What’s Up: October 5, 2012?

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· Romney goes on attack in presidential debate

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Mitt Romney delivered a series of tough shots at President Obama’s first term during Wednesday’s first presidential debate, leaving the president on his heels for much of the night and potentially gaining badly needed momentum for the final stretch of the 2012 race. There were no knock-out punches at the forum in Denver, but Romney framed Obama as incapable of turning around the economy, accusing the president of ushering in an era of “trickle-down government” that left Americans in need of a fresh path to the future. “Middle income families are being crushed,” Romney told the president. “The question is how to get them going again. Going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it with the American people who are struggling today.” Obama countered that Romney was promising an economic fairy tale in which he would cut taxes for all Americans, increase defense spending and stanch the flow of red ink overwhelming the national budget. Obama repeatedly hammered Romney for what he said would amount to a $5 trillion tax cut, including a break for the wealthiest Americans. “Math, common sense and our history show us that is not a recipe for growth,” Obama said. The presidential candidates exchanged blows over domestic policy during the 90-minute forum, with Romney proving the more aggressive of the pair in the opening passage of the debate. Romney said the president was distorting the GOP tax plan, while pushing through a blueprint that would cripple small business and halt already stagnant job growth. “I’ve got five boys,” Romney said, seeking to add a personal flair to his economic appeal. “I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep repeating it.” Story Continued:

· HURT: Obama the debater: Making Jimmy Carter look awesome – Party like it’s 1980! Bewildered and lost without his teleprompter, President Obama flailed all around the debate stage last night. He was stuttering, nervous and petulant. It was like he had been called in front of the principal after goofing around for four years and blowing off all his homework. Not since Jimmy Carter faced Ronald Reagan has the U.S. presidency been so embarrassingly represented in public. Actually, that’s an insult to Jimmy Carter. The split screen was most devastating. Mitt Romney spoke forthrightly, with carefully studied facts and details at the ready. He looked right at the president and accused him of being miles out of his depth. Mr. Obama? His eyes were glued to his lectern, looking guilty and angry and impatient with all the vagaries of Democracy. This debate was seriously chafing him. What exactly was Mr. Obama’s strategy here? Did he figure with so many people unemployed in this abomination of an economy he should go for the sympathy vote? Like voters could relate to a guy who is just scared pants less that he is about to lose his job? In the middle of the blood-letting segment about jobs, Mr. Romney said good-naturedly: “This is fun.” Almost pleading, Mr. Obama reached out to the moderator for a lifeline: “You may want to move onto another topic.” When an unexpected noise went off behind him, Mr. Obama wheeled around to look as if to ask, “Time to go?” Hopefully. Turns out, it was the first honest thing we have heard from Mr. Obama’s campaign: The president really was absolutely terrible on the debate stage. Maybe the next debate will be on something other than the economy that won’t be so bad for Mr. Obama. Perhaps they could hold a debate on street organizing. Who knew anyone on the planet could make Mitt Romney look easy, relaxed, smooth and human? But Mr. Romney was absolutely on fire Wednesday night. He had command of countless specifics from voters and business owners from all across country. Story Continued:

· The smile that says it all: Romney celebrates debate win as top Obama aide admits defeat and promises change of strategy – Barack Obama’s top strategist said that the campaign will take a ‘hard look’ at how to approach future debates in the light of last night’s failure – and appealed to the media to challenge Mitt Romney on the issues which the President avoided in Denver. All but stating that the Republican had won the debate, David Axelrod conceded that the performance aspect was ‘not the President’s strong suit in these events’ but insisted that ‘I don’t see us adding huge amounts of additional prep time.’ The remarks came after the Obama campaign was left reeling by Mr Romney’s knockout performance in the candidates’ first head-to-head clash, with polls suggesting that voters regarded the former governor of Massachusetts as the debate winner by a margin of more than two to one. Democratic strategists are now fighting to preserve the narrow poll lead which Mr Obama enjoyed in the run-up to the debate, as fired-up Republicans aim to capitalise on the primetime thrashing and entrench the image of Mr Romney as a potential President. Mr Axelrod, speaking on a campaign conference call, made an appeal to reporters to make the points that Obama himself had failed to make in the debate. ‘All of you who travel on the road with Governor Romney know that he just few weeks ago stood up and said we didn’t need any more teachers,’ he said. ‘Last night he couldn’t be more enthusiastic about teachers and more teachers.’ Story Continued:

