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State of the race: Debate drumming redux


A blink at what's being said about the upcoming presidential debates...

Mitt Romney in an interview with Fox News: "The president is obviously a very eloquent, gifted speaker — he’ll do just fine. I’ve, you know, I’ve never been in a presidential debate like this and it will be a new experience."

Of Sen. Rob Portman standing in as President Obama, Romney said: "He plays Barack Obama, he plays him well, too. After the, you know, hour and a half or so is over, I’m like, I want to kick him out of the room he’s so good."

The Los Angeles Times on Obama's preparation: "Obama has blocked out three days to prepare for the October debates, but with the constant pressures that come with one of the world's most important jobs, aides worry he may not get enough practice at the podium. The debate retreat, scheduled to start Sunday in Henderson, Nev., a suburb that sprawls away from Las Vegas, includes time for the daily battery of presidential meetings, leaving room for three afternoon debate sessions — if no crises flare up. Obama has already canceled some debate preparation because of events in the Middle East, said Jen Psaki, his campaign press secretary. 'He has had to balance the management of world events, governing, time out campaigning,' she said. 'He'll have less time than we anticipated to sharpen and cut down his tendency to give long, substantive answers.'"

Portman to Politico: "[T]his notion that somehow Barack Obama as president hasn't had time to really get up to speed - he's up to speed every day, because he deals with all these issues, federal issues every day.

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