Last Updated:October 30 @ 05:39 pm

Obama's new message: Romney is a liar

By Julie Pace

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - His performance panned, President Barack Obama is changing his debate strategy against Republican Mitt Romney, aides conceding the president must find a crisper way to sell his agenda and counter his opponent without getting lost in the weeds.

The heart of Obama's new message with less than five weeks to go: Romney is a liar.

Expect that theme - expressed in softer terms from the president than from his aides - to drive Obama's advertising and messaging for days. Wednesday night's debate showed Obama was rusty, rambling and cautious, but his aides insist he emerged with a real opening to target Romney's assertions.

"Gov. Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth," Obama declared in his first post-debate appearance, a Thursday rally in Denver. He displayed an energy that was conspicuously absent in the debate.

The new line of argument is based on the Obama campaign's contention that Romney, while sharp and commanding on the debate stage, delivered a series of statements that don't stand up to factual scrutiny. They singled out Romney's positions on tax cuts, education and outsourcing as misleading to the middle class.

David Plouffe, the Obama White House adviser who ran his 2008 campaign, called Romney's performance "probably unprecedented in its dishonesty."

Obama's campaign quickly released an ad raising questions about Romney's honesty, arguing that he didn't level with middle-class families on how his tax plan would affect them. "If we can't trust him here, how could we ever trust him here?" the ad says.

It was airing in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. Separately, a campaign official said Obama's team had its strongest fundraising month of the 2012 election cycle in September, exceeding August's haul of $114 million. The official would not say how much the campaign raised and requested anonymity because he or she was not authorized to discuss the fundraising publicly.

At the same time, the Obama camp was forced into its own difficult appraisal of the president's performance, with no shortage of critical outside opinions, either.

Those close to Obama said he was so intent on answering questions and not letting Romney rile him that he came across as wonky and lacking punch.

"Obviously, moving forward, we're going to take a hard look at this, and we're going to have to make some judgments as to where to draw the line in these debates and how to use our time," said David Axelrod, the Obama campaign's senior adviser. "I'm sure that we will make adjustments."

Plouffe put it this way when asked about those adjustments: "We just need to account for Romney's dishonesty."

But Obama had other problems, driven in part by a debate format that does not play to his strengths.

He did draw distinctions with Romney on a host of issues central to the campaign, but often did so by seeming to talk to moderator Jim Lehrer more than the audience or the man trying to take his job.

Obama aides acknowledged that the president delved more deeply into the intricate details on policy than they had planned and fell into one of the patterns they had most hoped to avoid - long-winded answers that lacked a clear emotional connection with voters.

Coming out of the debate, in his advertising and his speeches, Obama started hammering Romney for a lack of specifics on his tax plan, and for not being clear about how he would replace the president's health care law and Wall Street regulations.

But the Democratic campaign said there would be no wholesale changes to its strategy.

What's more, Obama aides said it was not at all clear that Romney's debate win would translate where it matters - into votes.

Axelrod said the immediate data gathered from voters showed they gave Romney the edge in performance but broke evenly on how it influenced their vote.

Plouffe said the real measure for Romney was this: "Is he going to take the lead in Ohio? If he doesn't, he's not going to be president."

The next presidential debate is in New York on Oct. 16, followed by a final one in Florida on Oct. 22.

The campaign planned to keep Obama's travel options flexible in the final weeks of the race, but was still focused heavily on Florida, Ohio and Virginia, states with large Electoral College vote hauls. Obama victories in two of those three states would almost certainly block Romney's path to the required 270 electoral votes.

Obama had stops planned in all three states over the next week.

Smiling anew, the president spoke to the largest crowd of the campaign on Thursday afternoon, about 30,000 people in the college town of Madison, Wis.

As the president mockingly searched for the "real Mitt Romney" during an earlier speech in Denver, Vice President Joe Biden pounded the message in Iowa, another toss-up state.

"Ultimately, presidential races, unlike any other race, get down to character," Biden said. "They get down to the character of the man or woman and the character of their convictions: Do they mean what they say and will they do what they say."

__

AP White House Correspondent Ben Feller in Washington contributed to this report.

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35 Comments

  1. billwvComment by billwv
    October 5, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    Ozero ran into a ‘buzzsaw’ in the person of Mitt Romney and the Liar-in-Chief now knows that his days as Prez are numbered; sooooooo he will say anything to try to denigrate the next ‘real’ President.

