Dem Gov. O’Malley: Romney 'elevated his performance'

Polls of debate viewers immediately following the event indicated the widespread opinion that Romney won, and even liberal pundits were expressing disappointment with Obama's performance.

O’Malley reiterated the explanations that Obama's team had used to lower expectations ahead of the debate, saying "the challenger has an edge in that first debate." But he also charged Romney with failing to provide enough detail of his "secret plan" to improve the economy, grow jobs and reduce the deficit.

"He still skated and danced and tap-danced around how it is he is going to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires without that having an effect on the budget," he said. 

Obama pressed Romney on that topic during the debate, as well, charging that the GOP ticket's plans would shoulder the middle class with a larger tax burden. Romney denied those charges, saying his plans for across-the-board rate cuts would not expand the deficit and would work by eliminating tax code loopholes benefiting the wealthy.

O’Malley denied that Romney's debate performance would have much influence on the polls, which have recently given Obama the lead in the race.

"I don't believe that you'll see a big change in the dynamics of the race," he said.