President Obama is cramming for his three prime-time debates with Mitt Romney next month by practicing brief and concise answers, senior campaign strategist David Axelrod told Reuters.
A gifted orator, Obama has a tendency to give long, detailed answers that the campaign worries could come across as aloof during a televised debate. In his debate prep with sparring partner John KerryJohn KerrySharpton pressures Dems on Trump nominees Words are not enough — US must support Christians who survived genocide in Iraq What’s Russia’s real power? The power of the purse MORE (D-Mass.), Obama has been working on keeping his answers short after four years when he's rarely had to submit to rapid-fire questions.
Axelrod said that the president was trying to squeeze in preparation time whenever he could, on flights to west coast campaign events and at the White House in the evening.
“We don't have the same luxury that Romney does in terms of time,” he said.
Axelrod also said that Obama was familiarizing himself with Romney’s record and statements during the campaign.
“He's spent a lot of time reading material and most of it is familiarizing himself with what Governor Romney said in this campaign,” he said. “He's pretty conversant with his own record but he wasn't very conversant with Romney's.”
Romney, for his part, will seek to land rhetorical blows as Obama heads into the final stretch of the presidential election with a slight lead in the polls.
Romney’s debate partner is Sen. Rob PortmanRob PortmanGOP debates going big on tax reform Who is Tim Ryan? A closer look at Pelosi’s challenger Battle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates MORE (R-Ohio) and reports said the GOP nominee began prepping earlier this month, while Democrats held their national convention in Charlotte, N.C. Romney and Portman went head-to-head during a week-long retreat at the Vermont home of former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R), a campaign surrogate.
The first debate, on domestic policy, is scheduled for Oct. 3 at the University of Denver. The two candidates will then take questions from the audience on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. and debate foreign policy on Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Vice-President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate names part of Cures bill after Beau Biden Overnight Finance: Trump adviser softens tone on NAFTA | Funding bill to be released Tuesday | GOP leader won't back Trump tariff plan Cures bill clears first Senate hurdle MORE and Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanMedicare looms over Trump-Ryan alliance Trump allies warn: No compromise on immigration Overnight Healthcare: Senate advances cures bill | GOP's ObamaCare lawsuit on hold MORE (R-Wis.), hold their only debate on Oct. 1 in Kentucky.
Biden has tapped Ryan’s House Budget committee colleague Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Ryan has enlisted former solicitor general and famed legal scholar Ted Olson to aid in their debate preparations.