Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the start of the first presidential debate at Denver University, Denver, Colorado, the United States, Oct. 3, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Obama campaign on Thursday defended the president's performance during the first presidential debate overnight, downplayed assertions that Republican challenger Mitt Romney won the first match-up and promised counterattacks in next debates.
The somewhat subdued incumbent and the generally more aggressive challenger began their first face-to-face debate of this election circle Wednesday night at Denver University in Colorado.
Appearing on NBC's "Today," David Axelrod, the top strategist of the Obama re-election campaign, dismissed arguments from many analysts that Romney outperformed Obama in their first side-by- side showdown. He accused Romney of being dishonest in repeating factual errors and changing positions on important issues, such as insisting that Obama would cut 716 billion dollars from Medicare.
Axelrod said while the first debate showed the two candidates' "honest distinctions" on domestic issues, the president gave those distinction "in an honest way" and Romney did not.
Republican Senator John McCain, Obama's former rival on 2008 presidential campaign, told CNN on Thursday that he was surprised at how well Romney did as well as Obama's poor performance.
Obama was heading into the debate with a clear advantage in polls. The latest poll by Pew Research Center found that more voters, by a margin of 51 percent to 29 percent, said Obama would do better than Romney in the first debate.
But the debate had higher stakes for Romney, as he was trailing the president in polls.
The debate was the first of three debates Obama and Romney would participate in this election, and their running mates are going to debate each other next week.
The president was "looking very much forward" to his next chance to debate Romney on Oct. 16, Axelrod added.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- While Republican candidate Mitt Romney dominated Wednesday night's first U.S. presidential debate, he must bring that energy to the next round amid an election where he is trailing President Barack Obama in the polls, analysts said Thursday. Full story
DENVER, the United States, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday night fought head-to-head here over economy, the top issue on the campaign trail, among several domestic issues in their first face-to-face debate. Full story
DENVER, the United States, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- The two U.S. presidential candidates on Wednesday fought hand-to-hand over economic topics including job creation and the government deficit during their first presidential debate held in Denver, Colorado.
President Barack Obama, from the Democratic Party, who is seeking his reelection, said the United States has been back to economic growth and job creation, as the nation's private sector has created about 5 million job opportunities in the past 30 months. Full story