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. Stephen Bibb

    Romney is such a Flip Flopper (What is a Flip Flopper)? Its someone that can't TELL THE TRUTH.

    September 14, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. 1twinsfan

    Romney lies so much himself that he can't recognize the truth from others.

    September 14, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Stephen Bibb

    If you want to see disparity of wealth continue and watch the middle class continue to shrink and average wages continue to plummet – Vote Romney / Ryan

    September 14, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. incredulous

    Politifact and have both been busy trying to keep up with all the lies that Romney and Ryan tell. Romney will look like a deer in headlights when he gets called out on lying during the debates. After he's caught he'll just stammer and blather like he usually does.

    September 14, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. Canuck

    I think trying to compete with Obama's logic and intellect will be his biggest hurdle. Romney is going to lead the the US into a war it can't afford with consequences it can't predict.

    September 14, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. Joan in MS

    "...say things that aren't true."

    Pot meet kettle ...

    September 14, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. ExRepublican

    Romney you got to be kidding... Romney you the biggest liar in the country.
    4 More years Obama Obama
    We love you Obama

    September 14, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. a in austin

    OMG, he did not just say that. Does he think we can't read?

    September 14, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |

    A one-hour foriegn policy phone call. WOW!! Now thats impressive.., for Obama.

    September 14, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Robert

    The scary thing is that Mitt actually believes the tripe he is trying to feed us.

    September 14, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. Debra from Atlanta

    I know this lying person is not calling anyone out on lying.

    September 14, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. DaveC

    Where is the respect for the office of the President of the United States? Mitt now says that Obama will lie in the debates. Come on now Mitt. He doesn't have to lie to beat you in the debates. He just has to show up.

    September 14, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. TAK

    Obama will have to lie a lot to catch up to Romney-Ryan. Personally, I don't believe he can do it in just one debate ... even if Romney kept silent the entire time.

    September 14, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Tony Z

    Since he has been lieing for months he wants to convince us its the truth.

    September 14, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Blinded by republican lies

    I wouldn't talk about lying if I were you Mitt, YOU have proven to be the biggest one around.

    September 14, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Bootstomper

    Come on America you can't elect this unstable person. This guy will make GW Bush look like FDR.

    September 14, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. IVOTE

    How dare you Willard Mitt Romney.....President Obama will nail you as the flip flopping liar you are.

    September 14, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Nametimothy

    Unbelievable, this from the man whose noise would be 8 inches long like pinocchio. Robert, like all dishonest used car salesmen only tells the truth when it's to his advantage.

    September 14, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. LOL in Colorado

    No doubt, Romney's a liar of the very worst kind!

    September 14, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. John Hix

    What a sorry excuse for a GOP candidate that will call our President a liar prior to the debates. This is just further proof of how desperate the GOP is and why so many in the party cannot stomach the party choice.

    September 14, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. Cara Dee

    Thats rich coming from the biggest "pants on fire" duo (romney/ryan) to ever hit a campaign trail. I cant wait to watch this weasel squirm.

    September 14, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. LegalizeReason

    "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.

    Do you mean true in the real sense or true according to the parallel universe of fabricated truths of the GOP? The election night story is no longer how badly the Idiot Twins will lose, but how many GOP obstructors will be purged from Congress. America register and vote.

    September 14, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. Tinaj

    He is already calling the president a lier. Does that means that the President is lying as we speak? Worst than Joe Wilson.

    September 14, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  24. Darrell

    Since this campaign started, all Romney has done is lie. The truth and Mitt are not friends.

    September 14, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. Keep Colorado Blue

    As if Romney hasn't been lying all along about nearly everything that comes out of his mouth.

    September 14, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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