CNN's Erin Burnett talks to the Obama Campaign's Deputy Manager Stephanie Cutter about President Barack Obama's lackluster performance at the first presidential debate of 2012.5 things we learned from the presidential debate
By most accounts, Republican challenger Mitt Romney was the clear winner of Wednesday's first debate with President Barack Obama. Romney engaged the incumbent while Obama looked down at his lectern. The challenger was a more forceful debater while Obama appeared less than engaged.
1. Romney wins by setting the tone
The crucial and tone-setting first 30 minutes of the debate belonged to Romney.
Romney appeared practiced, at ease, confident and fluent in all things Obama. He aggressively criticized the president's record while also outlining, however vaguely, his own ideas about taxes and the deficit. Obama - his answers slow, dry and cautious - looked shaky.
When the sparring turned to taxes - an issue on which voters trust Obama over Romney, according to polls - Romney played down legitimate questions about his tax plan and stressed again and again that he wants to reduce taxes on middle income families.