Romney praised for first debate against Obama

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10:54AM EST October 4. 2012 – DENVER — Mitt Romney and his team are reveling in the Republican nominee’s post-debate reviews, which generally give him high marks for being aggressive compared with President Obama’s more muted performance.

“Romney wins debate praise as Obama is faulted as flat,” reads one headline from The New York Times.

“Romney comes on strong in debate,” says The Denver Post online.

BLOG: Obama hits trail after bad debate reviews

Or as Erick Erickson of the conservative Red State blogput it: “The debate was so bad for Barack Obama I expect Eric Holder to send Jim Lehrer to GTMO.” (He’s referring to Guantanamo Bay, the military prison in Cuba for detainees.)

For 90 minutes, Obama and Romney sparred over their visions for the future of America. At times they were wonky when it came to a discussion about taxes and Medicare. There were moments when the candidates were forceful in picking over the details of each other’s policy proposals, going toe-to-toe over some of the finer points.

“Mitt Romney was on offense. President Obama was on defense. And when you’re on offense in a presidential debate — and aren’t mean-spirited or harsh — you prevail,”writes Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard.

Some Democratic allies of Obama conceded the president had a weak showing at the University of Denver. “I had one overwhelming impression,” James Carville, the strategist behind Bill Clinton’s victory in the 1992 presidential election, said on CNN Wednesday night. “I did everything I could not to reach it, but it looked like Romney wanted to be there and President Obama didn’t want to be there.”

Obama and Romney will face each other in two more debates, with the next being on Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., where voters will be able to pose questions in a town-hall style format.