Obama on debate: 'I was just too polite'
October 10th, 2012
01:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama on debate: 'I was just too polite'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's heavily criticized debate performance last week was the result of an overabundance of civility, the Democratic incumbent said in a radio interview Wednesday.

"I think it's fair to say I was just too polite, because, you know, it's hard to sometimes just keep on saying and what you're saying isn't true. It gets repetitive," Obama said on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

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Obama's opponent Mitt Romney was widely considered the winner of last week's debate, held in Denver. Many critics, including some Democrats, said Obama appeared unenthusiastic and unwilling to engage Romney on some of the more contentious campaign flashpoints, including Romney's "47%" remark.

Following the debate, the president's allies acknowledged he lost on style points, but argued Romney win was supported by a series of lies about his platform and Obama's policies.

In the interview Wednesday, Obama stuck to that message, saying the tack Romney took last week would wind up hurting the GOP nominee in the end.

"Gov. Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term," Obama said.

He added that at the next face off with Romney, slated for next week on Long Island and moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley, there would be more aggressive rebuttals to his rivals claims.

"I think it's fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next one," Obama said.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Presidential Debate
soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. NameKELSEY

    That's what I want to hear.Set him straight Mr.President go all out this time no more mr nice guy.

    October 10, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. AmericaStand

    Another story you won't see on CNN or MSNBC:

    We have learned in the month since the attack that there were deepening concerns about security in Libya and that top officials knew the deadly raid was likely a planned attack within 24 hours of its occurrence. We now know that the slain ambassador had sought and been denied additional security. We now know that an al Qaeda-linked radical had likely been part of the planning.

    But in the wake of the attack, the Obama administration insisted that the killings and the sacking of the consulate were spontaneous events spurred by a year-old video clip on the Internet that was deemed offensive to Islam’s founder, the Prophet Mohammed.

    October 10, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. papanez

    rob

    The Dems are not rebutting anything specific about what Romney said in the debate because he very effectively shot down the "LIES" that the president repeated about his plans. At the same time, he called out the President's abysmal record of the last 4 years over and over. President Obama had no reply because there was none. When confronted with the facts on that stage he had no where to run. Since then the Dems have fallen to the extreemly immature tactic of calling Romney a liar, they have no positive agenda or record to run on!

    How do you spell desperate.....D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T
    *********************************************************************************************************************************************
    Rob? Are you blogging from Mitt's planet?

    October 10, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Boo

    And if he'd been something else...the right wing head cases would have called him "a rude uppity black man." GUARANTEE IT.

    October 10, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Obama Mama

    I think Obama did very well in the debates he did not lie like Romney proven by the fact checks. Obama did not flip flop like Romney did. Romney just said what the people at the time wanted to hear, no specifics on any plan. Name one specific that adds up or he could pay for or come thru on.
    @Blah Blah do not forget we are also still paying for the Bush tax cuts that also were not put on the books during the Bush administration. So where did Obama's deficit come from wars and Bush tax cuts.

    October 10, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. 58wolfkennel

    I imagine that Mittens will go down hard in the next debate, especially considering the town hall nature. Mittens struggles when he's not behind a podium and he comes across as stiff and awkward. Obama won;t be pulling any punches either and will not let Mittens rattle off his litany of lies again.

    October 10, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Obama Bin Laden

    Hahaha! Excuse after excuse when you clearly had no answers for what a horrible job you've done! Plus you had no tele-prompters. That's the only valid reason! Romney has got this in the bag and THANK GOD! ROMNEY 2012!!!

    October 10, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Fred Evil

    "you know that truth and facts are your kryponite"
    Then he has NOTHING to fear when facing Romney, the anti-truth.
    Etch-A-Sketch isn't his nickname for kicks!

    October 10, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Jerry

    Obama on debate: 'I was just too polite'... Oops!!! HE really meant to say impolite and condescending...

    He still got his sorry butt whooped...

    October 10, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. janecreackedcorn

    look, the only reason Romney "won" that debate is because Obama was off his game. And Romney spewed lies like they were truths, so people thought is was right.

