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Gibbs: Obama will explain why Romney policies ‘bad for this country’

Obama and Romney are set to square off in their second of three debates Tuesday at Hofrstra University in New York. Obama was widely viewed as the loser of their first debate Oct. 3 in Denver, but Gibbs said the president will be stronger in the rematch with the former Massachusetts governor.

“I think the president will make sure people understand the choice, and certainly if Mitt Romney puts up his hands and says ‘I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut plan. I don’t want to cut taxes on the very wealthy,' absolutely I think the president will walk through for voters in that room that are going to be undecided exactly what the Romney campaign wants to do and why it’s bad for this country,” Gibbs said on CNN's State of the Union.

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Gibbs called Romney's performance in the first debate "magical and theatrical," though he also admitted Obama was "disappointed' in his showing.

"Well, look, I think Mitt Romney's performance was, indeed, magical and theatrical," Gibbs said. "Magical and theatrical largely because for 90 minutes he walked away from a campaign he had been running for more than six years previous to that."

When he was pressed by host Candy Crowley, who is scheduled to moderate Tuesday’s debate, about whether Obama would call out Romney for “lying,” Gibbs joked: "If you tell me what you are going to ask, I'll tell you how he is going to answer it.”

Both campaigns have charged their opponents with misrepresenting Mitt Romney's tax reform proposals. Democrats insist Romney's proposal would call for a $5 trillion tax cut which would worsen the deficit. Romney says he is in favor of across-the-board tax cuts and that he would eliminate loopholes and exemptions to bring in new revenues.