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

    Just let Obama ramble on and lie. He can't make any arguement about his foreign policy decisions during his first term. Lousy president.

    October 22, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. 'Tonight Show'

    'Ideed not a lamb'....Obama will appear the great show-man...he has a lot of practice...this is why he did all the "Shows'..
    ............"Leno..The View..Jon Stewart..Letterman..Etc....""Sorry funny show-guys if we forgot to mention you...!

    October 22, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Quite the OPPOSITE!

    Obama is CLEARLY desperate, and will come out, like a cornered animal.

    October 22, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    No Drama Obama. The guy you want handling AMERICAN Foreign Policy. Unless the Neo-Cons are willing to let their kids & Grad Kids fight the wars.

    October 22, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. gcbruce

    I am Canadian and I cannot beleive how many Americans buy into the lies Mitt Romney says. From the outside looking in it is like the republcian party is a Cult and Mit is the Cult leader. You really need to listen to what this guy is saying. He changes his veiws all the time. it must be embarassing to the Republican party that this guy is their leader!! I think alot of people from other Countries feel the same about Mitt Romney , A complete idot!!

    October 22, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Phil

    Obama you are the Carter of 79 with your failed Foreign Policies. Hopefully America has learned from past mistakes and will not re elect you back in office.

    October 22, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Tom Joad

    Mitt knows all about foreign affairs, he went to England and insulted our closet allies with great aplomb. He'll need to change his magic underpants after tonight's debate.

    October 22, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. California Gary

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

    October 22, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    Democrats and journalists like when he gets angry. They loved it when attack hyena Joe Biden made his performance. Independents will not be impressed. They want substance. So far, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win on substance. We need a plan forward, not another overpaid entertainer.

    October 22, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. UBS, WILLARD & THE 4000+ AMERICAN AMNESTY DEAL

    Robmey's campaign slogan shouldn't be "Believe in America", but "Decieve America."

    October 22, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. truth hurts

    I can hardly wait to hear what lies Obama tries to spew about Libya and the death of our ambassador. A LOT of facts are out and they prove Obama and his adminstration lied to the American people for over 2 weeks. And the LSM played right along with them, doing their dirty work.

    October 22, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Dee

    I can't believe americans will vote for Romney to represent this country and he is outsourcing his money to other countries and refused to show his tax returns he feels he is entitled for the job of the Presidency and no questions should be answered.

    October 22, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. B.

    Obama will put Romney on the matt tonight.

    October 22, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. NameChi

    America is Safer and until Libiya happened u people had nothing to say Pothetic!! In some of u people on this blog,the prez has not doneanything right, unvelievable

    October 22, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Borderless

    Well, unless lambs deny, lie, and blame, he probably won't come out like a lamb. Can we please vote Obama out before he does any more damage?

    October 22, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "A LOT of facts are out and they prove Obama and his adminstration lied to the American people for over 2 weeks"

    Actually, unfortunately for you, the facts are coming out and they quite clearly show that Obama has not said anything inconsistent with the intelligence he was receiving at the time.

    October 22, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. 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!

    October 22, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. RoMoney's Horse

    I make a RoMoney sound when I walk. Flippity Flop, Flippity Flop, Flippity Flop. Neeeeeeeeeee! Is that you Willllllard!!?

    October 22, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. Thomas

    @truth hurts , Four and The Door , Philm , Rick McDaniel , Dean.
    Believe in America , Money.com

    You guys have been going down on Karl Rove so long , you forgot what real food tastes like !

    See the guy at the top of the stairs , do you know who he is ?

    He worked for GW Bush !

    October 22, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. Dave Jaipersaud

    I find it troubling that the only specific thing that Romney's has identified in his plan to cut the deficit is to cut funding for Big Bird with just 28 days out from Election Day. Right now, you've got a federal deficit, federal debt that's over 16 trillion dollars and Romney’s and Kevin’s plan to fix it in a responsible and balanced way is to cut funding for Big Bird. These idio&s have no idea how to bring the deficit in line in a responsible manner or create jobs.

    It doesn’t matter how Romney and the Republican try to spin their policies, the American people know how disastrous those policies have been for this country, especially for the Middle Class and less fortunate.

