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Obama Admits He Lost Debate and Offers 'Polite' Excuse

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“We’ve got four weeks left in the election and we’re going to take it to him.”

US President Barack Obama speaks during his debate with Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney at Magness Arena at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, October 3, 2012. After hundreds of campaign stops, $500 million in mostly negative ads and countless tit-for-tat attacks, Obama and Romney go head-to-head in their debut debate.Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Ever since President Obama's universally panned debate performance last week, numerous different explanations and more free advice than any man should have to listen to have been offered going forward. Indeed, the only man whose voice hasn't been heard about why he thinks he lost has been the president himself.

Until now. In an interview with the Tom Joyner Morning Show, President Obama placed the blame on an interesting problem with which to diagnose his performance.

"I was just too polite," Obama told the host.

ABC has more:

“You have a seven-game series, we’re up two zero and we lose one,” he explained. “You know, this is a long haul and I think that it’s very important for folks to make sure that they understand that as long as people stay focused, we will win this thing.”

“The good news is that’s just the first one,” the president said of last week’s debate. “Governor Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long-term.

Listen for yourself:

Given this read on the president's performance, he seems likely to proceed to a more aggressive line of attack at the next two presidential debates - a strategic choice which may shore up his base, but will have an indeterminate effect when it comes to undecided voters. The Washington Post describes Obama's other thoughts during the interview:

Obama also pushed back against his own supporters’ doomsaying.

“By next week I think a lot of the hand-wringing will be complete because we’re gonna go ahead and win this thing,” he said. Comparing the election to basketball, Obama said, “You have a seven-game series, we’re up two-zero, and we lose one.”

He ended with a promise: “We’ve got four weeks left in the election and we’re going to take it to him.”

How Obama plans to "take it to" Romney is anyone's guess, but it is likely to involve some of the Obama campaign's more well-rehearsed attacks. For instance, look for lines about Romney's background at Bain Capital, his tax returns, and the infamous "47 percent" remark.

 

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