The Washington Post

Obama blew the debate, Eleanor Holmes Norton says

Norton is not a fan of her fellow Democrat’s debate showing. (NewsChannel 8)

In a NewsChannel 8 appearance Friday morning, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) gave a stinker of a review for President Obama’s Wednesday debate performance.

“Everybody was disappointed in the president’s performance,” Norton told host Bruce DePuyt. “I’m pretty glad most people have already made up their minds.”

Other Democrats have been, shall we say, more delicate.

Obama, Norton said, let challenger Mitt Romney “get away with lie after lie after lie.”

“He wasn’t good on the response,” she added. “Whereas … Romney took him on.”

Norton also answered questions for the first time about the D.C. Council’s pending plan to hold a city referendum on budget autonomy, which could give the District government more spending freedom without an act of Congress.

She acknowledged frustrations and said D.C. voters would have to be “brain-dead” not to vote for the measure should it appear on the ballot. But she tempered expectations.

“It’s important for residents to know that there is no clear, direct and easy path to budget autonomy.” Norton said. “Both paths are fraught with great risks.”

Norton said she would “fiercely defend the results of any referendum.

“Legal questions will be raised. Political questions will be raised. And institutional questions will be raised,” she said. “I will have to be ready to defend all of it.”

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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