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What is President Obama's greatest challenge at tomorrow night's debate?
October 15th, 2012
04:09 PM ET

What is President Obama's greatest challenge at tomorrow night's debate?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Tomorrow night's presidential debate is a make-or-break moment for President Barack Obama.

After that dismal showing in the first debate against Mitt Romney, the president better bring his A game if he wants a second term.

Writing in The Daily Beast, Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan says that the president's "main challenge for re-election in the final stretch is Obama himself."

Sullivan suggests that Obama threw away the momentum after the first debate, calling the president's performance "so lazy, so feckless and so vain it was almost a dare not to vote for him." Ouch. Remember this is a supporter talking.

But he's onto something: Romney has seen gains in both national polls and battleground states since the first debate.

He now leads the president 48% to 47% in CNN's poll of polls. Perhaps even more telling: After months of voters finding Obama more likable than Romney, a new poll of likely voters shows the two men virtually tied on likability.

According to Sullivan, it will take a lot of "intelligence, fire and argument" for Obama to turn this thing around, and it won't be enough for Obama to just break even with Romney in the two remaining debates.

That brings us back to tomorrow's night debate, which will be moderated by CNN’s Candy Crowley.

While the president insists his debate preparations are "going great," the town-hall format may make it even tougher for him to win.

No doubt the president will have to come out strong against Romney, but he also needs to show he can connect with the voters in the hall and those watching at home. It's a tricky balancing act, and above all else, Obama will have to avoid those long and boring professorial answers.

Here’s my question to you: What is President Obama's greatest challenge at tomorrow night's debate?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Jayne in NH

    The President needs to determine within the first 5 minutes which Mitt Romney has shown up and act accordingly.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  2. Jen seattle,wa

    Pull the proverbial wool over the eyes of the electorate, Again.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  3. Brad, Portland, OR

    He needs to thread the needle between being aggressive and going after Romney for his repeated lies, and going overboard with the "can you believe this malarkey?" grins and eye-rolls that Biden engaged in when Ryan lied. And because Ryan lied often, Biden ended up grinning often. It didn't come across very well to the viewers.

    Obama needs to set the record straight, but he needs to find a style that connects with the viewers.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  4. Richard Texas

    In order for Obama to assure a win he will need to reenergize his base like he did 4 years ago. When people have a sitting president fewer go out to vote for the second term, That just might be enough to get Romney elected in a close election. Face it folks, it is republican verses democrat no mater how you look at it and only one is going to win. If people stay home Obama might just be in trouble.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  5. Ed from California

    Not speaking up when Willard tells his lies. And how do you know Willie boy is lying? Noise is excaping out of his pie hole!!

    October 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  6. Cindy

    explaining his lack of leadership regarding the terrorist attack in Benghazi

    October 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  7. KB and JB - central Florida

    His greatest challenge is simply to tell the truth – whether pertaining to terrorist attacks, budget, jobs/economy – whatever. This mantra of Deny, Distort, Delay, Divide, Deceive, Disrupt is pretty obvious and pretty tiresome. and another Joker performance by the VP certainly didn't add to credibility.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  8. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Being dumbstruck at what a bald faced liar Romney is.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  9. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, Virginia

    Being civil while calling Romney a liar, Jack.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  10. Patrick Reynolds

    Inventing a time machine to go back in time and make the past four years not stink

    October 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  11. Ann from Charleston SC

    I wish I could come up with something more original, but I think Obama's greatest challenge tomorrow night will be to overcome his disastrous last debate. That means he has to do better than Romney not only on substance, but that on which most viewers will judge him – performance

    October 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  12. Sueb

    The President's biggest challenge is to show Romney to be the liar that he is. In the last debate, Obama left assertions like "I don't have a 5 billion dollar tax cut" stand without correcting Mitt.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  13. Joseph A.

