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. Samb499

    yeah...he had a bad night... preceeded by 3 1/2 years of bad days

    October 11, 2012 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  2. Geoff

    Romney supports abortion rights. Then he doesn't. The he does again. All inside 18 months. It's one thing to change a point of view when new information is considered, but it's something else when flip-flopping is done entirely for political gain while hoping the electorate is dumb enough to not question it. Republicans won't question is. They hate Obama and would vote for Barney the Purple Dinosaur if it means getting ride of obama. Penguins don't flip flop on issues.

    October 11, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  3. ralph n

    it was a bad term, not a bad night.

    October 11, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  4. ouch

    What I saw, was someone finally holding his feet to the fire...and showing america hes not the right man for the job...now i dont especially agree wtih romney either, but I DEF dont want obama for another 4 years of excuses!

    October 11, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  5. Joe in Kalispell

    LOL, 'I had a bad night'. You are a half-wit, my Border Collie could do a better job!

    October 11, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  6. Rod M. Chicago

    Its amazing to me that this man is THE president and it is widely commented that he must be "NICE" when dealing with Romney's intentional inconsistencies and ambiguities and flat out lies. America still hasn't dealt with its race bias...if Pres. Obama confronts Romney directly, he is likely to percieved as angry. If Romney does the same, he has been viewed as a "leader" or resolute.

    October 11, 2012 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  7. Mancrush

    Obama: "I had a bad night."
    Romney: "What do you call the last four years?"
    Obama: "You all had a bad night."

    October 11, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  8. Name w.bullock

    I am belived that presdient obama have lots problems trouble with middle east and all country cause obama are still weak leak at white house

    October 11, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  9. Mol-Fadson

    Exprience is the best teacher. Think twice.

    October 11, 2012 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  10. North

    An answer only suitable for a lazy student

    October 11, 2012 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  11. Mancrush

    Obama: "I had a bad night."
    Romney: "What do you call the last four years?"
    Obama: "The Great Recovery that just needs me to tweak it during one more term. Obama/Biden/RepoMan/2012."

    October 11, 2012 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  12. nokat

    no excuses, too late

    comparable to "my dog ate my homework"

    this is the condition he's been in for the last almost 4 years

    October 11, 2012 03:19 am at 3:19 am |

    I think nothing can stop president Obama from being victorious

    October 11, 2012 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  14. Shawn Key

    Actually, Obama had had a bad 4 years...

    October 11, 2012 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  15. TJC

    Romney is that guy who did and said whatever it took as a kid to be "cool". Then he was the guy who said and did whatever it took to close a deal. Then he was, and still is, the guy who will say and do whatever it takes to win a race. So what would determine what he would say and do as president? Who knows? But most likely it will have a whole lot more to do with expedience than what is in the best interest of the country.

    October 11, 2012 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  16. Melmarkk2

    Yeah you had a bad night. You didn't prepare. You underestimated Romneys' deep desire to be POTUS. You were arrogant as usual. Get a clue Obama. Get your mojo back or you will confirm the unsaid desire that Hilary should have won, not you. You can orate like few others, but can you lead, inspire, and motivate? Are you an empty promise or a game changer? Sloppy, uninspired and flat is no way to debate your opponent. Wake up an smell the coffee of history or be relegated to obscurity.

    October 11, 2012 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  17. DJ

    I don't think President Obama had a bad night !! Romney came across like the playground bully. Constantly interrupting the President and the moderator Jim L. and getting louder and louder. Every other phrase coming out of Romney's mouth was a bold face lie. What is surprising was that immediately after the debate, CNN came on and said, "Well looks like Obama has lost this debate". Romney came across as a complete piece of garbage. I think CNN would be better aligned with Fox Network.

    October 11, 2012 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  18. JT

    Obama should have said "I had a bad presidency". And this is coming from someone who voted for him.

    October 11, 2012 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  19. joesmith

    reminds me of an old mafia movie..has anyone looked at the possibility, that some bad advice is being dispenced at his expence,,looks rather obvious to me, and i'm not one of the current regimes cheerleaders..

    October 11, 2012 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  20. ddtrey

    You, and all of us, have had a bad 4 years. Time to stop the arterial bleed and move on to someone else.

    October 11, 2012 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  21. kathleen Boyd

    Mitt romey is not thinking wisely if he took the funding away. Planned Parenthood is also a service where women can get some kind of Birth Control.

    October 11, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  22. hozay

    or a typical night...

    October 11, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  23. mike t

    OOOOHHH so he had a bad night?America has had an even worse 4 years.

    October 11, 2012 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  24. John Galt

    He's had a four bad years. He needs a good firing.

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

    "I had a bad term"

    October 11, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
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