'Just OK' debater Obama tries to lower voter expectations

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SALT LAKE CITY — Pres. Barack Obama said Sunday he is "just OK" at debating, saying that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a "good debater."

The comments came at an evening campaign rally in Las Vegas, where the president seemingly tried to lower expectations of his coming debate performance.

The majority of Americans believe Obama will perform better at the first debate, scheduled for Wednesday. Obama's campaign however, has been focused on lowering Americans' expectations of the president, saying he has still had his "day job" and that he has not had as much time to prepare as he would have liked.

The president's own worst enemy come debate time may be himself, according to an analysis by Politico.

Obama has in the past performed well at debates, but is inconsistent, prone to appearing bored or testy, according to the website.


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday on "Meet the Press" that he expects Romney to do well enough in Wednesday's debate to restart his lagging campaign. The governor said fortunes can change quickly in the presidential race.

"I think the beginning of that is Wednesday night when Gov. Romney for the first time gets on the same stage with the president of the United States and people can make a direct comparison about them and their visions for the future," Christie said. "And Wednesday night's the restart of this campaign. And I think you're going to see those numbers start to move right back in the other direction."

Other political news:

  1. A new poll by Public Polling Policy found that the majority of potential Ohio voters believe pollsters are ""intentionally skewing their surveys to help President Obama."

According to the PPP, 72 percent of Republicans in the state believe skewing is taking place, compared to 14 percent who do not.

"Those numbers in Ohio make it clear the poll skewing conspiracy theorists aren't a fringe within the GOP- they're pretty much the whole GOP," the organization tweeted.

  1. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said recently he would vote for Pres. Obama, and that he hopes the president would vote for him, as well. "I hope this doesn't harm Obama, but if I was from the United States, I'd vote for Obama," he said on state TV. "Obama is a good guy ... I think that if Obama was from Barlovento or some Caracas neighborhood, he'd vote for Chavez." Barlovento is a poor coastal town known for its African roots, Reuters reports. Chavez reached out to Obama in 2009, but has since been generally insulting toward the president, until now.

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Stephanie Grimes


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