    Remembering what he actually did during his past 4 years ..... now his challenge seems to be to remember that U.S. embassies need to be protected at all costs. That's not anyone else's fault except for his own failure as a leader.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Tyrone, NY

    The greatest challenge is everyone ignoring the lies Romney continues to push while looking good.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  15. DaleW in Lowell MA

    Not blurting out to Romney that he's a two faced liar.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  16. Tom (Atlanta)

    His biggest challenge is"Himself". He appeared indecisive and incompetent in his last debate, and in the next his VP didn't help by acting like a buffoon. If the President doesn't look "in control" and clearly communicate both a vision and how he will implement it during the next four years this time, he's toast.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  17. Jim Charlotte NC

    The Media trashing him after the debate is over.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  18. Gigi Oregon

    The media and the swing states purging the votes of poor, and race from the voting poll records. With this thought in the back of the minds of not only the people but of the President. It will be on the hearts and minds of many Christians.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  19. D William in Lowell MA

    Staying awake while Gov Romney is allowed to drone on and with his non-specific generalities.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  20. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Correcting his body language. In the first debate the President frequently hung his head down in what looked like an acknowledgement of defeat. Many in the audience must have perceived it that way.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  21. Terri from Blountville, TN

    Being able to relate to the person delivering the question. He cannot seem alouf or stand offish, and needs to anwer in a way that converys to the average person. Frankly, I think neither candidate connects to the voters, but Gov. Romney is more out of touch, no matter what he says,

    October 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  22. Peg in NY

    He cannot allow himself to get rattled by anyone or anything. His political life is at stake tomorrow night. The President has to show the nation he is confident, comfortable and capable of handling 4 more years.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  23. METALWORKER

    How the media srores the debate.
    This has stoped being a public election and has become a witchunt by cable news to get Romney elected.
    METALWORKER in IL

    October 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  24. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, Mr. Obama's biggest challenge tomorrow night will be to intelligently put together a dozen or so words without the use of a teleprompter. It's something I don't think he's ever done before.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  25. Pat in Michigan

    To my mind each time Romney makes a statement that is shading the facts the President needs to call him on it stating the facts. Each time Governor Romney questions his handling of foreign affairs he should ask the Governor if he reads the President's threat assessment briefing. Obama is after all THE PRESIDENT. He should remind the country and the governor of that FACT.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  26. al london

    The last four have been awful for Americans compared to what they would normally expect coming out of a recession. The economy, unemployment numbers and the deficit are very disappointing. Obama and his people had the reins and things got worse not better. He has to explain very clearly why he will do better next time, not make excuses and blame Bush or demonize Romney.
    In his own words from his first campaign he said paraphrasing, "If you have poor record to run on, then get the people to run away from your opponent". That may continue to fool many voters but not all are so foolish as to be fooled twice.

    He must be able to truthfully explain his plans not his intentions, wishes or hopes. And vilifying one class to garner favor with another does not make me a believer. He must also admit to his failures in foreign policy and not pass the blame onto Secretary of State Clinton. Honesty can go a long way with the American people but lying to them is a fatal mistake because many will see through that and resent it. He has lost a lot of credibility with Americans. He needs to get it back not give us an imitation of Biden.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  27. Phyllis G Williams

    What is President Obama's greatest challenge at tomorrow night's debate?

    "he that putteth his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit
    My holy mountain" (Isaiah 57: 13) "the mercy of the Lord is from
    everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him...His kingdom ruleth over all"-
    (Psalm 103)

    October 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  28. jk in MN

    To determine which Mitt Romney shows up at the debate early on and be ready to point out the differences in the various Mitt Romneys ito America and how they differ from his policies.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  29. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Finding the courage to slam Romney without seeming racists or aloof. Challenge Romney on every lie he tells and he will tell several but bring the people a message that he can move us forward in the next 4 years where Romney and Ryan will move us into chaos and riots like we have not seen since the mid 1950's.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  30. Miguel Morris, austin, texas

    While not a fan of our current President, He needs to stay focused, answer the questions succiently, correctly, truthfully, accept blame for the failures of his administration. He needs to face up to the fact he has failed in nearly every measured event, including the killing of four important Americans in Libya. He needs to lay out what he will do differently if he is lucky to get elected, which I pray does not happen. Guess what he will fail to live up the expectations of the American people this Tuesday, just like he has the past nearly four years. He will really turn me off if he blames former President Bush for any of the areas he has had time to correct.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  31. Lucy

    His biggest challenge will be to confront Romney and still lay out his view for the future.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  32. George in PA

    To convince voters that the next four years won't be the same results as the last four.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  33. randy

    Trying to sound like a populist liberal while ensuring his corporatist masters that he'll carry out their agenda just like every president has since 1980. Obama believes in the same privatizing, anti union, unfettered buzzard capitalism, no regulation doctrine that romney does, he just belongs to the wrong party.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  34. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    Obama needs to show the REAL Mitt Romney. he needs to call him out on Bain outsourcing American jobs to Communist China, his secrecy about his taxes and that he says one thing in public and another in private like with the 47% comments to his rich donors. he also needs to point out his flip-flops from when he was running for the Republican nomination to now.

    make him look like the "only out for himself" "one way" 1% weasel that he REALLY is.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  35. Larry from Kansas

    Jack,

    President Obama has to come out of the box like a RABBIT DOG. He must relentlessly attack the king of flip-flop until he draws blood (I mean a lot of it) and causes him to flip-flop again. Tonight winning this challenge will win the election for President Obama.

