By Ben Geman - 10/14/12 01:29 PM EDT
President Obama is making “adjustments” ahead of Tuesday’s second debate against GOP challenger Mitt Romney and plans to be “aggressive” in the encounter, senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said Sunday.
Obama was widely seen as badly losing the Oct. 3 debate, and many Democrats were dismayed that he failed to challenge what they consider Romney’s shift away from conservative positions.
“I think he is going to make some adjustments on Tuesday,” Axelrod said on Fox News Sunday. “I think it will be an interesting debate.”
“Certainly the president is going to be willing to challenge him on it,” Axelrod said.
The Obama campaign has since the debate, attacked Romney for allegedly shifting away from earlier, more conservative stances.
The Romney campaign, though, has blasted such criticisms as "false attacks."
"No new desperate strategy based on false attacks on Mitt Romney will be able to cover up the president’s past four years of failure that have led to millions of Americans struggling for work, a stagnant economy, and skyrocketing debt," said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg after the first presidential debate.
Obama on Thursday repeated those charges at a campaign rally in Florida.
“After running for more than a year in which he called himself ‘severely conservative,’ Mitt Romney is trying to convince you that he was severely kidding,” Obama said.
“Suddenly, he loves the middle class – can’t stop talking enough about them. He loves Medicare, loves teachers. He even loves the most important parts of 'ObamaCare.' What happened?,” the president added.
Axelrod on Sunday also sought to temper expectations by praising Romney’s skills, while bashing the former Massachusetts governor at the same time.
“We expect Gov. Romney will have a great debate too. He is a great salesman. That is what he did as a professional, he is very good at it,” Axelrod said.