President Barack Obama spent Thursday calling out Mitt Romney for his performance in the previous night's debate, saying the Republican tried to sell the American people a different vision than the one he's been campaigning on. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
A more aggressive Barack Obama showed up to a campaign event Thursday, which may have had his supporters ask where that fired-up Obama was at the previous day's debate.
"I refuse to ask students to pay more for college or take children out of head start programs or eliminate health insurance for Americans to pay for a tax cut that we can't afford," Obama said at the event Thursday.
Wednesday, Obama is said to have been wary of descending into an unpresidential back and forth.
To many, he seemed distracted and flat, with long and ineffective answers to Mitt Romney's attacks.
After meeting with advisors, Obama shifted.
He would answer, and then some, what he sees as his opponent's biggest whoppers.
"Gov. Romney may dance around his positions," the president said. "He may do a tap dance and a two-step but if you want to be president, then you owe the American people the truth."
Romney has a different take on the evening.
"Last night, I thought, was a great opportunity for the American people to see two very different visions for the country," he said.
He replayed a line from Wednesday's match.
"I think it was helpful to be able to describe those visions," he said. "I saw the president's vision as trickle-down government and I don't think that is what America believes in. "
It's unknown whether Romney's performance helped him pick up support among voters as real polls won't be out for a couple of days. What is clear, though, is that he calmed down his donors. He also bought himself some time for Americans to take another look at his campaign.
"It's very clear that Romney did enough to impress commentators and that may be important," said David Birdsell of Baruch College. "The question is, did he do enough to impress swing voters?"
Big Bird may be dominating the water cooler chatter, though.
Romney said Wednesday that he'd slash PBS's modest subsidy, singling out everyone's favorite feathered friend.
It lit up Twitter and triggered a new Obama zinger.
"I just want to make sure I got this straight," the president said. "He'll get rid of regulations on Wall Street but he's gonna crack down on Sesame Street."