Obama on last week’s debate: ‘I was just too polite’

President Obama acknowledged criticism of last week's debate performance from within his own party Wednesday, telling radio host Tom Joyner that the main problem was that he didn't attack Mitt Romney.

"I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite, because, you know, it’s hard to sometimes just keep on saying, 'And what you’re saying isn’t true,'" Obama said. "It gets repetitive. But, you know, the good news is, is that’s just the first one."

The president added that in the next debate, scheduled for Oct. 16, "we will see a little more activity." He also said that Vice President Biden would be "terrific" in his debate Thursday with Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan. 

Obama also pushed back against his own supporters' doomsaying

“By next week I think a lot of the hand-wringing will be complete because we’re gonna go ahead and win this thing,” he said. Comparing the election to basketball, Obama said, “You have a seven-game series, we’re up two-zero, and we lose one.”

He ended with a promise: “We’ve got four weeks left in the election and we’re going to take it to him."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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Rachel Weiner · October 10, 2012

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