· PICKET: Michael Moore to Obama – ‘This is what happens when u pick John Kerry as your debate coach’ Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore was disappointed with President Barack Obama’s performance at the first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday night and, he made his views known on Twitter to his over one million one hundred thousand followers. Moore was also angry with PBS debate moderator Jim Lehrer, saying that “[Clint] Eastwood’s chair would do a better job moderating…”: Here’s a sample of some of Mr. Moore’s tweets: “Get This Obama spoke FOUR minutes longer than Romney did tonight! Didn’t feel that way, did it? That sorta says it all.” Story Continued and more Michael Moore Tweets:

· Press Kept at Distance at Biden Event – Seems like the press are being kept far away from Joe Biden–and Iowans–at the vice president’s rally today. Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register reports on Twitter: Story Continued with more Tweets from the media in Council Bluffs, Iowa:

· Biden: ‘Yes, We Do’ Want to Raise Taxes By a Trillion Dollars – “On top of the trillions of dollars of spending that we have already cut, we’re gonna ask – yes – we’re gonna ask the wealthy to pay more,” said Biden. “My heart breaks, come on man. You know the phrase they always use? Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars. Guess what? Yes we do in one regard. We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut expire so the middle class doesn’t have to bear the burden of all that money going to the super wealthy. That’s not a tax raise, that’s called fairness where I come from.” Story Continued and to watch the video:

· OCTOBER SURPRISE? OBAMA SECRET IRAN DEAL CUT

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Look for announcement of temporary halt to uranium enrichment. Iran could announce a temporary halt to uranium enrichment before next month’s U.S. election in a move to save Barack Obama’s presidency, a source affiliated with high Iranian officials said today. The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons, said a representative of the Obama administration engaged in secret negotiations yesterday with a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Obama representative has urged the Iranian leader to announce a halt to enrichment, even if temporary, before the Nov. 6 election, promising removal of some sanctions. The source said the Obama representative warned that a Mitt Romney presidency would change the U.S. relationship with Iran regarding its nuclear program. The U.S. representative reminded the Iranians that President Obama has stood in front of Israel, preventing the Jewish state from attacking Iran over its illicit nuclear arms policy. Yesterday’s meeting, which took place in Doha, Qatar, was coordinated by the Qatar monarchy, whose members attended at the request of the Obama administration. Ali Akbar Velayati, the former Iranian foreign minister and current close adviser to the supreme leader on international affairs, secretly traveled to Qatar for the meeting. Velayati is wanted by Argentina for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people. The Obama representative urged Velayati to announce a halt, even if it is only for a week or two, to uranium enrichment prior to the U.S. election, according to the source. The U.S. representative promised the Obama administration quickly would remove some sanctions on the Iranian central bank and oil industry, with further collaboration after the election, the source said. Yesterday’s secret meeting took place even as hundreds of merchants in Tehran marched on parliament to protest the collapsing Iranian currency and the Islamic regime’s financial support for the besieged Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Riot police violently clamped down on black-market money changers while merchants in the sprawling bazaar closed their shops during the protest. With inflation soaring, Iranian merchants can’t sell their goods, for fear they won’t be able to restock their shelves. Yesterday’s negotiation was an extension of secret negotiations begun in early January when, according to Iranian officials and a report by Fars News Agency, Obama requested collaboration with the Islamic regime through three different channels. The channels were a letter to the supreme leader, a message to the Iranian U.N. delegate and a direct message through Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti in Tehran in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Ministry officials, who quoted a message from Obama. Story Continued:

· SULLIVAN: OBAMA MAY HAVE LOST ELECTION TONIGHT – ‘How is closing statement so f—ing sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost.’ (Daily Beast) 10.31 pm. Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama’s meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look. Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn’t there. He was entirely defensive, which may have been the strategy. But it was the wrong strategy. At the wrong moment. The person with authority on that stage was Romney – offered it by one of the lamest moderators ever, and seized with relish. This was Romney the salesman. And my gut tells me he sold a few voters on a change tonight. It’s beyond depressing. But it’s true. Story Continued:

· Passive-Aggressive Behavior in Denver – Presidential Stage Fright

See the man with the stage fright

Just standin’ up there to give it all his might.

