Daily Rundown   |  October 02, 2012

Romney scores NFL legend’s endorsement

Landing in Colorado on Monday night, Mitt Romney was greeted by the endorsement of John Elway at his only scheduled event ahead of Wednesday’s first debate. The Daily Rundown’s Chuck Todd reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it's tuesday, october 2nd , 2012 . i'm chloyce talbott. mitt romney landed in colorado last night and scored the endorsement of the big guy . the legendary quarterback and now executive vice president of football operations john elway . it was the only scheduled talk. it was a stealth bomber in the background there. romney tried to tamp down expectations in the back.

>> people want to know who is going to win? who is going to score the punches and who is going to make the biggest difference in the arguments they make? in my view, it's not so much winning or losing or even the people themselves. it's about something bigger than that. these debates are an opportunity for each of us to describe the pathway forward for america that we would choose.

>> playing off the enthusiastic crowd. romney had lines for the base. may even tested out a few zingers we might hear wednesday night.

>> this is a home to focus on the family which is committed to preserving the foundation of america . we have to get the pipe laine from canada if i have to build it myself.

>> it will kill america 's entrepreneurship.

>> that's the first time, by the way, romney talked about card check on the stump since the primaries. others call it the employee free choice act . it was a priority four years ago. it never passed because a few democrats helped kill it. it's faded from the debate since 2009 . that's why it was odd to hear it last night. the president took a break from a more low key debate schedule. he delivered pizzas to the local campaign office where he also called some volunteers and did a little joking about his own debate prep.

>> basically they are putting me indoors all the time. it's a drag. they are making me do my homework.

>> as romney and obama hunkered down, their surrogates are fan ing out across the country today. the first lady, ohio. that's where early voting begins today. biden is in north carolina . march koe rubio brackets the president's visit in vegas. paul ryan kicks off a bus tour of the buckeye state .

>> i was teaching the kids the song on the way over here.

>> we screw that up. of course, he's in iowa. not ohio. in an interview, romney was pressed for specifics on his tax plan. after ryan said on fox news on sunday the math would take too long to explain.

>> you could say everybody is going to get up to a $70,000 deduction and can use your charitable deduction or home mortgage deduction or others. and you can fill that bucket if you will, the $17,000 bucket that way and higher income people might have a lower number. or you could do it by the same method that boll simpson did it. but that's the sort of thing you do with congress.

>> so that's the most detail we have heard romney talk about this idea of different buckets and a cap on deductions. but still it's been at nearly every stop in the the last two weeks. romney has had to explain the 47% remark. don't be surprised if we hear a version of this answer when it comes up wednesday night.

>> if you could go back to that fundraiser, would you have said it differently?

>> it's not productive for someone to get into the detail of how a campaign is going to cop l together the people i need to win an election. i'm a president for 100% of the american people and that's the real% people care about. not 47 versus anyone else . i will be president for 100% of the feem.

>> of course, 47% is something we're hearing a lot in tv ads. the president's campaign continues to pound the issue on the air waves. heading into tomorrow night's debate, the president and romney each have two vulnerabilities. whatever candidate exploits his opponents will end the night with the upper hand. for the president, he hasn't fully described what his second term is going to look like. proposals in tv ads and on the stump like a million new manufacturing jobs, 100,000 new math and science teachers. feel mores a operational than an actual detailed plan. given the fact there's hunger for change, what change can the incumbent promise? the president has to come up with a good enough explanation of how reelecting him would break the partisan fever in washington. what does romney have to deal with? he hasn't differentiated from george bush 's. and his plans lack specifics. in a one-on-one debate, candidates have a lot of control over how aggressive they are. both romney and the president are inexperienced in a one-on-one debate format. few details on the format. the president and romney will be at podiums, standing, not sitting, and there will be no basic time limits on their answers. it's not 90 seconds, buzzer, things like that. it's up to the discretion of the moderator, jim leierer. that's going to be up to him. but there's supposed to be a lot of leeway here over how long the conversations go. the debate is on domestic policy. 90 minutes is supposed to be devoted to the economy specifically with governing and health care . but we'll see if the general nature of those areas allows libya to come up, which we know the romney folks want to do. debates are as much about style as substance and this is a reality show where obama and romney will meet in the first time in nearly five years before their biggest audience of the campaign. the first 2008 presidential debate between the president and john mccain got seven times the audience of the highest rated 2012 republican primary debate. think about that. seven times. past debates show romney and obama have to worry about cut away shots that are less than flattering. in the past both candidates have come across as irritable, patronizing or disengaged. this was chris christie 's advice to the candidates yesterday.

>> what you do is go out and be yourself. and people either like it or don't. if they don't, they are going to vote for somebody else. not a tragedy. no one dies.

>> finally speaking of debates, there was a barn burner last night in massachusetts where scott brown and democratic challenger elizabeth warren faced off in a debate. moderated by nbc's david gregory . it was tense from the outset.

>> if you're going to comment on my record, i would at least have you refer to it -- excuse me. i'm not a student in your classroom. please let me respond, okay?

>> that was an echo of a quip brown used in 2010 when he told martha kwaurkly i'm not in your courtroom, i'm not a defendant. i the two fought over whether elizabeth warren used her native american heritage to gain employment advantage.

>> i listed myself as native american . i was listed there. it's part of who i am.

>> do you consider yourself a minority?

>> i consider myself as having a native american background. that's what i said, that's what i am.

>> is she a liar? is that your judgment?

>> david, you'd have to ask her who she e actually is. at the pinnacle of her success at harvard, she changed back to being white.

>> all night, brown did his best to help voters forget he has a party. he kept calling himself an independent thinker saying mitch mcconnell has a lot of work to do to earn his vote to become potentially majority leader if republicans get enough seats. even saying he'd support john kerry for secretary of state. but he did trip up when he was asked to name his model supreme court justice .

>> let me see here. that's a great question. i think justice scalia is a very good judge. justice kennedy is obviously very good. and justice roberts , justice --

>> warren couldn't hold in her laughter, but she had her own oops moment.

>> can you name some republicans in the senate today that you are able to work with on big issues, substantiative issues the country faces?

>> probably richard lugar would come to mind.

>> he's not going to be there. who else can you name?

>> that is a problem.

>> by the way, on scalia, in a state like massachusetts, the conservative justice there not very popular with some of the base folks there. not