Romney gave 'a very vigorous performance devoid of honesty'
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
#1 Oct 4, 2012
The Obama campaign held a post-debate press call Thursday morning, with David Axelrod trying not to obscure Mitt Romney's win on debating style but rather to shift the discussion to Romney's lies, and to highlight the different intentions with which Romney and President Barack Obama entered the debate.
Romney's big lies and dodges, as identified by Axelrod and by policy director James Kvaal, are familiar. There's the Medicare lie, the Obamacare dodge, the not-cutting-education lie, and oh so many others. Romney gave, Axelrod said, "a very vigorous performance but one that was devoid of honesty. So today, the day after, I think the question for you [in the press], for the American people, is really one of character" and whether a performance and a campaign so dependent on falsehoods earns the trust needed for the presidency. This press call is one step in the Obama campaign's efforts to hold Romney accountable and force him to justify the things he said.
Axelrod noted that, when asked before the debate what he anticipated, he said he expected Romney to do well, because "he's a very good performer, partly because he's untethered from the truth." So it's not surprising that we learned that Romney will say anything, which makes him effective in the short term but vulnerable in the long term. "He's shown a propensity to mortgage the long term for the short term," something we saw in the primaries.
Romney's polished, aggressive performance contrasted, according to Axelrod, with Obama "view[ing the debate] as an opportunity to talk to the American people" and to answer serious questions honestly. The outcome of the debate may prompt the campaign to reconsider the president's debate strategy to address the sheer volume of Romney's lies, but importantly, Axelrod pointed out, while snap polling showed Romney overwhelmingly winning the debate, that win did not seem to be translating into much increase in support for Romney's candidacy.
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