    October 10, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I was just too polite"
    -------------------------------------------------
    Aaah, ummm that would get a big HELL TO THE YES from me Mr. President.
    You were in a barfight, not the classroom. Time for you to channel the Angry Black Man, Lord knows you have every right to be angry not only for the way they've treated you, but for the lack of concern they've shown towards the recuperation of our country, and for the way they PLAN to screw the middle class if they get elected.
    This election is NOT in the bag Mr. President. In the vernacular of the day you better stand up and recognize.

    The time has come for you to loosen the hell up.
    Get up on tht podium and say to yourself :
    "I'M ANGRY, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!".

    Go get yourself a Mitt sir!
    Obama 2012.

    October 10, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Al

    The word of the day is polite and if that makes the White House of today feel better then use the word. The real story is that they have done nothing to get the country in the right direction to encourage companies to hire and to encourage people to get off the welfare system. Stimulus are a short term bandage, the jobs are not of a worth wild nature if they can not sustain themselves. This administration has done nothing but promote more handouts and that is why Obama feels he was being polite, when people are failures they are more polite for they have nothing to stand on.

    October 10, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. BD76

    Personally I thought he was being rude, just like at the previous debates I have watched. He very rarely gave eye contact to his opponent (just like during debates in the last election), and looked like he was not paying attention when someone else was speaking (just like at other debates).

    October 10, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. rosco

    Obummer showed his true colors====yellow

    October 10, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Borderless

    The Democrats have been so passive and restrained this political season. After all, calling people liars, accusing them of being responsible for a cancer patient's death, calling people that disagree with them Nazis, calling Romney a felon, making false accusations against them...these are all signs of respect, right?

    Lets face it. Obama failed and once again he refuses to take responsibility. Until his worshippers learn to hold him responsible for his failings, we will continue to see the same poor results and hear the same excuses indefinitely.

    October 10, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. simp

    @fair is fair

    you are so ignorant. mitt the liar was just repeating all the same lies hes been telling from day one, it has nothing to do with the President not being prepared, what the President wasnt prepared for was the blatent lies that comes out of this clowns mouth.

    October 10, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. mike

    Laugh. to polite my behind. he was ill prepared and stumbled over half the things he said. the guy looked like he was on drugs.

    October 10, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Steve

    Too polite? Or under-informed? Poorly-prepared? Over-golfed?

    October 10, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Mark

    Obama the liar – a black man with a socialist agenda – actually 1/2 a black man. Too polite, try too stupid. I pray to God everyday to see this man "unelected" come November. He will destroy our country and our freedoms. Black liberation theology has no place in the USA. It is corrupt and denies Christ. Any man who actively suppports gay marriage, abortion and redistribution is the anti-Christ. Obama must be defeated America if we are to survive and prosper.

    October 10, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Marlen in Houston

    rob

    The Dems are not rebutting anything specific about what Romney said in the debate because he very effectively shot down the "LIES" that the president repeated about his plans. At the same time, he called out the President's abysmal record of the last 4 years over and over. President Obama had no reply because there was none. When confronted with the facts on that stage he had no where to run. Since then the Dems have fallen to the extreemly immature tactic of calling Romney a liar, they have no positive agenda or record to run on!

    How do you spell desperate.....D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T

    Rob....how about learning how to spell "extremely" first you moron

    October 10, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Critical Thinking

    "ForGoodOfAll: I also think that Jim Lehr was not doing his job very effectively as the moderator at the last debate. He either needs to retire, or he should have a team of moderaters to keep politicians from hogging the debate."

    I agree with the last part of this comment, President Obama took 4 mins longer than Romney in the debate. Yet he still couldn't seem to communicate what he will do to fix this country. I guess calling Romney a liar in the post debate spin was the best he could do. Hmmm, I wonder if that will reduce the deficit and create jobs. Dont think that startegy will fair any better than hope & change.

    October 10, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. spanglish

    Maybe too much Honey Beer to cover the "delirium tremens" don't be a lier as usual you were babbling the same when as Occidental University just a joker

    October 10, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Vader

    Obama's best tool for debating Romney is using Romney's own words. And you basically have every position on any issue available to you since at one time or the other, Romney has espoused them all.

    Etch-A-Sketch

    October 10, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. e320dq

    Take some dam* accountability for once, just once! Is that too much to ask?!?!

    October 10, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Guest

    Worst president in U.S. history ...hands down, no contest, it's time to go B.O.!!

    October 10, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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