And he got caught in the spotlight,

But when we get to the end

He wants to start all over again.

– “Stage Fright,” The Band

The manifestations of last night’s presidential debate have finally set in and we can’t help but imagine how dull and annoying the celebration inside the inner sanctum of Romney’s camp must be. We can only hope that the lowly staffers and interns swarming around their Republican chieftains were sneaking off with their miniature bottles of booze to indulge in safe quarters away from the Mormon leader. We say this with experience as one of us knows firsthand just how mundane a LDS soiree can be, having flirted with their offspring long ago. Lunesta would have likely been more stimulating than Obama and Romney exchanging handshakes on issues ranging from Medicare to taxes. It was clear Obama, ill-prepared and perhaps on a sedative himself, was not expecting much in the way of competition. Typically reserved and aloof in front of the bright lights and big cameras, Obama was cool to the point of frigidity. Lost without his teleprompter, Obama stumbled over his talking points on numerous occasions. Romney on the other hand, with no stately matters on his desk as he awakens except to worry about the fluctuations of his blind trust, had been prepping for Obama for the past month. But even that doesn’t explain his hyper-aggressiveness. Perhaps someone slipped him his first cup of coffee in the Green Room. As per usual, the Republican primary debates were far more entertaining, especially the early set, with Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul on stage – expanding the discourse and humor far beyond the yawning Lehrer affair. Which brings us to the moderator Mr. Jim Lehrer. If Obama looked sedate, moderator Jim Lehrer seemed pre-embalmed. This other Big Bird of PBS was forced to smirk as Romney assured him he’d pull the public funds from his salary. Less of a moderator and more like a grandfather that has too much arthritis to wrestle with the youngsters, Lehrer put forth one of the worst performances in presidential debate history. An inept and deferential interviewer, Lehrer failed to prod the two out of their comfort zones. Several times Lehrer assured the audience that, yes, indeed these two in fact differ (Even when, bizarrely, Obama admitted that he and Romney shared the same position on gutting Social Security–true no doubt, but you’d think that Obama would at least try to pretend their was space between their entrenched neoliberal positions.). A lot. How? Just take their word for it. Next question. Story Continued:

· Barack’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Countdown Day – Yes, we can. But can he? Something is not quite right with President Barack Obama. That was clear long before his passive, distracted performance here Wednesday night against Mitt Romney. The president needs to get back some form of his old magic if he hopes to secure a victory that, until the Denver debate, seemed all but inevitable, even to many of his foes. The evidence of the president’s distance and distaste for the campaign is everywhere. He is invisible around Washington, a place he clearly doesn’t like and where he has made few new political friends. He mailed in his acceptance speech in Charlotte, N.C., looking at the end like a man who couldn’t wait to get off the stage. He has dutifully hit the campaign trail, but not with the zest or the frenzied response of 2008. And he clearly didn’t master his brief for the debate when he went to ground in Las Vegas, though he did take time for a day trip to Hoover Dam. What gives? Well, no president, cocooned for four years in the adulation of staff and riding around in Air Force One dealing with global issues, like to descend back into the muck of the campaign world. But most manage to pretend to relish it. Not this president, certainly not last night. He seemed to be close to pouting at times. This not-quite-there Obama has its roots in the kind of campaign he decided to run: lacking in big new ideas for a second term, essentially defensive, based on the destruction of Romney as an alternative. It doesn’t fit the positive, good-guy image that the president had built for himself in his relatively short political career — and indeed, that he had built in his entire adult life as a star student, community organizer, civil rights lawyer and law professor. He’d rather be the master of uplift than the king of the put-down. And any president would rather tell a simple, positive story than a complex, gray one. Obama is stuck with the need to do the latter. He has been extraordinarily lucky in politics until now. Two opponents’ sex scandals, one each for the primary and general elections, cleared his path to the Senate. With luck and timing, he rode to the White House on a wave of disgust with George W. Bush. But as president, he has faced the worst and most intractable recession since the 1930s, a Republican Party that refuses to deal in good faith, a world economy in the midst of wrenching change and a decline in institutions that once provided order and respect. It’s a tough row. He has had successes, but he has also made mistakes. For a man who was used to getting an A on every exam and winning every coveted accolade, it’s tough to know that barely half of the American people, if that, think you are doing a decent job in your current course work. Obama is trying to deal with this unsettling personal reality largely alone — in good part by his own choice. He is surrounded by a small circle of good friends that has, if anything, grown smaller and tighter during his time in Washington. The inner circle — Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Eric Whitaker, Jim Messina and David Plouffe, to name most of them — tell him how wonderful, destined and inevitable he is. But the president didn’t act Wednesday night like a man who believed it. Perhaps their advice is getting a little old, or repetitive, or unrealistic. Story Continued:

