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Obama says he was 'too polite' toward Romney in first debate


President Barack Obama engaged in some post-debate self-analysis Wednesday morning, saying on a radio show that he thought he was “too polite” during last week’s debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Speaking on the "Tom Joyner Morning Show," President Obama says "I was just too polite" and that voters should expect "a little more activity" next week in the second debate. Msnbc's Tamron Hall reports.

“I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite," the president said when asked about his first debate performance during an interview on the Tom Joyner radio show. "The good news is, is that’s just the first one."

Obama assured Joyner: “I think it’s fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next [debate],” without getting any more specific about what kind of activity he meant.

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Consistent with the expectations game his campaign played in the days leading up to the debate, Obama said that despite Romney’s frequent “mistakes” on the trail, the president and his team understood that the campaign would never “end up being a cakewalk.”

But he maintained that “we’ve got a lead,” despite polls showing Romney gaining on Obama with a post-debate bounce. He likened his position in the race to a basketball team that just lost the third game in a best-of-seven series.

“You know, you have a seven game series, we’re up two zero and we lose one,” Obama said.

But Joyner didn’t seem to buy that analogy.

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“Yeah, but you had the open shot and you didn’t take it,” he interjected.

“Yeah, I understand, but you know, what happens though is that when people lose one game, you know, this is a long haul,” Obama responded.

Obama also emphasized his hopes for Thursday’s vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Republican nominee Paul Ryan. While VP debates aren’t usually as highly-anticipated as presidential ones, Biden has faced increased pressure to make up for Obama’s less-than-stellar performance, while Ryan’s appearance will be his first foray on a national debate stage.

“Biden I think will be terrific in the debate,” Obama said, not trying to manage expectations as his campaign did with his first debate performance. 

Towards the end of the interview, Obama sought to assure listeners that he was still confident, alluding to an internet meme that features him: “As some of these emails that go around with my picture on them say, I can’t quote the entire thing, but ‘I got this.'"