POLITICS

Obama Debate Strategy Will Be Adjusted, Top Adviser Says

10/04/2012 12:31 pm ET | Updated Oct 04, 2012

President Barack Obama's top campaign adviser pledged Thursday morning that there would be "adjustments" in strategy before Obama faces off against Mitt Romney in the second debate.

But those adjustments won't be massive, David Axelrod said. Rather, it will be the type of tinkering one would expect from a candidate trying to improve upon his listless, widely panned performance in the first debate Wednesday night.

"It is like the playoffs in sports -- you evaluate after every contest and you make adjustments," Axelrod said in a conference call with reporters. "And I’m sure that we will make adjustments. I don’t see us adding huge amounts of additional prep time. I think ... there are some strategic judgments that have to be made and we will make them."

"I'm sure he will consider his approach moving forward," Axelrod added. "But I know he is very, very eager for the next debate on the 16th ... I think that, again, this was the first chance for the president to see how Governor Romney operates in these debates firsthand, and you have to make some adjustments for the fact that he is a ... very artful dodger."

On Wednesday night, the president seemed unprepared to counter many of the charges thrown his way. He failed to mention some of his signature accomplishments from his first four years in office and seemed emotionally subdued throughout the 90-minute affair. Asked why Obama didn't tackle Romney for his infamous comment about the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income taxes, Axelrod responded that his boss hadn't been prompted.

"He made a choice last night to answer the questions that were asked and to talk to the American people about what we need to do to move forward and not get into serial fact checking with Governor Romney, which can be an exhausting, never-ending pursuit," he said. "Obviously moving forward we are going to take a hard look at this and we are going to have to make some adjustments as to where to draw the lines in these debates and how to use our time."

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