Reeling from an admittedly lousy performance in the first presidential debate, President Obama’s reelection team is building up expectations for Round Two against Mitt Romney this Tuesday evening in Long Island.
Appearing Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Obama’s senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said the president was “disappointed in his own performance” in the first debate and vows to be more “energetic” and “passionate” in the second one at Hofstra University.
“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. “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.”
“I think the president will be very forward looking, will be very conscious of making sure people understand the choice in this election,” he said.
Obama’s relatively dull performance against a dynamic, better-prepared Romney two weeks ago has led to a surge in the polls for the Republican nominee, who now leads narrowly in several national surveys and is catching up in key swing states.
Gibbs dubbed Romney’s performance “magical and theatrical,” telegraphing that Obama intends to take his opponent to task for pivoting away from the rigidly conservative candidate he portrayed himself as while fighting for the Republican nomination.
“For 90 minutes he walked away from a campaign he had been running for more than six years previous to that,” he said.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.