· Obama Blasts Mitt Romney’s Debate Candor: ‘You Owe The American People The Truth’

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Looking for a quick recovery from a disappointing debate, President Barack Obama questioned the identity of the “real” Mitt Romney on Thursday, suggesting his Republican rival had not been candid about his policy positions while on stage. “Gov. Romney may dance around his positions but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth,” Obama said at a post-debate rally. Romney’s campaign dismissed the criticism as “damage control.” Obama’s aggressive stand came as his campaign conceded he will have to adjust his debate style. Wednesday’s night event was widely viewed as a win for Romney and a lost opportunity for Obama to connect with the American people as national polls had showed him with a slight advantage heading into their first debate. Obama said that when he reached the debate stage “I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney,” Obama said, adding that the “real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.” The president also accused Romney of misrepresenting past statements on education and outsourcing. In tough comments, the president said Romney “does not want to be held accountable … because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s selling.” Obama panned Romney’s suggestion during the debate that one way to pare back federal spending is to cut the subsidy for PBS, which airs “Sesame Street.” Romney said he likes PBS and “I love Big Bird,” but said the country couldn’t afford to keep borrowing money from China to pay for things like that. “When he was asked what he’d actually do to cut the deficit and reduce spending, he said he’d eliminate funding for public television. That was his answer. I mean thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird. It’s about time,” Obama joked. “We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit. But that’s what we heard last night. How about that? Elmo, too?” Story Continued:

· Could Mitt Romney’s Debate Win Mean A Victory In The Election? – Unless you’re David Plouffe or another member of President Barack Obama’s cheerleading squad, you’re probably wouldn’t argue that Obama won Wednesday night’s debate. Indeed, instant polls from CNN and CBS showed Romney leading Obama by 42 to 22 percentage points, respectively, on the question of who won. But can even a dominant win in a debate produce a victory in November? A few key numbers suggest that Romney supporters shouldn’t expect too much as a result of last night’s performance. One of those numbers is 32. That’s the percentage of undecided voters who told Washington Post and ABC News pollsters last week that they were “very interested” in the presidential debates. By contrast, 59 percent of definite Obama supporters and 53 percent of Romney supporters said they were “very interested.” As Scott Clement wrote for The Fix, “The poll’s finding underscores the challenge for Obama and Romney to sway a shrinking and elusive slice of the electorate with less than five weeks left in the contest. In addition to lacking clear support for Obama or Romney, on-the-fence voters are much less likely to say they are ‘absolutely certain to vote’ than those with firm opinions, even further limiting their potential impact on the election.” The narrowness and elusiveness of that slice of the electorate may explain why John Kerry’s acclaimed performance in the 2004 presidential debates didn’t lead to a Kerry presidency. Although Kerry gained about four points in the polls between the end of the Republican National Convention and the end of the debates, that only put him at 46 or 47 percentage points overall — less than the 48 points that pollsters gave him at his peak in the days leading up to the convention. In other words, it’s reasonable to conclude that the debates helped Kerry earn back the votes of disaffected voters who’d previously supported him, but he didn’t appear to win over many new converts. Romney’s performance could have a similar effect on voters and donors who were losing faith in his candidacy, and that makes things much more difficult for Obama. But unless he wins the votes of either Obama’s supporters or those hard-to-reach undecided voters, he’ll have a hard time winning in November. Nate Cohn of The New Republic explained it this way: Story Continued:

