Commander in Chief...oh its you...darn that won't work.

    Well there is Joey, y'all know he will put that boy Paul in chains...and shoot down a budget plan...government hasn't needed one since you took office...there is a damn money press down the street...if we run out of money turn it on...need to bailout someone...turn it on....

    The GOP and a budget, tax reform, social program reform, reducing regulations to start business growth and increased income for families and having work...

    Print money, hand it out, stop businesses from growing with crazy regs, taxes, more social programs, or as we know it "the Chicago System". Hand out crack samples, hook them on it, and make them addicted, and you will have loyal clients.

    October 10, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  17. hanna

    My vote will depend on it!

    October 10, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  18. rafael

    If only the people whose vote turns around with the wind were that mature.

    October 10, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  19. billNY

    hahaha, goodnight and God bless Mr. President. The best thing for this country is for you to have a few more bad nights so the American people won't be fooled again into thinking you have a clue.

    October 10, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. WillDTermine

    His only chance is to use the teleprompting eyeglasses.

    October 10, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  21. Royer

    Well I'm glad he admitted his mistake, it would be stupid for either candidate to run a campaign in which they each pretend they're "perfect". I'm sick of the "master of the universe, has the answer to every issue, but I'm still an average joe like you" routine.

    October 10, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  22. Simon Abela

    Mr Obama you are the worst president, you have failed the American people, you are hiding the truth about the Benghazi attack, my opinion you should be impeached you don't deserve the dignity to serve us. Additional security was denied and now you continue to lie about the whole thing. I think the American people are satarting see the light
    Go and and stay with bill Ayers for another 20 years,and dont come back

    October 10, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Alaine

    You don't say! I think you been having bad nights/days weak kneed, effete leadership since you started. Because you like the types of Valerie Jarrett around you, instead of solid leaders. I think you caused the Libya/Ambassador Stevens situation because you can't think crisis aversion! or LEAD! Afghanistan mess is downplayed. You like leaving things to others, and hanging out with rappers, hollywood , gay donors instead. I've lost confidence in you and the debate carelessness, passivity ..was just the last straw!

    October 10, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. Philipe

    UNINSTALLING OBAMA..... ███████████████▒▒▒ 90% complete

    October 10, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  25. Fourleaf Tayback

    Obama's terrible debate performance was predictable...as predictable as the attack in Benghazi that resulted in the murder of 4 Americans. Obama was predictably terrible as a leader in both.

    October 10, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
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