HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — The last questioner hadn’t even finished asking his question before the presidential campaigns’ surrogates hit the floor of the media filing room to spin the results of the second debate of the 2012 campaign. Politicker caught up with President Barack Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, who was particularly damning in his evaluation of Mitt Romney.
“Romney seemed angry, sweaty, he was rattled,” Mr. Messina told reporters gathered around him. “It was the real Romney. He was exposed. Did you see his answer on immigration? I think somewhere Governor Perry is looking around to himself saying to himself, ‘Wait a minute, that’s not what we saw during the primary.’”
Mr. Messina, speaking rapidly, claimed Mr. Romney’s defensive positions across the board left the Republican’s brand muddled.
“Romney spent the entire night exposed on the defense trying to explain his statements,” Mr. Messina said. “I still cannot figure out, after two debates, how Romney’s going to pay for his $7 trillion tax plan. I don’t think he knows either! I think what we saw tonight was a guy exposed for what he is, which is a guy without a plan. He’s just trying to get by on attacking the president….I think what you saw was a rattled Romney who has a sketchy deal for America.”
Asked as to whether Mr. Obama’s delivery will help turn around the tightening poll numbers in the president’s favor, Mr. Messina answered affirmatively.
“We thought we had a dominant performance tonight,” he said. “We think it will help.”