Obama: 'I had a bad night but you just move on'

 

The two main candidates in the race for the White House took a back seat for one day yesterday as their running mates as they prepared for their one and only vice-presidential debate in Kentucky last night. Both sides, meanwhile, were able to take some heart from the newest polling intelligence.

While viewers and pundits will this morning score the face-off between Vice President Joe Biden and the Republican number two, Paul Ryan, attention will start to turn quickly to next Tuesday and the pressure that will be on President Barack Obama to improve on his disastrous performance in Denver last week.

In an interview with ABC News, Mr Obama acknowledged that the first debate with Mitt Romney was not his finest hour, but he struck a confident note. “Governor Romney had a good night. I had a bad night. It's not the first time I've had a bad night,” he offered. “Maybe this is because I played a lot of sports when I was a kid, and still do. If you have a bad game, you just move on.”

He also argued that the encounter had shown Mr Romney's tacking towards the centre away from is real convictions. “What's important is the fundamentals of what this race is about haven't changed,” he contended. “You know, Governor Romney went to a lot of trouble to try to hide what his positions are.”

The evidence mounted that Mr Romney's Denver showing has given him new momentum including in the latest Ipsos-Reuters tracking poll that had him leading Mr Obama 47 per cent to 44 per cent nationally.  More telling, however, may be a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey of three key battleground states that seemed to uphold Mr Obama's contention that the race may not have been so significantly altered.

The numbers showed Mr Obama holding onto a decent if slimmer lead of 51 per cent to 45 per cent in Ohio. Without Ohio, Mr Romney's path to victory will be steep. The two men were statistically tied in Florida, with Mr Obama two points ahead, and in Virginia, where he was one point behind. 

Moreover, the polls showed that the numbers of voters who said the Denver debate had influenced them was in single digits. “Most people already picked sides,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.

Mr Romney has come under pressure to explain why he told a Des Moines newspaper this week that as president he would not support legislation narrowing abortion rights - or challenging the Supreme Court Roe Vs. Wade ruling upholding abortion rights - contradicting his previous statements on the issue.

“I think Governor Romney has made very clear that if a bill comes to his desk that overturns Roe vs. Wade he will be fully supportive of that,” Mr Obama said. “And he's said, 'I will appoint justices that will overturn Roe - Roe vs. Wade.' And now four weeks before an election, he is trying to cloud the question.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor