Obama hits out at Romney after debate setback
October 5 , 2012
U.S. President Barack Obama has accused Mitt Romney of being dishonest during a televised debate, that most observers concur his Republican opponent won.
Speaking at a rally of some 12,000 supporters in Denver, Colorado on Thursday, Obama also vowed to learn lessons from the setback.
"When I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney," Obama said.
"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."
Romney repeatedly denied the $5 trillion claim during the face off at the University of Denver.
Meanwhile, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released after the debate suggested Romney had a net positive rating for the first time in the presidential campaign.
According to the poll, 51 percent of voters viewed him positively, with Obama at 56 percent. The Republican surpassed the Democratic incumbent on which candidate voters would trust to handle the economy, create jobs and manage the deficit.
The Obama campaign has said it will make some strategy "adjustments" before the election on November 6.
Romney was also back on the campaign trail, as he appeared at a conservative fundraiser in Colorado on Thursday morning.
He told supporters they would have to "go out and knock on doors, and get people who voted for President Obama to see the light and come join our team".
Wednesday’s debate saw the two candidates go head to head on jobs, taxes and healthcare.
Around 67 million people watched the debate, according to the Nielsen TV ratings service.
Opinion polls agreed that Romney had the upper hand with various surveys giving him a 46 to 67 percent margin, while Obama trailed behind at 22 to 25 percent.
Often criticized for being impassive, Romney's assertive debate performance gave his campaign a much-required burst of energy following weeks of setbacks.
Obama was slated for appearing uncertain and failing to grab opportunities to attack his rival on his business record at Bain Capital, the "47 percent" video and his refusal to release more income tax returns.
Two presidential debates still remain: a town-hall style foreign policy debate on October 16 in Hempstead, New York and a final debate on October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida.
The sole vice-presidential debate will take place on October 11 in Danville, Kentucky.