    GO Romney / Ryan

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (26 votes cast)
    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      October 5, 2012 @ 9:22 am

      In political debates, you can tell who the liar is. He is the one who keeps looking down while his lying brain processer locked in overdive tries to concoct more lies to cover the ones declared away from the person you are debating who can now refute them. Replay the debates and see what I mean.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (26 votes cast)
    • mcrankComment by mcrank
      October 6, 2012 @ 10:23 am

      “new” strategy?? Everybody who doesn’t agree with him is a liar.

      Here’s to you O in the words of The Eagles: “You can’t hide—your lyin’ eyes—and your smile—isn’t in disguise. Thought by now—you’d realize—there ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes.”

      Joke’s on you O.

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      Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)
    • fsufanComment by fsufan
      October 7, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

      Obama looked like a “deer in the headlights” during the debate. His entire organization is disgusting and couldn’t tell the truth if it hit them in the face.

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  2. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    October 5, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    mitt romney exposed the empty suit in charge in front of the whole world.
    he layed the smack down on obamas candyass.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (27 votes cast)
    • AMVoterComment by AMVoter
      October 5, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

      Make that obama’s lying candyass.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (11 votes cast)
  3. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    October 5, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    Team Obama are the liars with this new phoney 7.8% unemployment figure just released this morning. Jack Welch MSNBC of all places;“Unbelievable jobs numbers,,,these Chicago Guys will do anything,,,can’t debate so change numbers.” Spot on Jack! Our unemployment numbers drop mysteriously below 8% for the first time in four years. So why did the GDP not rise to reflect this? Our current Gross Domestic product growth numbers of 1.4% are half of what they were when Obama took office. He can’t grow Diddly. The unemployment numbers dropped because this time Obama and his manipulators mysteriously surveyed an additional 850,000 Democrat households that have never been surveyed before, to manufacture a contrived made up “AT home” non-manufacturing Jobs that do not exist. Need new jobs, just call your freindly Deomcrat party person to claim he created one at home on his computor. You can believe the truthfulness of these numbers to be as accurate as the Scott Walker Re-call survey they took right before his re-call election that showed Scott down 8 points while reality proved he was winning by 6 points. Chicago political sleight of hand at its worst! Just another reason these deceivers who lie to the people for power must go!

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      October 5, 2012 @ 9:20 am

      Sitting home selling your garbage on Ebay is not a wealth creating Job. If this is what Liber Progressive America has become we had all better start to learn Chinese who actually produce real products and produce real wealth. Redistributing what others have already made adds nothing to growing American wealth. Our departmetn of Labor is run by Chicago Liberals who will do anything to keep the Great redistibutor of American wealth in power. I hope you are enjoying your well earned poverty. I pity the young who will have to pay the cost of ALL that immediate gratification the Liberals offer always followed by years of regret. Obam has shot our load on the ground,,nothing produced.

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    • AMVoterComment by AMVoter
      October 5, 2012 @ 10:17 am

      I said months ago that the unemployment rate would suddenly drop just prior to the election. Obama and thugs would manipulate the numbers. Low and behold,I was right. The drop in the rate should not surprise anyone who has watched Obama lie for four years. There is nothing Obama won’t do to win.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (19 votes cast)
  4. agent007Comment by agent007
    October 5, 2012 @ 9:01 am

    Rather poor article:
    Dems claim that Romney lies, so where’s the proof?
    Do they really think they can have a substantial discussion to identify those supposed lies and defend this position?
    At best they can show that there was some exaggeration, which is the norm in any political debate as long as I can remember in my lifetime.
    The lies from Obama are quite more obvious, like the absurd lie about the 5 trillion tax hike on middle class! That is the real distortion people!
    The lie that Romney lies, is the real lie!
    The best the Dems have left obviously is the childish:
    Lier lier pants on fire! slogan. No substance.
    The always turn the world upside down. They show no substance in any of Obama’s plans. Plans???? really??? (hope and change was a plan?)
    Where was the substance in Obamacare? You have to vote for it to find out what’s in it? It infuriates me that they now have the audacity to even ask Romney to provide specifics, when he is laying out more of real plans than Obama has ever done, and he has had 4 years at the steering wheel.
    Oh sorry, about 1.5 year was wasted on golf course, vacations, and then most of this year has been wasted on campaign rallies and fundraisers!
    Where are your specifics Mr Obama?

    Lets vote the trash out November 6 please!

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    • philwynkComment by philwynk
      October 5, 2012 @ 9:36 am

      “Dems claim that Romney lies, so where’s the proof?”

      You think they need proof?

      They have been calling us racists for 30 years. What proof have they had?

      They claim we want to eliminate the poor and subject women to physical abuse and domination. What proof do they have?

