Denver, CO – A lot of liberals found themselves feeling a bit flat after the first of three debates between incumbent candidate President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney, and the overriding complaint heard was that Obama didn’t hammer his opponent hard enough on a series of easily refutable points such as those made about tax cuts for the very wealthy and Obamacare.
Speculation about Obama’s subdued performance began as soon as the camera cut away from the candidates, with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews laying into Obama following the debate and the internet buzzing with post-battle critique.
It has been posited that Obama was trying to buck the “angry black man” stereotype leveled at him by the Romney camp since the campaign started, and some have said that Obama was not “used to being challenged” on the level seen during the debate.
But, on the morning after, President Obama brought out an edge he didn’t display the night before speaking to supporters in Denver. After the tepid showing at the debate the night before, Obama attacked Romney’s big reveal about PBS and mocked the candidate for retooling his position sharply before the showdown:
“When I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney … But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney, because 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 onstage last night said he didn’t know anything about that … We know for sure it was not the real Mitt Romney because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant.”
On the night’s “Big Bird” riff, Obama quipped:
“Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird … We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit.”
Were you hoping Obama would have come out swinging last night?