President Obama tries to recover from debate

President Obama tries to recover from debate

President Obama tries to recover from debate

US President Obama urges voters to focus on the ‘real Mitt Romney.’ EPA photo

A day after a muted performance in the first presidential debate, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to fight back against Republican rival Mitt Romney on Oct. 4, with the Democratic re-election campaign vowing to learn lessons from the setback.

Obama went on the attack at big rallies in Colorado and Wisconsin and was energetic, combative and concise, the opposite of the tired and long-winded candidate who was decisively beaten by Romney on Oct. 3 night.

The president beseeched voters not to be duped by the suave debater, but to focus on the “real Mitt Romney” who he said promised tax cuts for the rich and cared little for teachers.

“When I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Romney,” said Obama. “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 favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.”

Seeking to capitalize on his bounce after the debate, Romney said his comment on a secretly taped video in which he disparaged 47 percent of voters as dependent on government “was just completely wrong,” as he attempted to repair the damage from the controversy.

Focus on ‘100 percent’

“In this case, I said something that was just completely wrong,” he said. “I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent. And that’s been demonstrated throughout my life. This whole campaign is about the 100 percent. When I become president, it will be about helping the 100 percent.”

Romney said at the Florida fundraiser that 47 percent of voters were dependent on government and were unlikely to support him in the Nov. 6 election. The “47 percent” videotape did not come up in the debate with Obama, although the Obama campaign has used his remarks in a television ad.

Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.