      They are not going to offer proof. They are going to call Romney a liar. Their herd is going to believe them, because Democrats are not capable of thinking for themselves. The press will trumpet the meme around the world, because they are obedient servants of the DNC.

      Welcome to the Progressive paradise. Get used to it. Unless God acts to rid us of them, they are not about to change.

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      October 5, 2012 @ 9:58 am

      AP writers are just another group of shills for the Democrat party. Don’t look for any substance or real reporting in anything they put out. I have decided that journalism schools must require their students to pass an ideology test and sign a loyalty oath in order to graduate.

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  5. philwynkComment by philwynk
    October 5, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    My Irono-Meter is pegging into the red zone.

    Romney, a liar? Perhaps. But Barack Obama is a compulsive, habitual liar. He’s been caught literally dozens of times telling outright falsehoods. He virtually never tells the American people what he actually believes. He hides his past behind walls of attorneys.

    No Democrat is getting away with calling a liar if I’m in the room. Obama is the most thoroughly dishonest President we have ever had — and I am including the pathological liar, Bill Clinton.

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  6. Paul BahreComment by Paul Bahre
    October 5, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    All Obama knows what to do is to attach and make accusations because his only agenda is another 4 years in office.

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  7. bna42Comment by bna42
    October 5, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    “Gov. Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth,” Obama declared.

    Isn’t it laughable that Obama accuses Romney of failing to tell the truth when Obama’s entire life has been one big lie?

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  8. shutterComment by shutter
    October 5, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    How typical for the most dishonest and corrupt president since LBJ would try to label an opponent with false accusations. Even his ads against Romney have been proven to be full of lies.

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    • agent007Comment by agent007
      October 5, 2012 @ 10:05 am

      Correction Shutter. I don’t think even LBJ was ever this corrupt, dishonest and misleading as our current president.

      And of course, ESPECIALLY his ads and campaign rally statements are where he spews most of the lies and distortions, since nobody there can or wants to correct him!

      Obama is at his “BEST” when he doesn’t have to face his opposition! I guess that’s why he could never pass anything with any bi=partisan support, since it would have required him to face some republicans and argue his case! LOL

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  9. wildfireComment by wildfire
    October 5, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    Oh, the poor AP. God Bless them, because everyone else wishes they would just go out of business already. It would take way too long to correct all the ‘dishonesty’s’ in this article. obama lies everytime he opens his mouth. What was interesting about his ‘performance’ Weds night was he seemed to be having trouble believing them himself. And he seemed confused at times about which ‘side’ of a discussion he was on.

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  10. MorganComment by Morgan
    October 5, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    The Obama campaign has to portray Romney as a liar to cover their own butts. They have no record to run on, so they must destroy Romney’s 25 years of business experience, knowledge of how an economy runs etc. The liberals are so stunned that Romney took Obama to the wood shed they are desperate beyond measure. It is all about damage control and they are trying to deflect from Obama’s miserable performance on Wednesday night onto Mitt Romney.

    Do they really think that Romney is just going to sit back on his win and do nothing? He will be completely prepared for the next debate as he was for this one.

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  11. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    October 5, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    ” … Biden said. “They get down to the character of the man or woman and the character of their convictions: Do they mean what they say and will they do what they say.” … ”

    Yeah, right … Joe.
    Now, apply that line to Obama.

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  12. justinComment by justin
    October 5, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Now that Obama is going around the country calling Romney a liar, during the next debate, Romney should seize the first opportunity to call him out about that. E.g., “When Mr. Obama said this about me at a rally in Colorado following our first debate, that was a lie, and he knows it.” He can take it from there, while looking Obama directly in the eye and ramming it home to him. Obama will wilt – again.

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  13. prairelivingComment by praireliving
    October 5, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    Perhaps Pres. Obama and his team are so sure Romney is a liar because it is the only thing that they themselves know how to do and they can’t imagine anyone else would be able to actually tell the truth and be a politician.

    There have been/are so many lies coming out of the White House that to list them all would take hours. One of the first was to state while campaigning “I want abortion to be safe, legal and rare.” And then within days of taking office getting out of the Mexico Accord which restricts US funds to foreign countries to help pay for abortions…signed on the same day as the March for Life if I remember right. One of the latest lies is ‘the situation in Lybia was a bunch of renegades and unplanned response to a YouTube video’. Today we could add, ‘unemployment rates are down’.

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    • AMVoterComment by AMVoter
      October 5, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

      It’s called projection.

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  14. clarkentComment by clarkent
    October 5, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    As the dirty camPAINing continues, the lies also continue. It’s obvious that the Obama people didn’t watch the debate. Many Americans are fed up with this Administration and hopefully will vote to really change the direction of this country.

