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October 4th, 2012
08:55 PM ET

"Probably the best fundraising day ever," says Pro-Romney Super PAC

The Democrats were on damage control after President Barack Obama's lackluster performance at the first presidential debate. How does the president bounce back and where does Super PAC spending go from here?

OutFront tonight: Charlie Spies, founder of Pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future and Bill Burton, senior strategist for Pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action.

October 4th, 2012
08:26 PM ET

"Now we know who we're dealing with," says Obama campaign

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. FULL POST

October 4th, 2012
08:25 PM ET

Romney promises not to raise taxes on the middle class; does it add up?

During the last night's presidential debate, Republican challenger Mitt Romney scored political points with CNN's undecided voters debate when he defended his tax plan.

"I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it's completely wrong," Romney said, rebutting Obama.

Could this be a winning issue for Romney?

OutFront tonight: Doug Holtz-Eakin former McCain economic adviser for 2008 Campaign and Ethan Pollack former staff member for President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

FULL POST

October 4th, 2012
05:47 PM ET

The audacity of Romney's Etch a Sketch

The Etch a Sketch was in full effect at the first presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday night.

Mitt Romney put forward a strong performance, transforming back into his 2002 Massachusetts moderate mold, a belated advocate of bipartisan leadership. It would have had a lot more impact if it hadn't contradicted almost every policy statement Romney has made on the campaign trail since he started running for president. This flip-flopping is a force of habit, but it was used to great effect, reflecting a campaign and a candidate finally focused on the general electorate.

President Obama, in turn, had an objectively weak debate. The president was more professor than preacher, a budget wonk getting lost in paragraphs of detail rather than concisely punching back. He fulfilled the political truism that incumbent presidents have bad first debates because they are comparatively unprepared and overburdened by budgets and other details of governing - as President Reagan did in his disastrous first 1984 debate.

The trick of communicating policy is to distill it to memorable concise concepts. That happened far too rarely, and when it did, it seemed to be off the cuff, winning Obama points for authenticity but few for debate prep.

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • 2012 Presidential Debate • News • Opinion • Politics
October 4th, 2012
12:42 AM ET

CNN Debate Focus Group weighs in on worse moments and calls for more information from both candidates

The CNN Focus Group of Colorado undecided voters weigh in on the worse moments of the presidential debate. Erin Burnett reports.

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