Online Staff Report
President Barack Obama has pledged to be more aggressive in the next presidential debate after being what he called “too polite” to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the first debate Oct. 3.
During a radio interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show Oct. 10, Obama said: “Well, two things. I mean, you know, the debate, I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite, because, you know, it’s hard to sometimes just keep on saying and what you’re saying isn’t true. It gets repetitive. But, you know, the good news is, is that’s just the first one. Gov. Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term.
“… And, you know, I think it’s fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next one,” Obama added.
Romney claimed a mostly unanimous decision among pundits following the Oct. 3 debate. The Republican candidate showed poise, energy and focus during the debate, while the usually unflappable Obama seemed unfocused and somewhat disinterested during the debate.
As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake reported Oct. 4: “Obama seemed frazzled: He didn’t have an Al-Gore-sighs moment, but Obama was clearly not having a good time on stage. His head was down when Romney was talking, his responses were halting at times, he often nodded (as if showing approval) or smirked when Romney was talking, and he even conceded some points to Romney on issues like deficit reduction and not being a ‘perfect’ president. None of these were by themselves huge moments (as Gore’s sigh was), but the totality suggested a candidate who wasn’t terribly comfortable. And he wasn’t.”
Prior to the first presidential debate Oct. 3, Obama had gained a slight advantage of as much as 4 percentage points in the polls. However, the gap closed immediately following the Oct. 3 debate.
An Oct. 10 Gallup Tracking poll had Obama and Romney tied at 48 percent, while a Rasmussen Tracking poll had Romney edging Obama 48-47 percent and an IBD/TIPP Tracking poll had Romney leading Obama 49-44 percent.
Obama’s approval rating stood at 53-42 percent approval in an Oct. 10 Gallup poll and 50-49 percent disapproval in an Oct. 10 Rasmussen Reports poll.
Remaining presidential debates include the following:
• Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. Moderator will be Candy Crowley, CNN chief political correspondent. Debate will be a town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy.
• Monday, Oct. 22, 8-9:30 p.m. (Central), presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Moderator will be Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s Face the Nation. Topic will be foreign policy.
A vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is set for 8 to 9:30 p.m. (Central), Thursday, Oct. 11, at Centre College in Danville, Ky., with moderator Martha Raddatz, ABC news chief and foreign correspondent.
Posted Oct. 10, 2012