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  15. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    October 5, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    It is almost comical that Obama, the master of lies and cons, is calling Romney a liar. If Romney chose to list the number of false and failed campaign promises Obama made during the 2008 election he would have exceeded the time limits during the debate.

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  16. painterComment by painter
    October 5, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    This is priceless. Just like a little kid who knows he’s going to be called out for lying, Oblather would prefer Romney “leave the room” so he can continue to lie behind his back and not be called the liar he is. And, I might add, like a tiny dog that would rather bark at the German Shepherd from behind the plate glass window than face to face and suffer the consequences. Oblather isn’t fooling anyone smart – just those who WANT to be deceived. He’s pathetic.

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  17. tomtComment by tomt
    October 5, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Obamalinsky’s excuses are only satisfactory to himself! We do not buy this “Romney is a lair” especially coming from the biggest lying Radical Community Organizer himself. He needs to go live with Hugo in a retirement home in Venezuela and let us get back to business here in the USA making a living and keeping our self-respect.

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    • billwvComment by billwv
      October 5, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

      tomt: Ozero is a walking ‘disaster’ and putting him in a shack on Castro’s plantation would actually be too good for him.

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  18. Sheri L. McGathyComment by Sheri L. McGathy
    October 5, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    All I have heard from the Obama campaign is how bad Romney is, how Romney/Ryan lie, how they do this or that or their plan is horrid. I hear accusations that there are no specifics from Romney, on and on. The mocking and ridicule fouls the air. But what I’m not hearing is Mr. Obama’s plan, his substance. I keep asking myself why he didn’t do all these wonderful things in the last four years that he says he’s going to do in the next four? It is all smoke and mirrors. As a friend once told me: Remember when you point that finger, the thumb is pointing back at you. Perhaps instead of trying to ruin a decent man’s reputation, he should run on his own merit. If the last four years were so golden for us, then he should shout it from the rooftops. Our president seems more focused on Romney than his own so-called wonderful term.

    Smoke and mirrors. And sadly, most are falling for it. I’m ashamed of our media for being airheads, and acting like lovestruck groupies.

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    • cdrcodyComment by cdrcody
      October 6, 2012 @ 3:20 am

      The democrats keep asking Romney what his plans are, and they are getting mad because he won’t tell them. He’s not going to. You never tell an opponent the strategy you will use to knock him down. He will only use that information against you.

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  19. mach37Comment by mach37
    October 5, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    Biden obviously didn’t realize his comment also applied to Obama’s last four years:
    Biden said. “They get down to the character of the man or woman and the character of their convictions: Do they mean what they say and will they do what they say.”

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  20. ilovetheredwhiteandblueComment by ilovetheredwhiteandblue
    October 5, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    Well isn’t that just the pot calling the kettle black? We all know who the liar is and the lies just keep coming….Obama is an abysmal disgrace and failure to this country. He, his family, including his Muslim Brotherhood, and all his minions should move to Egypt and Libya. I am sure they will all be welcome with open arms.

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  21. 1scoutComment by 1scout
    October 6, 2012 @ 11:57 am

    FAKE SOCIAL,FAKE BIRTH CERTIFICATE,CHANGED NAME, FABRICATED LIFE STORY….& Mr. Romney is a liar??? We need to insist the CHOOM GANG IN CHIEF BE DRUG TESTED CUZ DAT NEEGRO IS HIGH! Lets put him in da choom mobile , send him to da soul plane, den just deport him straight to Kenya ! WE ALL KNOW THAT WILL NOT BE PUT ON THE NEWS EITHER. HEY BARRY, QUIT GETTIN HIGH, THAT STUFF MAKES YOU …WELL…LIE ,CHEAT,& STEAL …LIKE WHAT YOUR DOIN NOW! SLOW YOUR ROLL CHOOMEY CHOOM BARRY, YOU IS MESSIN UP DA WORLD!

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  22. singermannComment by singermann
    October 6, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

    Haven’t you figured out yet that everything a Democrat accuses a Republican of is what the Democrat is himself doing!

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  23. tomtComment by tomt
    October 7, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    A comment on the sheeple of Madison, Wisc.
    “Smiling anew, the president spoke to the largest crowd of the campaign on Thursday afternoon, about 30,000 people in the college town of Madison, Wis.”
    Obamalinsky’s Radical Leftist Friends advocated bombing, a trait he seems to over look with Ayers and Dohrn. No different than the Radicals that blew up the Math Building at the Univ of Wisc at Madison, killing a physics researcher and injuring many others on Aug. 24, 1970.

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