Romney: President will lie in debates
September 14th, 2012
08:47 AM ET
10 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. Andrew

    Wow... Already planning on losing so he is getting a head start on the excuses. Of course no one knows more about lying and ignoring facts and dodging questions as the GOP ticket... If this is how Romney plans to run the rest of his campaign, Obamas chances go up every day..

    September 14, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  2. g

    romney wrote the book on lies

    September 14, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. kyle

    President Obama already lied saying he would not seek re election if he could not improve the economy.

    September 14, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. Q

    Good thing we can count on the truth from Mitt....

    September 14, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. gorddicnn

    You mean like your running mate?

    September 14, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    Oh look – mittens is projecting again! Nothing new here.

    September 14, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Did you notice that Mitt Romney made no mention or promise to tell the truth himself? The "just blame the other guy" strategy continues.

    September 14, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |

    Romney is a DISGRACE!

    September 14, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. Mr. Moderate

    Wow, this guy gets slimier with each passing day.

    September 14, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. Roger

    This man has some gall talking about President Obama lying when everything that comes out of his mouth and Paul Ryan's mouth are nothing but lies which can also be "fact checked". Find yourself some decency Mitt – you're almost out of time to have any impact on this election at all. Obama/Biden 2012.

    September 14, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. n

    Romney says, and I quote, "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," Does this guy Romney ever listen to himself? How can anyone tolerate being in the same room with Romney? Romney is the personification of lies, if you look up the word lie in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Romney lying.

    September 14, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  12. maf

    More concerned about the Romney/Ryan lies, that have been exposed several times, that continue to be theirs and the GOP's main talking points. Can't wait to see how Mitt tries to rebut those in debate!!

    September 14, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  13. Jay

    As far as lying is concerned, Romney needs to look in the mirror!!!

    September 14, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  14. Kiki

    The presidential debates will be Romney's day of reckoning when he will have to give account for all of his misdeeds, mistakes, and lies.

    September 14, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  15. John

    It was Romney's campaign that said they were not worried about "fact checkers" after Romney had been caught in his Zillionth lie. Newt Gingrich a member in his own party said that Romney lies.

    September 14, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  16. SafeJourney

    Mitt, you really are that lying piece of garbage that the majority of American know you are. YOU and lyin ryan are the proven liars.

    September 14, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. Evangenital

    That coming from Weather Vane Mitt.

    September 14, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  18. Obama 2012!!!

    Romney you are the liar!!!!

    September 14, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. B.I.Inchey

    I think Romney is doing a bit of "projecting".

    September 14, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. TR808

    Ironic. Suppose that Romney does live for laughter.

    September 14, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. Darlene

    OMG...right...and when is your nose going to quit growing. Mr. "I won't let fact-checking get in my way of winning the presidency"!

    September 14, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Conner

    I Think we need to do a fact check on that – Pants on Fire!

    September 14, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. ConsiderThis, FL

    As former President Clinton once said, " You gotta have some brass to criticize someone else for something that you do." End of story.

    September 14, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. Dnick47

    Why are you concerned? You lie and flip-flop each and every time you open your mouth.

    September 14, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. LocalVokal

    Oh, OBAMA will lie....Glad he cleared that up because I thought ROMNEY.....

    September 14, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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