With his strong debate performance, Mitt Romney in one night changed the narrative that he is mistake-prone and that President Barack Obama
is a lock to get re-elected, John Fund, national affairs columnist for the National Review told Newsmax.
Fund said Obama’s lackluster presence and Romney’s aggressive performance change the dynamics of the race.
“The narrative until now was hapless Mitt Romney makes mistake after
mistake and Barack Obama defies gravity and is heading toward re-election,” Fund said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV..
“That narrative has pretty much been destroyed and now we have, waiting for the next debate, will Barack Obama recover?
Watch our exclusive interview. Story continues below.
"The pressure and the ability to change people’s minds is now on Barack Obama. He has to convince people, just like Ronald Reagan had to convince people after his debate with Walter Mondale in 1984, that he’s on top of his game and wants the job.”
Fund said the first reaction he detected among Republicans was “relief," followed by the view that, ‘Now it’s time to really go on the offensive because Obama has made himself vulnerable.’”
The astonishing result of the debate, Fund said, “is that liberal commentators all over the country declared the president to have lost the debate, to have put in a passive, phone it in at the office performance…Even the mainstream media decided that after last night’s
debate the emperor didn’t have very many clothes.”
Obama’s performance was “eerie” but he can recover, Fund said.
“The president didn’t even look at Mitt Romney,” he said. “It was beyond subdued, it was eerie... Presidential candidates can step on the gas, step on the brake. They calibrate their future debate performances based on their past ones so I fully expect Barack Obama can come roaring back.”
Romney may not have changed many minds about who he is but demonstrated he has the skills to lead the country.
“I don’t think Mitt Romney is ever going to get lots of points for being lovable, or down to earth or populist,” Fund added. “People realize he’s rich. People realize he comes from a famous family. However, I think he did convince people he had a business background, he has created jobs in the private sector and he knows how to manage things.
"In the end more voters are going to be impressed by his skills than his pedigree.”
What came through loud and clear in the debate was Obama’s record, Fund said.
“What really came through was that President Obama promised to cut the
debt in half, he promised to increase jobs, he promised to rein in spending, he promised middle class taxes and I think Romney, without very much of a rebuttal from Obama, demonstrated that he hadn’t done any of that,” Fund said.
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