Today, President Obama, smarting over his shellacking last night by Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate, took to the stump in Denver. It was a far more comfortable setting – one with no opponent, no moderator, no clock, and no accountability. Plus a teleprompter.
So Obama was back to his old self. And as my colleague John Nolte has pointed out, like George Costanza waiting for a chance to use his Jerk Store line, Obama waited until Romney was nowhere in site to figure out his plan of attack.
Apparently, his plan of attack is to pretend that last night didn’t happen. Here’s what he said today:
"When I got on to the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. The man on stage last night does not want to be held accountable for the real Mitt Romney's decisions…for the last year. So Gov. Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth … So here's the truth: Gov. Romney cannot pay for his $5 trillion tax plan.”
This is hogwash. The real Mitt Romney is the same Mitt Romney who showed up last night. Romney rose to the occasion at the Republican National Convention. He rose to the occasion during the Republican primary debates. In fact, every time the American people get to see Mitt Romney unfiltered, they like him more.
The reason Americans haven’t seen this Mitt Romney is because they usually see him spliced and diced by the Obama-compliant mainstream media. There was none of that last night. And Obama had to face real questions for a real opponent.
As for Obama’s claim that Romney doesn’t want to be held responsible for “the real Mitt Romney’s positions,” that’s hogwash too. Romney has not switched his position on anything he said last night. He’s been perfectly consistent on his tax plan – and Obama keeps using the widely-discredited $5 trillion statistic because he’s got no other bullets in his rhetorical gun. Besides, it’s laughable for this president – the biggest spendthrift in human history – to whine about deficits. He has no credibility.
As for dancing around positions, President Obama was a master at it last night. He said a lot of words, and he said nothing. As we’ve covered, Mitt Romney got the short end of the stick on time of possession – Obama spoke for a full 4 minutes longer than Romney. And nobody remembers a thing he said, because he was prevaricating for every minute.
This is Barack Obama’s worst fear: that the Mitt Romney who showed up to the debate last night was the real Mitt Romney. And that that Mitt Romney has the ability to speak directly to the American people.