Robert Gibbs: Foundation of Mitt Romney’s ‘masterful performance’ at debate was ‘dishonest’

October 7, 2012

Mitt Romney’s widely praised performance at the first presidential debate was rooted in the Republican presidential nominee's dishonesty, Robert Gibbs, a senior adviser to President Obama’s campaign said Sunday.

“Governor Romney had a masterful theatrical performance just this past week, but the underpinnings and foundations of that performance were fundamentally dishonest,” Gibbs said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “Look, he walked away from the central tenet of his economic theory by saying he had no idea what the president was talking about. “

Gibbs added: “I don’t think Governor Romney’s positions have changed, and fundamentally, I don’t think the campaign has changed.”

Echoed senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod on CBS's "Face The Nation": "I would say that [Romney] was dishonest." 

Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said on ABC that the Republican nominee “laid out a plan for turning this country around,” and did a “very good job in making the case for his policies.”

“I think there was certainly a shift in the dynamic,” Gillespie added.

As for Obama’s performance in Denver on Wednesday night, Gibbs said: “I think the president understood that he hadn’t performed up to his own expectations pretty quickly into – after he got off the stage that night. “

Obama and Romney will debate two more times. Their next meeting will be Oct. 16, on the campus of Hofstra University in New York. 

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan | October 7, 2012