Speaking at an event in Fairfax, Virginia, a relaxed and confident President Barack Obama had plenty of witty retorts and quotable sound bites to aim at his challenger Mitt Romney.
The problem was that they came a day and a half after he had been demolished by Romney during the first presidential debate in Denver and were scripted and delivered with the aid of a pair of teleprompters flanking the stage.
‘Now, my opponent, you know, has been trying to do a two-step and reposition and got an extreme makeover,’ Obama, speaking against a backdrop of 150 women of shapes sizes and ethnicities gathered on a stage at George Mason University, said to chuckles.
He mocked Romney for using the example of Sesame Street’s Big Bird, shown on PBS television, as something that did not need to be publicly funded by borrowing money from China.
‘When he was asked what he’d actually do to cut spending and reduce the deficit, his big example was to go after public television,’ Obama said, laughing.
‘So for all all you moms and kids out there, don’t worry – somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird, rounding him up.’ There were roars of laughter and shouts of ‘Big Bird’ from the crowd.
Obama added: ‘Elmo’s got to watch out, too. Governor Romney plans to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s going to bring down the hammer on “Sesame Street”. It makes perfect sense.’
They were the kind of lines that could have brought the house down and knocked Romney off his stride had he delivered them in Denver.
Obama said that Romney had had ‘a little trouble explaining’ how he would cut both taxes and the deficit. ‘Ending tax breaks for corporations that move jobs and profits overseas? He’d never heard of such a thing!’
But when Romney had said this during the debate, Obama had meekly accepted his point and chosen not to demur.
Suggestions for Mr Obama’s failure in Denver have ranged from poor body language to a lack of preparation – and to the absence of his trusty teleprompter.
Democratic campaign bosses admitted that presentation is ‘not the President’s strong suit’, but failed to account for his undercooked performance.
Such was the surprise at Obama’s lackluster performance, former Vice President Al Gore, no stranger to high-profile debates, even made the barely credible claim that Mr Obama was disadvantaged by Denver’s high altitude.
Source: The Daily Mail