Obama acknowledges "bumps in the road" after poor debate

LOS ANGELES Mon Oct 8, 2012 4:40am EDT

1 of 5. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles October 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

Related Topics

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - President Barack Obama chided himself on Sunday for his weak debate performance against Republican Mitt Romney and reminded supporters at a California fundraiser that even his successful 2008 campaign had "bumps" in the road.

Speaking to a crowd of some 6,000 at a concert in Los Angeles, Obama complimented the slew of performers - including Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Hudson - who had performed earlier for the audience.

"They just perform flawlessly night after night. I can't always say the same," Obama said to laughter and then applause.

Romney's strong performance at the debate on Wednesday has helped close a gap in the polls with the president, who has been leading nationally and in several important swing states.

Obama, whose campaign has said it would make adjustments as a result of the debate, noted his White House win four years ago had its own share of hurdles, including mistakes he made.

"Back in 2008 - everybody always remembers the victory, but they don't always remember the bumps in the road," he said.

"Things always look good in retrospect. But in the middle of it ... we made all kinds of mistakes. We goofed up. I goofed up. But the American people carried us forward," he said.

At another, more intimate fundraiser later in the evening, Obama pledged to work harder than ever to gain re-election, in what could have been an effort to reassure his supporters after the lackluster debate performance.

"I'm a big believe in closing the deal," he said to applause. "You will see me working as hard as I've ever worked for the next ... 30 days," he said.

The president noted that the encounter with Romney had happened on his 20th wedding anniversary, a fact that he offered up as another potential reason for his poor performance.

"The actual anniversary date was not that romantic," he said to laughter from the crowd, which included actor George Clooney.

"There was some speculation as to whether this had an impact on my performance."

Obama is holding a series of fundraisers in California in an effort to boost his campaign coffers for the final stretch of the race against Romney. On Saturday, his campaign announced that it, along with Democratic Party allies, brought in a record $181 million in September.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (11)
justamaz wrote:
Bumps in the road for his campaign and Obama also calls the deaths in Libya as “bumps in the road”. This is a leader?

Oct 07, 2012 11:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:
justamaz: You know how I know Obama is a far better leader than Romney would make? Because Romney and his supporters are resting all of their hopes on lies. You guys have been lying about Obama since day one, and the lying only increases as the election draws near. If Romney and the Republicans limited themselves to sticking to the truth, what you’d have is zilch. Obama is making his case based on the facts. Romney is relying on lies. This is how I know Obama is the better leader.

Romney has offered nothing concrete. Nothing. That’s why his own campaign adviser compared him to an etch-a-sketch. Romney’s even afraid to release his tax returns. Imagine what you guys would be saying if Romney had released 10 years worth of tax returns and Obama only released 2. Romney’s debate performance was totally dependent on changing all of his positions. He was slipping further and further behind Obama because people didn’t like him and his proposals. So he comes out in the debate and just states everything everyone wants to hear, contradicting his past positions over and over again. And all the news outlets had headlines similar to this one from Reuters: “White House in sight, Romney steers a more moderate course”.
The radical GOP, who Romney had to become “severely conservative” to win over, don’t mind Romney’s deceptive ruse in swinging to the middle because they acknowledge, with a nod and a wink, that Romney has to do this to win, but once in the White House, he’ll swing back to the hard right, and Republicans will have what they want. Too bad the majority of Americans won’t. It’s shameful and not becoming of an American President. Let’s hope Romney’s ploy doesn’t work.

Your post only proves my point. Obama never called the deaths in Libya “bumps in the road”. Quite the contrary. He’s taken it very seriously. But since you have such a weak case to make for your candidate and have very little to go after Obama on, you have to make things up. I suppose you think Obama’s birth certificate is a fake, too.

Oct 07, 2012 12:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MKM23 wrote:
Justamaz sir, you are lying. I would like you to post the link where he said that because I also saw that recording which you speak of and this sentence was never stated.

Oct 08, 2012 2:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.