Romney camp:  We don't expect Obama to 'come out like a lamb'
October 22nd, 2012
01:56 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney camp: We don't expect Obama to 'come out like a lamb'

Delray Beach, Florida (CNN) - Mitt Romney appears to be gearing up for what could be another feisty debate and another aggressive performance from President Obama, a top campaign adviser tells CNN.

"I don't think he will come out like a lamb," a senior Romney strategist said.

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After his listless showing at the first presidential debate in Denver, Obama adopted a much more confrontational posture during his second face-off with Romney in Hempstead New York, aiming a series of tough rhetorical jabs at the Republican nominee.

The town hall venue allowed the two candidates to physically confront each other on stage. At one point during the New York debate, both men appeared to viewers to be in each other's personal space.

However, with the third and final showdown set for a roundtable discussion on foreign policy with moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS, a senior Romney adviser said the subdued setting may help to tone down some of last week's aggressive body language.

Still, another Romney debate adviser acknowledged the two candidates are "competitive," opening up the possibility of pointed exchanges across the table. And on a conference call Monday afternoon, Romney advisers said they expect the president to "come out swinging" similar to how he "was last week."

During days of debate preparations in Delray Beach, Florida, a Republican source says the GOP contender's sparring partner, Ohio Senator Rob Portman has tried to get under Romney's skin to prepare him for what could be another rough and tumble round with the president.

The Obama campaign has signaled the president will accuse Romney of seeking "endless war." Romney has advocated a more confrontational posture with Iran to halt that nation's nuclear program. He has also called for a final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 after listening to commanders on the ground.

The Romney campaign has indicated the former Massachusetts governor will aggressively challenge the president's handling of foreign policy. Hours before the debate, the campaign released a web video reminding voters of the president's now infamous comments to current Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, when Obama said he would have "flexibility" after the election to deal with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Bill Burton, who runs the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA, said it's likely the president will stick with his more in-your-face style. "I don't think anybody expects them to tone it down," Burton said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Foreign Policy • Mitt Romney • Presidential Debates
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. beevee

    Romney's bully tactics won't work. Even in the second debate he tired to bully the president (asking the same question repeatedly in a combative way) but got punched. The third debate Romeny will be turned into a pulp and he will be history.

    October 22, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. JohnPeel

    Few people have questioned whether or not President Obama’s dour 1st debate was actually tactical. I think it was. There is no more debate wins for Romney left; that was his peak. He wins the 1st debate, gets a little bounce, Obama edges the 2nd cancels the bounce and any momentum then ramps home with the 3rd debates since the gloves have come off. No more bounce for Romney, and if things stay the way they are Obama edges it (and I'm being modest).

    October 22, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Gotta Be Kiddin

    @California Gary
    They aren't worried about that will be the kids of the 47% that will be going off to fight Romney's wars.

    I hope everyone voting realizes that. I don't think that any of Romney's grandchildren will be there.

    October 22, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. lolo

    No we don't expect it either, but we know Romneyhood will come off as a bully and he will tell plenty of lies. He is just going to word them a different way to keep his base confused.

    October 22, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    This guy plain is MADE IN CHINA??????? 47% made this idiot. Yes, on PRES. OBAMA12. Period.

    October 22, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    "Please proceed, Mr. Romney, please proceed". LOL

    October 22, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I read that Barbara Streisand has put out a call for money for the Obama Campaign. Don't know if it's true but there may not be much joy in Mudville tonight. I think it's by by Obama.

    October 22, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Steve

    – 4 Dead Americans
    – 1st Assassinated Ambassador in over 4 decades
    – Nothing but Lies and Cover-up by White House as to a "video" narrative
    – Complete irresponsible and reckless behavior with Israel and other Foreign Leaders (under Vegas priorities)
    – Al Qaeda is stronger today than they were on 9/11 (the original)
    – Obama is out to lunch having a good time with the Muslim Brotherhood

    This debate is over before it even began...

