Heilemann on Charlie Rose: Obama Didn’t Challenge Romney


"Obama looked like he was enduring the debate, more than engaging in the debate," New York's John Heilemann told Charlie Rose of the first presidential debate, which many have scored as a decisive win for Mitt Romney. Heilemann described Obama's performance as "curiously passive" and said the biggest difference was that Romney had a strategy and executed it, while Obama seemed to lack one and failed to challenge Romney when he offered specifics, which he's been criticized for failing to do thus far. "There's lot of things Romney said tonight that he's never said before," Heilemann said: for example, that he wouldn't cut taxes for upper-income earners and wouldn't make cuts to Medicare. "Some of the specifics were easily challengeable by the president. The president didn't challenge him on the specifics in any way. I think that speaks to him playing it very safe."