In just seven days, Obama and Romney will square off in Denver for the first presidential debate.
Romney seems to have already lowered expectations for himself, calling his opponent an “eloquent, gifted speaker” during an interview with Fox News and pointing out it is his first presidential debate.
In many ways, the debates will be enormously important for Romney. The first debate will provide him with the opportunity to recover from– or at least further explain– his ‘47-percent‘ comments. His claims that this group of Americans are “victims” who believe they are entitled to food, housing, and health care. A poll conducted by ABC News recently after the remarks, reported public criticism for Romney’s campaign efforts has taken a turn for the worst. 6 in 10 Americans (61%) now believe Romney is handling his campaign poorly after word broke of these disparaging comments. The debates will be a chance for Romney to shift focus from these remarks as well as other supposed gaffes he has made in recent weeks.
For both candidates, though, stakes are high to woo the overwhelming number of undecided votes with the debates, especially those in battleground swing states like Ohio and Iowa. Romney can make his case on his plans for the economy face-to-face with the president during a time when voters remain uncertain of Obama’s ability to lead the nation away from its economic troubles.
Romney has also recently expressed belief Obama is distancing itself from an important ally in the Middle East after he refused to meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He says Obama is not being forceful enough with Syria or Iran. Obama returned the challenge by stating Romney needs to be more specific on his foreign policy plans. Both have set a possible preview of their first encounter in Denver next week.
The first presidential debate is set to air October 3 at 9pm.