President Barack Obama lowered debate expectations at a rally Sunday night in Las Vegas, where he is hunkering down for three days of preparation before his first head-to-head with Mitt Romney later this week.”Governor Romney, he’s a good debater,” Obama told supporters. “I’m just OK.”
The remark was not without a hint of irony, which Obama underscored later when he told the audience that he was not interested in taking down his opponent with “zingers.” Romney has reportedly been working for months on memorizing one-liners to use against the president.
“What I’m most concerned about is having a serious discussion about what we need to do to keep this country growing,” Obama said Sunday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “That’s the debate the country deserves.”
Obama’s campaign press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated this strategy to reporters on Air Force One Sunday afternoon, adding that Obama will be more focused on addressing voters at home than he will be on his opponent on stage.
“The president and Mitt Romney clearly look at the debates as a very different opportunity,” Psaki said, according to the White House pool report. “The president sees this as an opportunity to continue his conversation with the American people as he has been doing over the last several months including at the convention which was probably our largest audience to date.”
“This will be a very large audience,” she added. “He wants to speak directly to the families of people who are on their couches at home, having snacks, drinking a beer, drinking soda whatever it is, and tuning in for the first time. That’s who he is speaking directly to.”
“Mitt Romney and his team have been clear that what they need, what they expect from the debates is a game changing performance.”
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