(CNN) – The unenthusiastic President Barack Obama of the first presidential debate won't be showing up for the second showdown with rival Mitt Romney, one of the president's top advisers promised Sunday.
Robert Gibbs, who said Obama was "disappointed" in his first performance on October 3 in Denver, previewed a more vigorous debater for the upcoming matchup Tuesday night in Hempstead, New York.
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"He knew when he walked off that stage, and he also knew as he watched the tape of that debate, that he has to be more energetic," Gibbs said on CNN's "State of the Union." He was speaking with CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, who will moderate Tuesday's debate. "I think you'll see somebody who is very passionate about the choice that our country faces, and putting that choice in front of voters."
Gibbs also shot down reports that Obama ended the first debate believing he had beaten Romney, whom Gibbs ribbed as delivering a "magical and theatrical" performance in Denver.
"For 90 minutes (Romney) walked away from a campaign he had been running for more than six years previous to that," Gibbs claimed, pointing to Romney's remarks on taxes and teachers that struck a more moderate tone than the candidate has expressed on the campaign trail.
Pressed on whether Obama's team should have been expecting that sort of tactic from Romney at the first debate, Gibbs said, "Maybe only Mitt Romney knew that he was going to walk away from his platform."
The upcoming joust on Long Island will feature more robust fact-checking from the president, Gibbs said.
"I think the president will make sure people understand the choice. And certainly if Mitt Romney puts up his hands and says, 'I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut, I don't want to cut taxes on the very wealthy,' absolutely - I think the president will walk through for voters in that room, that are going to be undecided, exactly what the Romney campaign wants to do and why it's bad for this country," the former White House press secretary said.
Romney adviser Ed Gillespie, also speaking on "State of the Union," said a shift in style wouldn't win Obama any points from an electorate looking at the past four years.
"The president can change his style. He can change his tactics. He can't change his record. He can't change his policies. That's what this election is about," Gillespie said.
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