Don't worry, we'll win, Obama assures supporters anxious after debate flop
US President Barack Obama tried to steady panicking supporters, insisting he would win re-election despite a shaky first debate during which he had been "too polite" to Mitt Romney.
"I got this," Obama said in a radio interview on Wednesday and predicted that Democratic "hand-wringing" over his limp debate showing, which precipitated a polling slump, would be a mere memory after his next clash with the Republican on Tuesday.
Democrats were mystified by Obama's lethargic effort in Denver last week, and watched with alarm Romney's subsequent surge into the lead in polls and comeback in several key states.
"At the debate, I think it is fair to say, I was too polite," Obama said in an interview broadcast on the Tom Joyner radio show. "It is hard to sometimes keep on saying, 'What you're saying isn't true'; it gets repetitive. The good news is that it's just the first one."
But Obama, famous for his no-drama persona, rebuked supporters who had begun to see his re-election as a cakewalk, saying the race was always going to be close and his prior lead was due to Romney's repeated mistakes.
"This is a long haul … as long as folks stay focused, we will win," Obama said, after Joyner told the president some supporters were "scared to death".
"By next week I think a lot of the hand-wringing will be complete because we are going to go ahead and win this thing," the president said.
Attention turned to Vice-President Joe Biden's attempt to turn the tide for his boss in his debate clash this morning, Hong Kong time, in Kentucky with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Obama predicted Biden would be "terrific" and Romney said Ryan would "do great".