    October 22, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Thomas

    @Saul Steinman
    Forty three straight months of eight percent unemployment
    One in six Americans are now in poverty
    17,000,000 food stamp recipients added in the last four years
    A $16,000,000,000 mountain of debt that is growing every day
    We can not afford another four years of this "empty chair" president!


    Thats right Saul !

    We need to double down and put in a GW Bush Clone and make it real afordable !
    Do you nut jobs ever ad up how much these two wars cost this country , not just in money , but in peoples lives ?

    Saul go down to the VA and tell them how much better they were under GW Bush . Tell them if Romney is Elected he will fire the head of the VA.
    Shinseki, a 38-year veteran, is best known for his four years as Army chief of staff, and in particular his response to congressional questioning in February 2003 about troop levels necessary to protect a presumed military victory in Iraq.

    Shinseki told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" could be necessary, an assessment that was at odds with the announced determination of Pentagon leaders.

    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reacted by telling reporters that Shinseki's estimate "will prove to be high," and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz called the assessment "way off the mark."

    Come on Saul , empty chair ?

    No your thinking of a soldier in a wheelchair with no legs, think of Mitt Romney and his five sons who served there country by campaigning for there father for the last 6 years.

    October 22, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. The REAL Truth...

    @Borderless – It is shameful that Obama is actually accusing anyone of politicizing the death of Ambassador Stevens. Obama has made a complete mockery of the whole event. Obama is completely without shame. He is so narcissistic and so bent on fulfilling his ambitions that it's just a matter of time before he blames the deceased ambassador for his own death.
    You got to be kidding right? If not, you need to get out from under that rock that on the border of borderless...!!!
    The Twit was the one who politicized the whole Libya event. He did his usual open mouth insert foot routine, then promptly flip-flopped saying he never meant that. Which is exactly what he did in the first debate. Anyone who has followed this campaign is fully aware of how the GOP has politicized this debacle, not Obama.

    October 22, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. REGinAZ

    It has been stated that people are dependent on the very wealthy for their jobs and income and thereby even for their homes, living and life style, almost as if owing loyalty. That is the “trickle down” theory but what is reality and who really benefits who? Actually “the money” is simply after profits with that being their only real motivation, completely substantiated in their shipping jobs overseas and cutting jobs to increase profits – there really is no obligation there. Now how do the working people benefit the wealthy and their profits? Well they spend the money that buys the products and creates the profits and they work the jobs to create, sell and service the products that provide the profits. Actually everyone is dependent on everyone else to some degree and what is best is a honestly level playing field with fair play so that everyone benefits ... and not ever just a concentration on catering to “the money”, allowing their run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence that slants the economy in that one direction – like what we have experienced and have seen pushed by “puppet” politicians serving “the money” for their support. Corporations aren’t people but they are literally composed of numerous workers doing their jobs to create the profits that “the money” enjoys and those people deserve fair consideration and not to just be taken for granted.

    October 22, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. 1twinsfan

    Mitt Romney's foreign policy team is riddled with Bush's foreign policy team members. Unless he's planning to do the exact oppostie of what they say then his foreign policy ideas are not only terrible – they're dangerous for America.

    October 22, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Al Qaeda is stronger today than they were on 9/11 (the original)"

    HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHA!!!! guys just don't know the difference between catoonish hyperbole and reality, do you?

    October 22, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. SBK

    It should be a knockout punch, just finish it off Mr. President. Romney is like "shallow water makes more noise" will be drowned in deep water tonight..Just watch....Fox News will call this debate a tie !!! You know what it means..

    October 22, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Luke,AZ

    We do expect Gov. Romney to come out wearing flip-flops.

    October 22, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. St. James Place

    and the winner is Willard M. Romney.

    America really does want to go to WAR with everyone in the middle east. We really don't have to pay for this war.
    We can just Say CHARGE IT.

    October 22, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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