Axelrod on Obama Debate Performance: ‘The President Did Plenty of Homework’

Talking about President Obama’s widely-panned debate performance Wednesday, David Axelrod argued that it was partly Mitt Romney’s fault.

“The president was there to answer questions that were asked and to discuss the future of the country as he saw it,” Axelrod said on Face the Nation today, addressing why Obama had not himself argued that Romney was being dishonest during the debate if he thought he was, “but look, I also – I will be honest with you, I think he was a little taken aback at the brazenness with which Governor Romney walked away from  so many of the positions on which he’s run, walked away from his record, and you know that’s something we’re going to have to make an adjustment for in these subsequent debates.”

“As President Clinton would say, it takes a certain brass to do with what Governor Romney did there,” Axelrod added.

He denied that Obama hadn’t prepared enough saying, “The president did plenty of homework.”  Obama hadn’t mentioned the 47 percent comment — which Romney characterized later last week as “completely wrong” — because he didn’t find an “appropriate opportunity.” 

“The president is his harshest critic,” Axelrod said, “and without getting into detail, I think you can assume that  he’s reviewed the tape, and it will inform how he handles these subsequent debates.” 

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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