Gibbs: Obama will be more energetic in second debate
October 14th, 2012
10:13 AM ET
10 years ago

Gibbs: Obama will be more energetic in second debate

(CNN) – The unenthusiastic President Barack Obama of the first presidential debate won't be showing up for the second showdown with rival Mitt Romney, one of the president's top advisers promised Sunday.

Robert Gibbs, who said Obama was "disappointed" in his first performance on October 3 in Denver, previewed a more vigorous debater for the upcoming matchup Tuesday night in Hempstead, New York.

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"He knew when he walked off that stage, and he also knew as he watched the tape of that debate, that he has to be more energetic," Gibbs said on CNN's "State of the Union." He was speaking with CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, who will moderate Tuesday's debate. "I think you'll see somebody who is very passionate about the choice that our country faces, and putting that choice in front of voters."

Gibbs also shot down reports that Obama ended the first debate believing he had beaten Romney, whom Gibbs ribbed as delivering a "magical and theatrical" performance in Denver.

"For 90 minutes (Romney) walked away from a campaign he had been running for more than six years previous to that," Gibbs claimed, pointing to Romney's remarks on taxes and teachers that struck a more moderate tone than the candidate has expressed on the campaign trail.

Pressed on whether Obama's team should have been expecting that sort of tactic from Romney at the first debate, Gibbs said, "Maybe only Mitt Romney knew that he was going to walk away from his platform."

The upcoming joust on Long Island will feature more robust fact-checking from the president, Gibbs said.

"I think the president will make sure people understand the choice. And certainly if Mitt Romney puts up his hands and says, 'I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut, I don't want to cut taxes on the very wealthy,' absolutely - I think the president will walk through for voters in that room, that are going to be undecided, exactly what the Romney campaign wants to do and why it's bad for this country," the former White House press secretary said.

Romney adviser Ed Gillespie, also speaking on "State of the Union," said a shift in style wouldn't win Obama any points from an electorate looking at the past four years.

"The president can change his style. He can change his tactics. He can't change his record. He can't change his policies. That's what this election is about," Gillespie said.

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Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Deafobama12

    Kahn what do u mean?? I believe Obama will win fact it is mitt liar

    October 14, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. us_1776

    Your choices are simple:


    Please register to vote.

    Push 'D' on all congressional and senate races.

    Obama | Biden 2012


    October 14, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Jon

    Of course Obama will be more energetic, but it will be contrived. Obama is just tired. The last 4-5 years has taken a lot out of him as a man. But if he intends on being a "fact checker" it will be interesting to see what facts he talks about. Liberals are doing what the far right does. They paint a picture of Romney, that is at best reading into his policies, and then calls him a liar when Romney doesn't go along with it. That would be like Romney pressing Obama about being a socialist/communist, then getting angry when Obama refutes it. I would like to see the left abandon that tactic and talk about the real issues. Liberals have a habit of derailing the conversation when its not going their way. I know that's not just on the liberal side, but in this election arguing the peripheral seems to be their main platform. We need the next debate to focus on what's happened the last 4 years and what's going to come of the next 4. I doubt that will happen since the moderator isn't exactly neutral. She's going to do all she can to win this for Obama.

    October 14, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. C Anderson

    Mitt Romney is a serial flip flop liar. The average person doesn't like liars, in the end flip flop Romney will lose.

    October 14, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Lynn

    My advice to THE PRESIDENT, this is your debate to win, you're are already THE PRESIDENT the other guy is just auditioning to try and take your job. Be firm and direct and look at your opponent like you are the man in charge. I know people were trying to paint you as being too soft but you weren't, you were trying to respect the governor but he didn't care that your are THE PRESIDENT. Be firm and decisive, not over bearing and arrogant. CONGRATULATIONS MR. PRESIDENT OBAMA 2012.

    October 14, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. JD

    Hey. We had a VP act like he didn't vote for the "two unfunded wars", and wasn't in the senate during the crash, while blaming the current congress. Anything is possible coming from the president.

    October 14, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. GI Joe

    FBI investigating and already has received copies of emails sent to employees of Koch industries and Murray Coal (in SE Ohio) threatening to fire people if they vote against Romney.

    Those emails in FBI possession are just the tip of the ice-berg. October folks. SURPRISE.

    October 14, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. the420bucsfan

    haha i laugh how democrats beg for "Facts" and "substance" but when they attack Mitt Romney all they can say is "liar"! But no facts to back those "liar" claims just Bias opinions!

    October 14, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    All you have to ask romney the tax cheat is, were you lieing to your doners with your 47% comment , or are you lieing with your new position that you totally support 100% of the American people ,which people are you lieing to???????

    October 14, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. tony

    Both Romney and Ryan outright contradicted the Official Republican Party Platform on Abortion at their respective debates. Their own Convention Platform has NO allowance for rape or incest.

    You can just lie through your teeth at debates and get praised???

    October 14, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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