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. guslv

    He had a bad night? Wow, all of America has had a bad night ever since this guy was elected president! He has increased our debt, kissed butt with muslim countries, tried to bring socialism to America, etc etc etc. How much more of a bad night can America stand anymore? This individual has to be voted out!!! Romney? Who knows what he could do or couldn't do to bring our country back up? We already kow what Obama can't do. Give Romney a chance!

    October 11, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  2. maquignon

    You had a bad night all right. You were scared to death that the truth about your bungling of the Embassy attack would come out.

    October 11, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  3. Wade

    That is Ok President Obama you had a bad night. That empty chair was tough to get over. I feel for you. America has had a really bad 4 years under you. Our children will be enslaved to your debt for all their life. They will have a few bad nights as well thanks to you.

    October 11, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  4. Rob

    Absolute fantasy. Obama may have beaten GWB but he cannot debate Romney. He had the floor wiped with him b4 and he will again. PS. I just watched Piers Morgan and he was shamefully pro Obama....which I'd why people are going to vote for Romney.

    October 11, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  5. mary

    He needs to talk faster too.. He only has just so much time to get what he has to say said..And there are many out here that totally do not know the truth about Romney and Ryan.. If he doesn't get it said and keep hitting him with the facts, exposing his lies,Calling them all out, on stage in front of everyone during the debate .. Some out here are just not going to get that info anywhere else..Or believe it.
    Its sad how many older white people have heard lies about Obama.. And are ready, out of fear, to vote romney/Ryan in. The very guy's that is going to wreck their lives.
    The Republican's scare tactics are working on the most vulnerable already..
    Ryan and Romney appeal to a certain type of person, and those people are out there scaring the life out of old people on medicare..About the danger of his being Muslim .
    And unless they see and hear Romeny's props knocked out from under his lies.. They just won't alter their opinion. They are afraid.

    October 11, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  6. AE

    He has a plan, look out mr over confident mitten, look out

    October 11, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  7. RS, CA

    The Obamas will feel much better once they move into that $35 million house in Hawaii that their socialist friends are buying for them.

    October 11, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  8. California

    Romeny tkes 4-6 point lead.nd with the VP debate coming up now Biden is a shoe in ffor being the gaffe machine he is.

    Prediction, 6-8 point lead 5 days after the VP debate.

    October 11, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  9. Laura, Boston

    Bad night is putting it mild.

    Now your administration is lying to the family of the people killed in Libya and to the American people. Telling us it was a video when your administration knew it was terrorism!!

    October 11, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  10. Allen

    The president allowed Romney to reveal what a liar he truly is... and didn't stop Romney from humiliating himself. It probably took a lot of restraint to keep from laughing at Romney. If Romney were not so pitifully ignorant of what the job of president entails... Obama would have had a worthy opponent to debate. As it was all Obama had to face was a worthless lying partisan hack who changes his positions more often than he changes his stockings.

    October 11, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  11. Oppa

    He's a slow thinker and too dumb as a debater.

    October 11, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  12. Patrick

    A bad night? Well, America has had a bad four years. I know people love this man, but if his reelection will destroy what little remains of our economy.

    October 11, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  13. Megan Grawe

    Obama should have said , "I had a bad 4 years!"

    October 11, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  14. doregroj

    Obama didn't have a bad night as he now claims. What he didnt have was a teleprompter.

    October 11, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  15. Name

    I like how he got his Lil bump from lying and omitting you lady's better get out and vote or we will strip you of all your rights roe v wade goner

    October 11, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  16. no romance

    well,Barack Abdullah wants to compare with sports now...but he had inherited the reins of a great NBA franchise 4 years ago with a dismal season (10 AND 72) and 4 years later he cannot do better than let's say 16 and 66...would he deserve to be re-signed to a new 4 year contract?...

    October 11, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |

    As I have already stated Mr.President, I have to admit that I sure was waiting for you to "drop Mr. Romney like he was hot " in a nice Presidential kind of way. That being said, anyone can have a bad night. You already reminded us four years ago that you are not a perfect man, and would not be a perfect President (although I believe you have done a fantastic job with what you had to work with!) We are proud of you and trust me, one debate performance is NOT going to send us to the other side with all that we have to lose!!! If I may borrow your phrase, Let's keep MOVING FORWARD!!

    October 11, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  18. josh rogen

    this guy has an excuse for everything.

    October 11, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  19. honest mari

    President, you did your best in the face of so many scary lies, misrepresentations and changimg positions that occurred with the speed of lightning. Anyone could have felt same way. Stop beating upon your self. We moving FORWARD. Tomorrow is another. Good luck in the next round and remember to hold his feet glued to his lies, misrepresentations and flaky positions
    And remember to stay faithful and speak passionately to your reason for wanting the highest job in America.

    October 11, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  20. USER-301

    Well, we have all seen Obama in a debate before and it's clear that something more than what we know was wrong. He is probably one of the best debaters we have had in a long time. Even the president can get sick at times and that's what it looked like. We might not ever know but I am sure he will be much better next debate.

    October 11, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  21. rich

    Obama had more than a bad night! ...how about 4 years of bad nights!

    October 11, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. Jon

    I had a bad night?! I think it was because he refuses to work after 6pm. He's more interested in being a dad than president. I say that in jest, but when I heard that he rarely works past 6pm my jaw hit the floor. I get that he wants to be part of his kids lives, but I have kids too, and they have suffered because I have been laid off twice in the past 4 years. Be a dad, fine, but we pay for that awesome house you live in. How about you get some work done?! Only working hard during the election season is gonna cost you your job.

    October 11, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  23. vedic

    oh puhleez ! for 4 years you've shied away from deflecting/blunting the rabid maligners, slanderers, conspiracists and all manner of nutjobs and emboldened these crazies. too much politeness has landed you in this pickle, you're really not cut out for this blood sport and it shows. mitt knows it and is exploiting it as he should. white america loves red meat, but you forgot to feed the beast. it was great while it lasted, we'll treasure the fact that you saved America in its darkest hour, so thanks for that. see you on the lecture-philanthropy circuit.

    October 11, 2012 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  24. Steve M

    I know there has been a line that Romney somehow lied or changed his positions in the debate against Obama, but how do honest people reconcile this with the fact the Obama lied or changed his own positions since his debate with John McCain?
    1. I will close down Guantanamo Bay before the end of my first year in office.
    2. I will end the conflict in Afghanistan by July of 2011.
    3. I will half the deficit in my first term in office.
    4. I will not accept campaign contributions from lobbyists, nor will I employ lobbyists on my staff.
    5. I will run the most transparent presidency in history.
    6. I will put on comfortable shoes and walk with you to protect collective bargaining rights. (Wisconsin defeated collective bargaining rights this summer. Obama did not visit the state during the fight.)
    7. If I do not turn this countries economy around during my first term in office, this will be a one term proposition.

    October 11, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  25. leo

    well thats not the only bad night his having.. come Nov when Mitt Romney gets elected he will have a worst night..

    October 11, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
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