Oct 4, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from The Ticket: DENVER—President Barack Obama, stung by bad reviews in his first debate of the 2012 White House race, joked that the “very spirited fellow” onstage with him was “not the real Mitt Romney.” Obama also mocked the former Massachusetts governor’s pledge to cut government subsidies for PBS as “finally getting tough on Big Bird.”
“When I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney,” he told cheering supporters here. “But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy.”
“The fellow onstage last night said he didn’t know anything about that,” Obama said. The president then gave the same treatment to Romney on education and other issues—and hit back at one of Romney’s debate zingers, “I maybe need to get a new accountant,” uttered in a spat about outsourcing and whether companies can take a tax deduction for shipping jobs overseas.
“We know for sure it was not the real Mitt Romney because he seems to be doing just fine with his current accountant,” Obama said.
The president also riffed on Romney’s vow to rein in government subsidies for things like PBS. Romney said at the debate that “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. … But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”
“Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird,” Obama said. “We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit.” Someone in the crowd shouted, “And Elmo!” “Elmo too?” Obama said with a smile.
Obama’s wry comments—comebacks to criticisms Romney leveled the night before—came as a top aide told reporters the president’s campaign would likely make “adjustments” to its approach to future debates.