Romney's former debate coach strategizes
How can the GOP candidate win?
- Duration 5:56
- Date Oct 2, 2012
How can the GOP candidate win?
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-- -- tonight -- Obama in Nevada Mitt Romney in Colorado both prepping for the big debate tomorrow night.
May remember that when Newt Gingrich clocked the governor in the South Carolina debate last spring Robby came back strong in Florida.
The man who helped prepare the governor for those debates Brett O'Donnell joins now from Washington.
OK see you really know this turf the as you worked for John McCain when he rang as Barack Obama 2008 and now in the primary season you worked for Mitt Romney.
Let's assess the governor's strengths and weaknesses.
As a debater first strikes.
Well I think the governor is a very good messengers -- he's a good or -- he can deliver a speech he's very good when he is on message.
And on offense as you saw on the debates in Florida against Newt Gingrich when he got on offense the governor was very effective when he leans into a debate.
He can be pretty effective all right weakness we.
-- weaknesses that you know when when he gets one like like most every politician.
When he gets defensive that's when he makes mistakes the 101000 dollar -- came.
When governor Romney was being defensive about his health care policy and -- been other instances where.
Other debaters have been able to get him on the defense and when that happens he he tends to look.
Bad all right well you know that President Obama gonna try to do that it's gonna question is health care criticism is flip flops on various issues.
He's gonna press him for very specifics on your -- program and what you're gonna phase out as far as deductions concern all of that.
Is the governor going to be able parry can he Perry can he think fast enough on his feet.
All right to.
Block inevitably what's going to come his way.
Well he absolutely can if you remember the debates with Newt Gingrich.
In -- speaker Gingrich was challenging him on on -- his immigration policy he was really going after him about deporting grandmothers and you know he thought on his feet and came back with a great response you know we can't deport.
Eleven million grandmothers that's there aren't eleven million grandmothers that -- -- OK and -- and so we can he can retort and what the governor's got to do it's not about pairing.
It's about going on offense it's about starting the debate on offense and finishing the debate on -- -- Remember though because I've debated Barack Obama twice I mean is it he's not Jimmy Carter you know Reagan -- it was the template he destroyed Carter.
But Obama is much quicker than Jimmy Carter was now.
I don't think Mitt Romney's a confrontational man am I correct in an assessment.
Well I think not that he he's not good -- for the fighting is -- relish the debate.
And that's what happened the first.
You know probably fifteen primary debates he stayed out of the fray.
And just sort of -- gave his message that's right that's right -- and let everybody else -- each other up but this time he has to prove himself to the American people.
Which President Obama doesn't have to prove himself -- known quantity you like -- you don't whatever it's the people in the middle those those few.
Persuade of those raptor but Mitt Romney still has to prove himself so the burden in the debate is on the governor or am -- wrong.
No I think you're absolutely right while while the challenger gets elevated by being on the stage with the president.
Clearly the president.
Has you know he's on the mum on the mountain top he's the -- he won the last set of debates he's the president.
And so there's got to be compelling reason for changed so governor Romney has the burden of proof than he has to bring that compelling reason.
-- why aren't you in Colorado with Ron needed a good job it seems to me in Florida.
You know when he turned it around there why aren't you out there with them.
Well I think the governor's got a great team and you know will just leave it that all right so is his reference not -- -- out there that's interstate.
Secondly you -- John McCain for his today.
With Barack Obama and McCain held his own we didn't bring the debate to the president.
Then Senator McCain never brought it to win.
He was almost exasperated by look this -- -- -- always talking about -- talking in generalities.
But that just didn't get through to the electorate who liked.
-- -- and I think still does like.
I think that's true I think that's one of the reasons.
Why governor Romney's got to go on offense that what the governor has to do is he has to make the public start blaming Barack Obama for.
The bad economic and how -- that idea -- is swinging the public over to blaming the president how well that's that's the thing that they haven't done effectively in the camp as effectively as they need to -- They've convince the American people that the economy's bad.
What they -- and convince the American people is that the is that the president's policies.
That have caused the economy it would need to step by facts spice absolutely.
-- -- keep -- hitting you gotta go -- -- -- policy by policy and say.
Your stimulus bill created these economic conditions which is hurt.
Unemployment and cause them to be above 8% for forty months and go through each of the policies that he's that he -- done that have caused the economy to go down.
Final question does does Mitt Romney have to say because you know the president's gonna have come after him.
-- here's what I'm gonna phase out some charitable solves some real estates up does he have to do that -- can -- stay in the general area where he.
Feels more comfortable.
Know what he has to do is cast of vision.
That's a better alternative than the path for long does that include specificity.
In those areas where the president is gonna keep banging on the -- and -- -- banging.
Tellme Tellme Tellme.
I don't think by and large it has to there has to be a few specifics but what he has to do the show that he offers a better way forward and the president does right now.
-- -- instruments we hope you'll come back by the way.
On the you know a few days in a news assess what happened out there all right I would love to -- directly -- the president counting on women.
Put him back in a White House.