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. Jeff Kelly

    A bad night preceded by three and a half horrendous years.

    October 10, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. Bman

    We have to be careful here, to have a candidate that is completely wrong, that might appeal to a lot of Americans.

    October 10, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. AuggieDoggy

    The Emperor has no clothes!! The Emperor has no clothes!!!

    October 10, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. Mr Ken

    "Bad night"? Mr President, you had a horrendous night! Nevertheless you still have my vote!!

    October 10, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  5. keepingup1

    I just want to know why did these schedule the debate on the same day as your anniversary? Everyone knows you are family orientated even the Republicans. As you say, " you had a bad night." Next time tell Mrs. Obama you have a job to do and do it. Love you Mrs. Obama, hope you had a better night than Mr. President did. Praying you have your game on for the next round. We need you Mr. President. We know it's been very difficult for you. We know it would be hard for you. We believe you are trying to get on track, back to where we were. The strongest country in the world. To defend the weak and to support the righteous. We the people... not just the 47%. Bring the jobs back from overseas or make them pay for it. You can do it and you will. November for Obama and the United State of America.

    October 10, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. Marie

    I agree with Obama. Just saying....

    October 10, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  7. lbpaulina

    Dear President Obama, it is better, for you and for all of us, you have no more bad nights. Maybe you think that the debate did not alter anything, but you perfectly know that it is not entirely true. We, your electorate, the people who learned to love and support you felt like abandoned. You looked very tired, but unfortunately you are only allowed to be very strong because we need to believe in you and because this is the price of a leadership.
    Our President cannot have "bad nights." Thanks for all that you did for us.

    October 10, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. Ancient Texan

    Uh, Just because Romney exploded and exposed all the lies the President and the Media have been telling for the last 18 months and saying that was Romney's plans and policies, he did have a bad night AND gave Romney the opportunity to tell his own version of his plans instead of the Dim's version. The sight of Obama hanging on the speaker's stand for dear life and blubbering for his teleprompter was priceless.

    October 10, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  9. realville

    Poor Barry. He walked off the stage thinking he won the debate. His aides had to let the narcissist know he screwed the pooch.

    October 10, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  10. diablo135

    Heck, even Obamas own campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said they were wrong about the $5 trillion tax thing. Obama didn't have a bad night, that's how he is

    October 10, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He needs to learn and do better in the next debates. Any point that Romney brings up that isn't true or distorts Obama's, Obama has to hit back hard.

    October 10, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  12. rollcall

    it's too far in the game to turn around, FULL STEAM AHEAD. REAL CHANGE. ROMNEY/RYAN 2012!

    October 10, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. troy

    Obama oozes class. I'm an Independent, and he's got my vote.

    October 10, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  14. moving1

    The guy changes his mind on all issues, still hiding his taxes, no one know how he bet against the us with foreign investments, and he stood on a stage, and went against his past positions, and now he is the man. on the other hand, the country was in shambles, getting back, wallstreet over 60%. War on terror going good. we are not there yet, but getting better. So, now the guy who took us out of the ditch had one bad night, and now he is not fit going up against lies....Just my thought.

    October 10, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  15. Dedduck

    A Bad Night ???? This is not a football game !!! this is for President of the united states !!!! You think the guy loosing everything wants to hear that ??? if he has to prepare better for his job ????

    October 10, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  16. who cares

    And we're moving on..

    October 10, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  17. Jimbojoe

    Even if Romney was actually the better candidate, how could anyone consider voting for anyone that isn't even going to tell them what they're going to do in office? It's a mystery grab-bag, and nobody should be gambling with the presidency.

    The prudent choice is to go with the devil you know. Slow recovery is better than no recovery and any other unforseen disasters *cough* WARS *cough*

    October 10, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  18. arosel

    He completely dropped the ball.

    He disappointed his many supporters and we are still upset about it.

    October 10, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  19. NameLarry

    he needs to stop looking down so much. it makes him look like a third grader who forgot his homework and is in trouble for it.

    October 10, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  20. evilrichguy

    Any truth to the rumor that Barry blamed W for his performance?

    October 10, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  21. Chris

    How come all mods end up being liberal. Can they ever a Conservative moderate a debate. 2 Lib fems are going moderate the next 2 Debates

    October 10, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. Tom L.

    Wow. If that was a bad night, what do you call the Libya situation?

    October 10, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. Derek

    You leftards really are easy to make fun of. Oblamo is such a loser. With friends like Axelrod, Cutter, Biden, Clinton, Maddow & Carney, no wonder you fail. These liars are just like the rest of you leftards. You're nothing but a bunch of crybaby losers. Goodbye in November leftards.

    October 10, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. Francis

    Wow! Finally a dose of reality, packaged in rare form for the president...The Truth

    October 10, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. Albert Friday

    Obama you had a bad 3.5 years. Whats new?

    October 10, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
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