When even the media is starting to tire of prepackaged answers from the Obama campaign, you begin to wonder exactly how they will get through Obama himself spinning answers next Wednesday at the first Presidential debate.That irritation was on display quite prominently today on CNN, when anchor Soledad O’Brien interrupted Delaware Governor Jack Markell in the middle of an answer tinged with spin to react with incredulity at how irrelevant Markell’s answer was to her question.
The exchange began with O’Brien quoting from a number of campaign surrogates within both the Romney campaign and the Obama campaign, each claiming that their candidate was badly out of practice on debates, in an attempt to lower expectations prior to Wednesday. Yet, O’Brien noted, in a CNN poll of likely voters, 59 per cent of those voters expected President Obama to win the debates, compared with just 33 for Romney, suggesting that even if the Obama campaign is trying to lower expectations for the President, the voters aren’t buying it.
Markell tried to change the subject, arguing that what the poll respondents really meant was that by a 59-33 margin, they thought Obama had the better vision for the country. O’Brien started laughing and cut him off hastily.
“Governor, I’ve got to stop you right there. I’m going to stop you right there, because that’s not what they’re saying in the poll. Honestly, please,” O’Brien said. “It was so smooth and yet so ridiculous, I had to stop you in the middle.”
O’Brien then proceeded to ask the question again, this time a little more pointedly. Markell’s composure noticeably flagged.
“Look, I mean in the end, the amount of time that we spend talking about debates itself is sort of – is interesting to me,” Markell stammered. “I mean, they’re both gonna go out there, gonna do what they can, I mean Mitt Romney has obviously spent a lot more time preparing for these debates. He had all the debates earlier this year. The President is a good communicator, there’s no question about it, but in terms of a debate one-on-one, Mitt Romney has obviously had a whole lot more experience in the last year getting ready for this.”
Watch the exchange via Mediaite below:
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