Debate 2012: Dems, GOP Tamp Down Expectations
7 months ago
Despite Obama poll lead, both he and Romney cry underdog going into Denver debate
Heading into tonight's first presidential debate, both sides are playing down expectations of big wins for their candidates.
Despite President Barack Obama's lead in recent polls of likely voters and the advantage any incumbent usually has going into a head-to-head discussion of the issues, Democratic party leaders it's really GOP challenger Mitt Romney who has the upper hand.
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“People forget that [the president] hasn’t debated in four year and gets just hours to prep, in between managing the responsibilities of the running the country,” Democratic National Committee press secretary Melanie Roussell said by phone.
The president’s lead in battleground states, Roussell said, is no substitute for a specifics-oriented performance going into tonight's debate at the University of Denver with the former Massachusetts governor. And specifics will be key for the president.
“Romney spent three day straight preparing in Vermont, but he’s not going to talk about the details of his plans. He’s been practicing his zingers to tear down the president.” Roussell said.
Romney's penchant for lackluster policy details -- as well as poll-sinking gaffes -- has some in his party biting their nails with anxiety. Romney even recently warned that he might not have time to go into policy detail because he’d spend his time fact-checking Obama’s debate rhetoric.
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“I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true,” Romney said during an interview Sept. 14 with ABC's “Good Morning America.”