Up   |  October 07, 2012

What caused Obama’s poor debate performance?

In talking about the important political topics that were omitted from Wednesday night’s presidential debate, the Up w/ Chris Hayes panelists examine President Obama’s poor showing and why it was lackluster.

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

>>> we are talking about the omissions, which are sizable from wednesday night's presidential debate and as an intervention to what we want to see in the vice presidential debate on thursday and the one other debate between the two presidential candidates . given how much contraception reproductive choice has been this year, it was striking to me that that was nowhere to be found.

>> especially since the gender gap . it's striking obama didn't bring it up. the gender gap is crucially important as to whether or not barack obama is going to win a second term and it's very much on his side. one of the things i was perplexed about, it's not that he didn't attack romney on a variety of issues, he didn't offer a positive version. it wauz free form structure to the debate. it wasn't directed much. i wanted him to talk positively about his stance on women's rights.

>> bring it up out of nowhere. talk about lily ledbetter. it's working for him crucially. it was surprising to me.

>> i think to double down that -- did i just say that? kick me off the show now.

>> i'm throwing you under the bus.

>> the other thing people want to look at in this election is not only mitt romney , but the party that mitt romney serves and with the issues of choice and the legislation going on not only in washington but around the states when obama gets called up all the time on he didn't get this done or this done or this done, it's because of this destructive congress. when you have mitt romney who is going to lead this party, especially not the party of allen west and all these people who are crack pots on science and women's issues. that was a real chance for barack obama to say i have defended this whole time.

>> and legislation that lets you take care of yourself.

>> that to me was very striking as well as someone who works in this body that has about 10% approval rating from the american people . how do you --

>> and falling.

>> exactly. how do you talk about -- i mean are you struck by how little congressional obstruction?

>> essentially, romney just -- it was a game changer when he said he wants to tax the rich, regulation is essential. he cares for the poor and the elderly. what planet are we on after the two years he went through? that was when obama -- debate is about an emotional tone and connection and the issues we talk about are in service of that. that was the opportunity for obama to hold him accountable. what about mitch mcconnell who said his goal is to make me a one-term president. what about the debt ceiling where you push me over the cliff with no plan. what about the budget plan where we were about to shut out the lights in government? there was a fight for failure there's been the core approach of the republican leadership. i think that was an opportunity for romney to say something. congress is dysfunctional. his republican leadership that had a plan that incidentally worked for quite a while. if nothing gets done, most people who are getting stuff done throw their hands up. that was the moment where i thought the president had the opportunity to show that he was a fighter. that's what people also want to know. when romney stole the show by literally turning upside down what his positions have been, it was time to hold him accountable.

>> i can't make sense out of it. it's been said in some places and no, not by me that obama actually, this has been said by people that maybe he's not very bright. the other night i actually wondered what's wrong with him. i don't think it's because he's afraid to be an angry black man to say the things you were talking about would not have looked angry, just intelligence. i suspect he's used to being riding on that charisma of his. i think he thought standing there and being his larger than life self would take care of things.

>> there's a few other theories about this. steve schmidt worked on the 2012 reelect bush. the president always has more important things to do. when you say you need to go to debate practice and he says turkey is about to go to war. i think preparation does matter. i think we saw that a little bit.

>> would he have practiced for these?

>> yes, yes.

>> i just want to say, the one thing they should practice if their advisers didn't know this is what it's going to look like on tv. that's the screen. i was surprised. the network i watched, i don't know which it was showed a split screen the entire time. when the president is taking notes, he has no idea. if you see that in advance, shot it like that, he would not have done that. i'm sorry.

>> don't apologize. i want to hear what else we should be hearing thursday. i brought