With the clock ticking down to Tuesday's election, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney appeared in separate halftime interviews on ESPN's "Monday Night Football."
"Both men have given us quite a choice tomorrow," observed host Chris Berman. "Having the chance to vote is one of America’s greatest privileges. It’s an honor and it’s our duty to go to the polls. Make your vote count."
Romney spoke about his experience running the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and jokingly took credit for the Super Bowl championships won by the New England Patriots in his home state of Massachusetts.
"I take personal full responsibility for their two Super Bowl wins as well as the Red Sox winning the World Series," asserted the former governor of the state. "Look, as the governor you get blamed for everytining that goes wrong. You might as well get the credit for what goes right."
When asked what he learned about himself during the campaign, Romney told Berman that he was actually energized by the long campaign process.
“The more events I did, the more energy I seemed to get," he explained, pointing to the passionate supporters he encountered along the road to Election Day. "So I came away at the end of the day — instead of being exhausted, I had a hard time falling asleep. It’s just because of all the people that you meet and all they give to you of themselves.”
Berman asked Obama what he now knows about America that he may not have known four years ago.
Obama said he got “a lot of confirmation” about things he already knew, such as Americans being hard-working, self-reliant, decent and looking after one another.
“Watching the resilience of the American people bouncing back from hardship has been remarkable,” Obama said, adding that sports — and football in particular — is one of the country’s great unifiers.
Berman asked Obama if his hometown Chicago Bears were good enough to win the Super Bowl, which garnered an enthusiastic, “Yes they are,” from the president, who cited the team's defensive prowess.
When asked about the similarities bewteen winning “back to back” championships and elections, Obama said it’s about staying focused on what you’re doing.”
The president noted that political reporters aren't that different from sports reporters.
"You lose a game and you’re a bum," observed the president. "You win a game you’re a God. The truth is that just like in sports, in politics, hey we're all human. We make mistakes. Sometimes we perform well. But the key is to just stay focused on what it is that you're doing."
Asked what he would want to change about sports, Romney said he would take action on the “specter of performance enhancing drugs of all kind” based on his experience with the Olympics.
“We’re going to have to change the culture that says to people that using performance-enhancing drugs is acceptable. It’s simply not,” he explained.
But the GOP nominee said he is inspired by watching athletes. “You see greatness come out,” he said, adding that he was able to see their passion, conviction, and loyalty to teammates during his stint with the games.
“It’s a place where you see what is beneath the surface of an individual human being and you come away inspired,” Romney said.
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