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Obama tells tale of two Mitts

world Updated: Oct 06, 2012 01:27 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj

The Obama campaign came out charging Thursday, determined to deny Mitt Romney the bounce he is sure to get from the Denver debate.

Obama called Romney’s supposed lies at a string of rallies. The campaign put out an ad enforcing that line and fielded top operatives for a conference call. They had just one message: Romney lied.

"When I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney," said Obama at a rally in Denver, just a few hours after the debate. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2012/10/06-10-pg17b.jpg

As the crowd of supporters roared, he said Romney lied about his tax plan — that he is not proposing a cut worth $5 trillion for the country’s wealthiest.

“But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney — because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favour the wealthy.”

By the end of the day the media — especially the liberal-leaning lot — had picked up the narrative. One channel led with a segment titled: “The tale of two Mitts.”

The debate, new polls suggest, didn’t change the race much. The Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking number showed Obama’s electability stand at 46% to Romney’s 41%. That’s exactly where the polls were eight months ago.

But questions are still being asked about why Obama had a bad debate. Was he just underprepared? Or just that he is not a good debater, period?

Even conservatives are wondering. They had expected Obama to hit Romney on his 47% remarks — that they don’t pay taxes and vote for Obama.

There is a view getting around in Democratic circles that the president was too cautious, unwilling to rock the boat or shake up a campaign that had gone his way so far.

“We will take a hard look at this,” said David Axelrod, Obama’s top campaign adviser in a conference call. “We will have to make some judgements on where to draw the line in these debates and how to use our time.”