By Justin Sink - 10/23/12 08:33 PM EDT
Mitt Romney looked to battle back against aggressive attacks by President Obama during Monday's presidential debate and on the campaign trail, saying Tuesday the president had been "reduced" by the strength of the Republican candidate's insurgent campaign.
"He has been reduced to trying to defend characters on Sesame Street," Romney told supporters at a rally in Nevada. "Word games of various kinds and misfired attacks, one after the other. The truth is that attacks on me are not an agenda."
The Republican presidential nominee said the debates had "supercharged our campaign."
"There is no question about it," Romney said "We are seeing more and more enthusiasm and support. We are making sure that the messages of these debates keep going across the country."
Romney went on to say that through four debates, "we have not heard an agenda from the president."
"That is why his campaign is taking on water and ours is full speed ahead," Romney said.
Earlier Tuesday, the president accused Romney of being "all over the map" at a campaign rally in Florida, and echoed his diagnosis of "Romnesia."
"We had a severe outbreak last night," Obama quipped. "It was at least stage 3 Romnesia.”
Referencing Romney's opposition to the auto bailout, Obama continued, “If you say you love American cars during a debate, but you wrote an article titled ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’ — you may have Romnesia.”
The attacks came on the heels of a foreign policy debate where Obama aggressively hit Romney at multiple points, quipping that "the 1980s called" wanting Romney's foreign policy back and blasting his challenger as seeming to treat military policy like a game of Battleship.
But the Romney campaign sought to frame the president's blows as the flailing of an increasingly desperate campaign struggling to contain Romney's momentum.
Speaking before Romney at the rally, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Obama's campaign had become one of "small ideas."
"It was four years ago when candidate Barack Obama was running for president and he said this: 'If you do not have fresh ideas, use stealth tactics to scare voters. If you do not have a record to run on, paint your opponent as someone that people should run from. A big collection of small ideas.' Ladies and gentleman, that is exactly what he said for years ago, and sadly that is exactly what President Obama has become," Ryan said.
Romney blasted Obama for presenting "a status quo candidacy."
"This is a message of going forward with the same policies for the next four years," Romney said. "That is why his campaign is slipping and ours is gaining steam."
Earlier Tuesday, Obama's political advisers disputed the notion Romney was gaining ground on a conference call with reporters.
“We have the ball, we have the lead, we have a great push-off as a result of these last two very strong debate performances,” said David Axelrod, a senior strategist to the Obama campaign. “This is a race we believe we’re leading. We believe we’re leading these battleground states.”
And in a statement Tuesday, Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith called Romney "dour, defensive, and dishonest" in his remarks.
“And it's no surprise why. Last night, he was exposed as reckless and wrong on foreign policy and failed to present any specific plans for what he’d do as president," Smith said.