Meet the Press | September 30, 2012
>> the entire narrative of the race will change after the debates. looks like romney is expecting a good showing.
>> i think governor christie is articulating what governor romney 's campaign believes, that they'll change this race fundamentally. they talk about how this will be like 1980 and reagan surged to a huge lead. that's really the marker here. they set it out. they expect to come out of this with the race fundamentally changed. what does that mean? if it's going to fundamentally change that means in seven or 10 days from now you'll see states like ohio tied and iowa tied. so they have set the bar quite high. challengers tend to benefit from debates. we have expected all along that governor romney will have a good night. he is prepared more than any candidate in history. and he has shown himself to be a very good debater through the years. so we understand that this is an important moment. we're just going to continue to make the case we have throughout the campaign, through the convention, to the american people . governor romney , they say he has practiced zingers and lines for months and months. we're sure he'll put on a show on wednesday night.
>> you played a huge role in 2008 in debate prep. what have you told the president? there's an incumbent trap. don't fall into it. what does he have to do right?
>> challengers benefit from this, being on the same stage has traditionally benefited the challenger. so the president is not worried about zingers and lines. he's got time with the american people to explain his case for re-election, about what he wants to do on the economy, how to focus on the middle class . that's what we've done through the whole campaign. it's been consistent day after day trying to explain to people where we've been, where we need to go, how that contrast with our opponent. and he thinks the clear choice is him for the middle class .
>> is this race over?
>> absolutely not.
>> but you don't look like you think they are going to come back and tie it in ohio .
>> well, 3:00 in the morning i wasn't sleeping because you worry about everything. first of all, there's benefit from going through this before. there will be ups and downs . we know the news media is anxious to write the romney recovery and comeback story. we understand that first of all, we are not going to win background states by 10, 12 points . this race is going to tighten. we have built the presidential campaign with the belief it will come down to a few votes in a few states. the race will tighten. we do have an edge right now, and it's important to understand that the election is happening right now. people started voting in iowa this week. vote in ohio next week. we like what we're seeing in those numbers. we think we've got the numbers to win an election. but it is going to be exceedingly, you know, tough at the end here. we expect it to tighten. and so our entire campaign is built under the premise, listen, we got 53% of the vote in 2008 under ideal circumstances. we have expected this to be closer than 2008 , and we expect to see this race tighten a little bit.