Who won the debate Wednesday night between incumbent candidate President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney seemed to be barely in question, as even in-the-tank liberals like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked questions like “where was Obama tonight?”
Who won the debate was scarcely debated, and pundits from conservative and liberal outlets alike hammered the president for what was deemed a lackluster performance and disinterest in challenging Romney as he made a series of statements seemingly countering much of what he has said during his lengthy campaign.
Even the staunchest supporters of President Obama did not seem to question who won the debate, and advisers to the Commander-in-Chief seemed nearly resigned to the post-debate trouncing Obama received by media on both sides of the aisle.
Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod simply commented after critiques began to filter in:
“There is some strategic judgment that has to be made, and we’ll make it … I’m sure that he will consider his approach moving forward.”
David Plouffe, another senior Obama campaign adviser, jettisoned criticism that the President missed an opportunity to hit Romney back on issues such as Bain Capital and the former Massachusetts governor’s remarks about the “47 percent,” saying that voters are aware of those points already. Plouffe explained that Obama focused on the economy’s direction rather than Romney’s missteps:
“Sure, there might have been an exchange where that came up … But our view, again, was to say where we want to take the country on the economy.”
But, Plouffe says, there is only one factor that Romney should be concerned with, and it isn’t necessarily who won the debate — the senior Obama adviser said:
“Is he going to take the lead in Ohio? … If he doesn’t, he’s not going to be president.”
Were you impressed by Mitt Romney’s showing in Wednesday night’s showdown? Do you think the GOP contender clearly won the debate?