MEMO from Romney for President
From: Beth Myers, Senior Adviser
To: Interested Parties
September 27, 2012
In a matter of days, Governor Romney and President Obama will meet on
the presidential debate stage. President Obama is a
universally-acclaimed public speaker and has substantial debate
experience under his belt. However, the record he's compiled over the
last four years – higher unemployment, lower incomes, rising energy
costs, and a national debt spiraling out of control – means this will
be a close election right up to November 6th.
Between now and then, President Obama and Governor Romney will debate
three times. While Governor Romney has the issues and the facts on his
side, President Obama enters these contests with a significant
advantage on a number of fronts.
Voters already believe – by a 25-point margin – that President Obama is
likely to do a better job in these debates. Given President Obama's
natural gifts and extensive seasoning under the bright lights of the
debate stage, this is unsurprising. President Obama is a uniquely
gifted speaker, and is widely regarded as one of the most talented
political communicators in modern history. This will be the eighth
one-on-one presidential debate of his political career. For Mitt
Romney, it will be his first.
Four years ago, Barack Obama faced John McCain on the debate stage.
According to Gallup, voters judged him the winner of each debate by
double-digit margins, and their polling showed he won one debate by an
astounding 33-point margin. In the 2008 primary, he faced Hillary
Clinton, another formidable opponent – debating her one-on-one numerous
times and coming out ahead. The takeaway? Not only has President Obama
gained valuable experience in these debates, he also won them
But what must President Obama overcome? His record. Based on the
campaign he's run so far, it's clear that President Obama will use his
ample rhetorical gifts and debating experience to one end: attacking
Mitt Romney. Since he won't – and can't – talk about his record, he'll
talk about Mitt Romney. We fully expect a 90-minute attack ad aimed at
tearing down his opponent. If President Obama is as negative as we
expect, he will have missed an opportunity to let the American people
know his vision for the next four years and the policies he'd pursue.
That's not an opportunity Mitt Romney will pass up. He will talk about
the big choice in this election – the choice between President Obama's
government-centric vision and Mitt Romney's vision for an opportunity
society with more jobs, higher take-home pay, a better-educated
workforce, and millions of Americans lifted out of poverty into the
This election will not be decided by the debates, however. It will be
decided by the American people. Regardless of who comes out on top in
these debates, they know we can't afford another four years like the
last four years. And they will ultimately choose a better future by
electing Mitt Romney to be our next president.