Election 2012: Obama and Romney face-off in first debate tonight
“I think you’re going to see the Mitt Romney that really cares about putting Americans back to work,” senior adviser Kevin Madden said on “CBS This Morning” Wednesday.
Obama senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs, appearing on the same program, said “I think what you’ll hear the president do tonight is have a conversation with the American people about where we’ve been over the past four years.”
In a quadrennial pre-debate ritual, each campaign has worked overtime to raise expectations for the opponent while lowering the bar for its own candidate. The thinking is that it’s better to exceed lukewarm expectations than to fail to perform at an anticipated level of great skill.
But both men are seasoned debaters: Obama has been here before, facing off with McCain in 2008. Romney hasn’t gone one-on-one in a presidential debate, but he got plenty of practice thinking on his feet during the 19 multi-candidate debates during the Republican primaries.
On a long day of debate prep, Romney in Denver and Obama in Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas — both candidates tried to blow off some steam Tuesday. The president made a tourist’s visit to nearby Hoover Dam, and Romney fit in a lunchtime outing to a Mexican grill for a burrito bowl.
The two candidates’ biggest fans talked up their debating abilities in pre-debate interviews.
Michelle Obama told CNN she’s like a nervous parent watching a child performing on the balance beam when her husband debates.