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Philadelphia Mayor Nutter: Romney delivered ‘lie after lie’ at debate

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on Sunday said GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had offered “lie after lie” during last week’s debate.

“He is the Etch-A-Sketch guy, [he] has transformed himself and, quite frankly, we always have to wonder which Mitt is going to show up,” said Nutter, an Obama surrogate, on CNN’s State of the Union.

The Obama campaign has hit back at Romney’s well-received debate performance, accusing him of making dishonest statements.

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The Romney campaign, however, has dismissed those charges, and touted the debate as a break-through moment for the GOP challenger. Polls showed most voters believe Romney won the debate and even many liberal pundits expressed disappointment in the president’s lackluster performance.

Nutter on Sunday, continued the Democrats’ attack on Romney, saying that the candidate had undergone an “11th hour conversion” before his debate appearance. “So, if you just lay out lie after lie after lie about your own plan, as well as what the president has been talking about, of course you can look good,” he said.

Nutter said he expected Vice President Joe Biden, a close friend, to do well in Thursday’s debate against Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and downplayed recent gaffes from Biden on the campaign trail. 

“I think the big thing with Vice President Biden is that he speaks from his heart; he's an earthy guy,” said Nutter.

Republicans last week seized on a comment from Biden after he said that the middle class had been “buried” the last four years, using his remark to hammer Obama on his economic record.

Democrats said that Biden was referring to the eight years of Republican policies preceding the current administration and that Obama’s efforts had helped the middle class dig out. 

“I think all he was really trying to communicate is that the middle class has had some rough times,” said Nutter. “And he's honest about that. But progress has been made. I heard you talking earlier, of course, about the jobs numbers, 40 straight months of growth in the private sector, unemployment now down to 7.8 percent, which is about what it was when President Obama came into office in January of 2009.

“So Vice President Biden is the real deal. He'll give it to you straight. He communicates in a way that I think connects with people at a real level,” he added.

Biden and Ryan will meet on Thursday during the lone vice presidential debate.