Obama, Romney Prepare for First Debate

Posted October 1st, 2012 at 8:00 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will be mostly out of sight Monday, as each man prepares for the first nationally televised debate of the 2012 presidential race.

Mr. Obama will gather with his campaign advisors at a resort in Nevada, where he held a rally for 11,000 people on Sunday outside the city of Las Vegas. The president joked that he was “just OK” at debating compared to Mr. Romney, whom he described as a “good debater.” But Mr. Obama said he wanted Wednesday's debate to be about more than which candidate can deliver the best “zingers” — memorable phrases aimed at mocking or embarrassing an opponent.

Mr. Romney will meet with his advisers in his home state of Massachusetts Monday before traveling to Denver, Colorado, the site of Wednesday's debate. Unlike Romney campaign insiders, one of Mr. Romney's Republican allies, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, predicted Sunday that the former Massachusetts governor will do so well the “whole race is going to turn upside down” the day after the debate.

Recent public opinion polls indicate Mr. Obama has a significant lead over Mr. Romney in many of the so-called swing states expected to decide the November 6 election.

The Republican candidate's standing has fallen since a video surfaced earlier this month showing him telling wealthy supporters that 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes and consider themselves “victims” entitled to government support. He said these Americans will vote for President Obama “no matter what.”

Wednesday's debate, which will be held at the University of Denver, will be devoted to domestic issues, such as the economy and health care.

Foreign policy issues will be covered in the second and third debates, scheduled for October 16 and October 22.