Romney, Obama Gear Up For Presidential Debate
Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are both channeling extensive energy into preparation for Wednesday night’s first presidential debate – which could prove to be a turning point in either candidate’s favor.
The debate will be held at the University of Denver and focus on the economy, a loaded topic for Romney and Obama.
President Obama has retreated to a resort in Nevada for three days of intense preparation with a team of top advisers. They aim to shorten the President’s verbose speaking style, and coach him on appearing unflustered in the face of Romney’s criticism.
As seen in the 2008 debate with Democratic Primary opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama famously remarked that Clinton was “likeable enough”, highlighting the Obama's tendency to come across removed and unconcerned.
While Obama comes across too cool, Romney’s biggest threat is his heated temper. This was demonstrated at a Primary debate with Rick Perry earlier this year, where Romney became so frustrated with Perry’s debate antics that he repeatedly remarked, “I’m speaking, I’m speaking. ”
Romney has spent 8 days out of the past month preparing for the debate with a close team of advisers and his mock debate partner, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. The stakes are high for Romney, who has experienced a decline in the polls in the past few weeks, placing him behind Obama.
One tactic that both parties have been employing is lowering expectations. This is a campaign device where a political party will highly praise their opponent’s skills, and make their own candidate appear like an underdog.
Romney’s team has heralded Obama as a gifted public speaker, and repeatedly brought attention to Obama’s more extensive debate experience, dating back to the 2008 Presidential election.
On the other hand, the Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse told Fox News that, “Mitt Romney has had a lot more time to debate, the president has not debated in the past four years in terms, of a campaign debate. I think the president will hold his own, but he’s not known for his sound bites.”
Wednesday’s election is the first of three, which will be subsequently held in New York, on Oct. 16, and in Florida, on Oct. 22.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.