    Americans are not stupid. How can anyone even thing Romney’s policies will be better for this country. Romney and the Republicans policies from 2001 to 2008 brought this great nation to its knees, their policies caused the Great Recession, their policies wiped out almost 10,000,000 jobs as a direct result of the Great Recession, their policies wiped out retirement savings for tens of millions of Americans as a direct result to the Great Recession, their policies took a $1 trillion surplus to a $13 trillion deficit, their policies resulted in the decline in the percentage of Americans that are in the middle class, their policies resulted in tens of millions of Americans without healthcare, their policies resulted in millions of Americans losing their homes, their policies will be detrimental to Latinos and all other minorities, their policies will result in another war in the Middle East, and the list goes on.

    No Americans in their right mind will believe that Romney/Ryan policies will be better for the Economy. The only way for anyone to think that is if they are suffering from total amnesia. People will remember what happened in 2007/2008 and the years leading up to the Great Recession. It was the exact same policies that Romney is advocating now that caused the Great Recession. We are not that dumb to think that these same policies that caused the Great Recession will somehow magically make the economy better.

    I guess Romney/Ryan think we are all stupid and don’t know the truth and can’t remember the dark days of the great recession of 2007 and 2008 and the years leading up to it.

    The choice is clear. Do we want to go back to the exact same policies (Romney/Ryan current policies) that brought America (this great Nation) to its knees or do we want to continue to build on the recovery.

    October 22, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Borderless

    @Sniffit
    The "facts" surrounding Libya have changed every day since the unfortunate event. Right now we have the current version which is that Obama may have actually thought it was spontaneous all along because the intel, as of the most recent edition would have us believe, states that it may have appeared at the time to be spontaneous. Or something like that. I can't keep up. This is a plot J.R.R. Tolkien couldn't follow.

    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.

    October 22, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Hey Rove ,
    you want to talk about Mitt Romney , Deregulation, Big Pharma and the The death toll from fungal meningitis linked to potentially contaminated steroid injections has risen to 23, Latest figures from CDC show 284 fungal meningitis cases in 16 states linked to tainted steroid.

    Thank you Romneycarenot

    October 22, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "This is a plot J.R.R. Tolkien couldn't follow."

    Then stick to the Denny's placemats that suit your reading comprehension level.

    October 22, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Jan

    WOW!!! They will be SITTING at a table! That's like a BALL AND CHAIN for Mitt Romney! He is very disrespectful. Again, he just bulldozed over the PBS Moderator, and tried to do the same to the CNN Moderator. She was tough though...THANK GOD!!!! President Obama was forced to be a little disrespectful too...not his normal tendency, but he had to do something or Mitt Romney would have been THE DECLARED WINNER OF THE SECOND DEBATE TOO. I find it mind boggling how the winner of debates are determined. It seems that everything the Democrats, and President Obama in particular do in the debates is wrong (but the Republican, and Mitt in particular in all of HIS OFFENSIVENESS, can do no wrong!...he's just doing what he has too.) IF PRESIDENT OBAMA LOOKS DOWN, HE'S WRONG...IF HE HAS A SMILE ON HIS FACE, HE'S WRONG...IF BIDEN LAUGHS, AS HE DID, HE WAS WRONG...IF PRESIDENT OBAMA TAKES MITT'S AGRESSIVE STANCE, THEN ALL OF THE SUDDEN BOTH OF THEM ARE WRONG, BUT ALMOST ALL OF THE ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO HOW WRONG THE PRESIDENT WAS. WITH THE TABLE IN THE ROOM THE PRESIDENT MIGHT FINALLY HAVE A CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT AS MITT WILL BE UNDER BALL AND CHAIN, PROVIDED HE STAYS IN HIS SEAT!!!

    October 22, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Wake up People!

    It really doesn't matter what President Obama says or does, Willard will win by default because the media is so afraid of the GOP they do exactly what they want. First debate, POTUS tries to be Presidential while Willard lies through his teeth. President is labeled weak and a loser. Second debate, POTUS comes out swinging and shuts Willards lies straight down, yet the media calls it a draw. The bottom line is, Willard can win on barefaced, fact checked double down lies and no matter what President Obama does, he is never considered the winner. It must be nice being white......well except for the early wrinkles and the shoe leather skin......

    October 22, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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