October 10th, 2012
05:51 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama on debate: 'I had a bad night'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama conceded in an interview Wednesday his first faceoff with Mitt Romney last week in Denver was a "bad night" for him, but maintained his performance at the debate didn't alter the state of the presidential race.

"Gov. Romney had a good night," Obama said in a sit down with ABC News. "I had a bad night."

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"It's not the first time I've had a bad night," he continued.

Following last week's matchup in Denver, most observers named Romney the clear winner, saying Obama seemed unenthusiastic. Many of Obama's supporters wondered why he didn't raise some contentious campaign issues, including Romney's remarks on the 47% of Americans reliant on government support, or his time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded.

Obama said in Wednesday's interview those omissions from the first debate would not be game changers come November.

"What's important is the fundamentals of what this race is about haven't changed," Obama said. "Gov. Romney went to a lot of trouble to try to hide what his positions are."

"One thing, maybe this is because I played a lot of sports when I was a kid and still do, if you have a bad game, you just move on," the president continued. "You look forward to the next one. And it makes you that much more determined. The difference between this and sports is that the stakes are so high."

One of those high stakes is abortion, which became an issue on the campaign trail Wednesday after Romney said in an interview with the Des Moines Register he was not aware of any abortion legislation that would become part of his presidential agenda.

Obama said that remark was "another example of Gov. Romney hiding positions he's been campaigning on for a year and a half."

"He thinks that it is appropriate for politicians to inject themselves into those decisions," Obama said of Romney's position on abortion.

During the primary campaign, Romney maintained he would support efforts to remove funding for Planned Parenthood, a women's health clinic that provides abortion services. Several House Republicans have introduced legislation that would strip funding from the group.

On Wednesday, Romney said he would support removing the group's funding through the federal budget, which must be passed by Congress.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (310 Responses)
  1. mike7

    I sure hope Romney wins this election. I love my children and my grandchildren. They DESERVE to not be living under such massive debt that they become slaves to the government. Obama desires people to look to government for their fish to be eaten. Romney desires to teach everyone how to fish. I vote to learn how to fish and be self suffcient.

    October 11, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  2. do_ya_think?

    So, Mr. Romney is not "showing his true colors" according to President Obama. Of course, this is coming from a person who has laid EVERYTHING on the table for all to see, after all, this is the most transparent administration in the history of our country.

    October 11, 2012 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  3. LG

    If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from."
    -Barack Obama 2008-
    Please vote wisely...

    October 11, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  4. Cyndee

    No Obama, actually, you've had 4 bad years.

    October 11, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  5. taxweary1

    Not a bad nite..a bad 4 years! You got osama and 4 Americans in Libya! We know,we know after 4 years its still bushes fault augh!

    October 11, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  6. GEdwards

    "It's not the first time I've had a bad night"

    Understatement of the year!

    October 11, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  7. Andy

    Yep you can say that again. It matches up with your term in office.

    October 11, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  8. larry5

    It's just the beginning. If Obama has to face up to his record in office it's going to be trouble.

    October 11, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Obama on debate: 'I had a bad night'
    Bad Night ???

    NO !!! Your entire administration stinks.

    October 11, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  10. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Obama on debate: 'I had a bad night'
    Bad Night ???

    NO !!! Your entire administration stinks.
    Lipstick on that pig will NOT make it fly !!!

    October 11, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
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