· Some Obama Campaign Aides ‘Shell-Shocked’ After Debate – The president’s team officially downplayed the debate, faulted Romney’s facts and pledged to make adjustments. But some aides and alumni admitted Mitt changed the narrative last night. By James Warren. Mitt Romney’s debate performance could well trigger a “restart button” for his campaign, prompting a second look at him from those who have been curious but not really committed, according to President Obama’s former chief of staff. “People had been set in their ways, with many thinking, ‘Obama is going to win.'” said William Daley, now back in Chicago after serving in the West Wing. “If this is a restart and a second look for those who have been soft, then that puts pressure on [Vice President Joe] Biden in the next big show,” meaning the vice presidential debate with Rep. Paul Ryan on Oct. 11. “What seems to be a victory in optics for Romney may create an opportunity for those people to take a second look. Looking at the polling going into the debate, he needed that,” said Daley, who oversaw Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign against George W. Bush. “Opinion is that he had an extremely good night and that is a big advantage,” said Daley. “That’s big for a guy on the ropes, now perhaps back with solid legs in the ring. Whether that now turns into a fundamental beginning of a reshape of the campaign is unknown.” At least two current Obama campaign aides were blunter than Daley and used the term “shell-shocked” over the Obama performance. There were various analyses of what went wrong, including finger-pointing at debate preparations. Those included claims that Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who played the role of Romney in mock debates, probably wasn’t tough and aggressive enough (“he does, after all, want to be Secretary of State,” claimed one aide). Partly lost in the fray was Obama’s history as a good but not necessarily great debater with a style at times nonchalant and diffident. That’s what gave rise to the “No Drama Obama” moniker that gained currency during the 2008 campaign. “Sure was ‘No Drama Obama’ last night,” said a campaign aide who, like others in the Obama camp, pointed to what they deemed clearly misleading Romney comments, notably on his own tax and health-care plans. Story Continued:

· Why President Obama, Despite Scoring Points, Fell Flat in the Denver Debate – On paper, Barack Obama didn’t have that bad a night in Denver.

Unfortunately for him, debates aren’t won on paper.

Watching the proceedings at the University of Denver, I didn’t see the split-screen reaction shots that showed the president looking down and generally looking glum. I thought Mitt Romney had a stronger night but that Obama effectively punctured some of his arguments.

Didn’t matter. What viewers at home saw was a poised and confident challenger and a long-winded incumbent giving discursive answers and never using his strongest ammunition.

Presidential debates are political theater, and Obama did not play the role of a leading man. Did his advisers not warn him about looking energetic and engaged? He was a 33 and 1/3 album while Romney spun like a 78 single. Former GOP chairman Michael Steele told me Obama came across as a cross between Al Gore sighing and George H. W. Bush looking at his watch.

Obama’s scored a slew of substantive points, but that is being swept away in the torrent of post-debate commentary. The gang at MSNBC savaged the president with a sense of despair mixed with anger that their man had let them down. If Obama has lost Chris Matthews, he’s lost liberal America.

How on earth did Obama let an hour and a half go by and not mention Romney’s taped remarks about writing off 47 percent of the country as freeloaders, or bring up his career at Bain Capital? This wasn’t a PBS seminar on the intricacies of the federal budget.

The media pile-on will change the way voters look at the debate, as happened after Gore’s eye-rolling performance in 2000. Instead of recalling a debate in which Romney outhustled and outpointed the president, Denver will be remembered as a horrifying debacle for Obama. Being pounded in the press hour after hour changes the way an event is viewed in the rearview mirror. The Saturday Night Live parody can’t be far behind.

But if journalists were doing their jobs, more of them would focus on the factual holes in Romney’s performance.

