Romney: President will lie in debates
September 14th, 2012
08:47 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney: President will lie in debates

(CNN) - With less than three weeks before the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney says he already knows what his biggest hurdle will be in his three October showdowns with President Barack Obama.

"I think the challenge that I'll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren't true," Romney said in an interview that aired Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

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Romney, who spent several days in debate prep last week as the Democratic National Convention was underway, said he's been studying Obama's performance at previous debates. The Republican presidential nominee added he's still trying to outline his strategy.

"Am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren't quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?'" he said. "That's a judgment you make."

The first presidential debate will focus on domestic policy and take place at the University of Denver in Colorado on October 3. The two rivals will face off twice more that same month, including a town hall style debate hosted by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, anchor of CNN's "State of the Union," on October 16.

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who was on Romney's running mate short list, was tapped to play the role of Obama in debate practice for Romney. Portman also assumed the same role for Sen. John McCain for the GOP nominee's 2008 run against Obama.

Asked if Romney had a difficult time in his first couple of rounds of preparation, Romney said he would not reveal "those kind of secrets."

"But I will never debate Rob Portman again," Romney said, laughing.

Also in the interview, Romney conceded a rare comparison between him and his opponent, saying the two would draw the same "red line" on nuclear weapons in Iran.

"My red line is Iran may not have a nuclear weapon. It is inappropriate for them to have the capacity to terrorize the world," Romney said. "Iran as a nuclear nation is unacceptable to the United States of America."

The president has used almost identical language to describe the situation in Iran. When asked if the two would have the same "red line" going forward, Romney said "yes."

"And recognize that when one says that it's unacceptable to the United States of America that that means what it says. You'll take any action necessary to prevent that development, which is Iran becoming nuclear," Romney said.

His comments come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed recent concerns that the international community was not drawing clear "red lines" against Iran.

The Obama administration has pushed back on reports that the White House turned down requests for a meeting from Netanyahu to discuss, in person, threats to Israel by Iran's nuclear program. Obama and Netanyahu held a one-hour phone call Tuesday night to hash out those concerns.

Romney reiterated in the interview, however, that his policies would have been more effective than those of the president in halting efforts to develop nuclear weapons, namely the implementation of harsh sanctions–measures which the administration and other countries have already begun to enforce.

"I said that crippling sanctions needed to be put in place immediately. This was a long time ago, several- five years ago, I believe. Crippling sanctions such that their economy would be on its knees, at this point," he said.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Presidential Debates
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Actually I misspoke. I meant to say that you're LYING again Romney.

    September 14, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Brian Maple

    #OBAMA 2012!!!! EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL!!!!!!!

    September 14, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. jondavis

    "I think the challenge that I'll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren't true," Romney said
    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    September 14, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |

    Team Romney is great at word salad. They cannot be bothered with specifics, I guess.

    September 14, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. bp

    Says a man who has mastered the art of lying himself.

    September 14, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Nevadawoman

    After re-watching Romney's debate with Kennedy, where he strongly claims his belief in a woman's right to choose, methinks the gentlemen is using offense for his defense.

    September 14, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    So this is how you've prepared to get your butt whupped in the debates Romney? By trying to make voters believe that the President is going to use lies to debate you?
    You've obviously come to realize that you don't stand a chance in Hades of beating our President face-to-face, one-on-one, mano a mano in a debate. It is also quite evident that without your pitbulls, Koch, Rove, Norquist, and Addelson you are what you've always been a punk and a coward. Nothing else can explain your undignified behaviour.
    The ONLY thing that you have been consistent at, Romney, IS LYING.
    See you at the debates coward.
    Obama 2012. The only dignified way FORWARD.

    September 14, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Sniffit

    Wow. Desperate pathological projection: it's what's for dinner.

    September 14, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Romney the tax cheat has a monopoly on lying and Ryan is tight behind him if you know what I mean !!!

    September 14, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Darryl

    Mr. Romney accuses the POTUS for lying ? How Funny ! ALERT ! Anyone can just GOOGLE, Lying for the Loard. And people can see what Mr. Romney has been taught in the Mormon belief and teachings. There's allot of people who aren't aware of this. The Mormon teachings are everything Romney lives by period and does NOT live by anything else whats so ever. His Presidency would be of the Mormon Bible and NO other way. GOOGLE, Lying For The Loard. See for yourself, read it !

    September 14, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That should've read: Debating skills. Pardon.

    September 14, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Dean

    Romney and the republicans are a classless bunch. No dignity at all.

    September 14, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. w l jones

    Time correcting something I should knowing in the first place.. Well well!

    September 14, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Steve Obama-HOUSTON

    This is from the man who wouldn't know the truth if it was handed to him by his hired help. He's a cheat, a sneak and a robotic snake. I don't trust anything Romney has to say. OBAMA 2012! CLINTON 2016!

    September 14, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. linda

    Would American folks tell this guy "shut up". He is a dirty politician. Sick and Tired to see his name on the news.

    September 14, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Kim

    Well Romney knows all about lying. He's been lying non-stop since the start of his campaign. I highly suspect he doesn't know how to do anything else.

    September 14, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. Dennis Freeman

    Time to throw-up

    September 14, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. tepeters

    Wow talking about the definition of "projection" – he who lies with impunity and makes things up call the President a liar-that more than brass- that is pathological.

    September 14, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. California Republican

    Pretty deaperate and ad hominem, an old but shallow way of debating. If you can't win on merits, you attack the other person which unfortunately is all my Republican colleagues seem to be doing. Calling the sitting President a liar and prematurely sounding off in a national security crisis is not building any confidence with anyone that Romney has it together at all. And Ryan with his "embellished" marathon time makes you cringe at the lack of the Republican ticket's credibility. Then the big "switcheroo" on who is more trustworthy. Game over, Congratulations President Obama on your next four years. May my party get back to common sense governing and away from the recent embarrassing nonsense.

    September 14, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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