After running on a major tax cut for a year and a half, Romney is suddenly emphasizing that the wealthy won’t end up paying less because he will close loopholes and deductions—yet despite the president’s prodding he wouldn’t say what those were. So Romney has a secret plan to slash taxes without boosting the deficit he decries? Isn’t that a big story?

The president also scored when he noted the irony of Romney vowing to repeal Obamacare while touting his health-care program in Massachusetts that was its model, insurance mandate and all. But that barely rated a mention in the media chatter.

As for Romney again promising to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law but then saying he would keep parts of it, wasn’t he trying to have it both ways? Is he now scrambling to the center? Story Continued:

· AARP to Obama: Don’t mention us again – President Obama invoked AARP to defend his health care law last night, prompting the influential group to release a statement telling him not to do that again.

“While we respect the rights of each campaign to make its case to voters, AARP has never consented to the use of its name by any candidate or political campaign,” the group posted in a statement. “AARP is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates nor coordinate with any candidate or political party.”

Obama can perhaps be forgiven for thinking he could mention AARP given how they coordinated with him to pass Obamacare, which is a golden goose for the organization.

“Thanks to its cuts to Medicare Advantage, Obamacare is expected to expand the number of seniors buying “medigap” supplemental insurance plans,” The Washington Examiner explained in an editorial. “AARP controls 34 percent of the market for such plans. According to a 2011 House Ways and Means Committee report, AARP stands to make between $55 million and $166 million from Obamacare in 2014 alone.” Story Continued:

· Romney’s strong debate showing puts Europe on edge

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President Barack Obama’s lackluster performance in the first U.S. election debate provoked uneasiness in European capitals on Thursday, where hopes are mostly, if unofficially, pinned on his securing a second term.

While a lot can change before the November 6 vote, and Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will go head to head twice more before then, polling conducted immediately after the debate showed Romney came out overwhelmingly on top.

A flash poll by CNN showed 67 percent of viewers thought Romney had ‘won’, with just 25 percent for Obama. Intrade, an online prediction market, cut Obama’s re-election prospects from 74 percent to 66 percent.

In Europe, where leaders and finance officials have worked closely with the Obama administration over the past 2-1/2 years trying to resolve the euro area debt crisis, there was particular consternation at Romney’s singling out of deficit-ridden Spain as a poorly administered economy.

“Romney is making analogies that aren’t based on reality,” Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters after a meeting of his centre-right party.

Leading Spanish daily El Pais highlighted the fact that Spain was the only European country mentioned, and contrasted Romney’s negative depiction of it with Obama’s praise for Spain’s renewable energy policies during the 2008 campaign.

“Spain has never been mentioned in a presidential debate as a symbol of failure,” the left-leaning newspaper lamented. “What happened last night makes history and not in a good way.”

Political commentators in France and Germany registered surprise at Obama’s underwhelming performance, saying the election could be much tighter as a result.

“Obama showed a lack of desire to be president, which could put him on shaky ground as a presidential candidate,” said liberal German news magazine Der Spiegel.

“It’s now clear that to get back into the White House the U.S. president needs running shoes, not flip-flops.”

France’s Le Monde appeared equally surprised by Obama’s sub-par performance. “Where did the favorite go?” it asked on its front page, with a headline below saying: “Obama fails his first televised debate against an incisive Romney.” Story Continued:

· Romney surrogate Sununu calls Obama ‘lazy and detached’

A surrogate for Mitt Romney on Thursday said President Obama’s performance at the first presidential debate, held in Denver, revealed how “lazy and detached he is.”

The surrogate, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R), made the remarks in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, a day after the crucial debate. Polls showed most viewers believed Romney won the first of three face-to-face clashes, and even many Obama supporters acknowledged that the president’s performance could have been stronger.

“What people saw last night, I think, was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is, how he has absolutely no idea how serious the economic problems of the country are, and how he has failed to even begin to address them,” Sununu said.

“I think even the liberal press reacted with shock at this revelation, and I find it fascinating now this morning, after they’ve slept, to watch them all scrambling around to clean up the mess the president left on the floor last night,” he continued.

Sununu also praised Romney’s performance, saying that the GOP nominee had shown a deeper understanding of the issues that matter to voters. Story Continued and to watch the video:

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