    Larry from Kansas

    October 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  36. Doug Ericson

    Obama's biggest challenge at tommorow nights debate will be to be himself. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  37. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Not be himself. Be what Americans like, the "good old boy", look & sound Presidential (but add nothing significant to the debate) and then hope that Americans like him! That's all it's about no matter what he will always be the underdog because of his personality, only young people and smart seniors can help him win the election. In the US it's not about what you do on paper or in your actions, its what you look like. That's SAD!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  38. Razorback Jack

    I think the biggest challenge for the President is to convince viewers that it's more important to focus on the product being sold rather than the flashy salesman who's standing on your porch. What is being overlooked by many American voters is the undeniable fact that Mitt Romney has made hundreds of millions of dollars for himself as the top salesman at Bain Captial. So if you're a member of the top 1% or a member of corporate America and you need to sell America on lowering taxes for the rich, who would you send?

    ..... Why, you'd send your best salesman.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  39. Ed from MD

    Keeping his head on straight and his facts twisted.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  40. Sarah (Kansas City, MO)

    I think Obama's greatest challenge is relating to the audience and people at home and at the same time not letting Romney get away with lying his way through the debate (which he will try to most likely) like he did at the previous debate.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  41. Ben from Boston

    Look and act Presidential: no laughing and smirking, no talk about Big Bird, and on Libya, don't throw Hillary under the bus.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  42. calaurore9

    Ditch the guffaws and giggles. It's a Town Hall, so Candy will control the questions from voters. Obama has to address them directly and not use it as an excuse to attack Romney. Tricky to say the least.

    Carol in Northampton

    October 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  43. annie, atlanta

    To call Romney out on his lies. Have you ever seen a presidential candidate and his running mate lie like Romney/Ryan have? I can't remember such liars. And why is this ok with the media and the American people. It's a disgrace.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  44. lou

    I think it is hard for him to be the attack dog his party seems to want from him. He's just not that kind of a guy. It is worrisome that the left is becoming just as blood thirsty as some on the right, and are not going to be happy without a knock out punch. His calm, cool temperment is what drew us to this guy in the first place. Don't make him be something he's not.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  45. Paul

    Getting me to watch.........

    Pensacola, Florida

    October 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  46. Karl in Flint, MI

    My guess? Not letting Mitt take over the debate, reminding Mitt of all his past opinions on everything and calling out his lies, all of them, and explaining simple math to the numerically challenged.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  47. Paul From Austin Texas

    He needs to be himself and not on a script like he was on his first debate. His advisors gave hime bad advise last time. He also must stop Romeny's normal interuptions that the GOP thought was so wrong when BIden did it. If he comes out as the Obama we all know and stays frim and to the point he will do well. If not then he really has something to worry about.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  48. Gary H. Boyd

    President Obama is a pompus, arrogant, self-centered Socialist tending politician who claims to have all of the answers. His greatest challenge tomorrow night will be to avoid letting that show.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  49. Dave R-Seattle

    I think he was definitely holding back during the first debate. Not mentioning the "47%" comment during the first debate could not have been an oversight. When Obama is in full campaign mode he is difficult to beat. Just ask Hillary Clinton. I think he is saving his knock out punches for the late rounds.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  50. Robert In Florida

    His biggest challenge would be a straight question on priorities like How could you go on a campaign fund raising trip hours after the attack in Libya.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  51. Gary in San Jose, California

    Obama has to convince us he still wants the job. During the first debate I got the impression that he was having trouble mustering up the enthusiasm for another four years. Not that I blame him because I've often asked why anyone would want that job.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  52. Jerry Driskell

    Avoiding embarassing questions without looking foolish ?
    Jerry
    Blairsville, GA

    October 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  53. Sylvia from San Diego

    His biggest challenge will be holding back and not doing a "Biden". Actually, I hope he repeats what Biden did so that more of the undecided voters will make up their minds and vote for Romney/Ryan – the two class acts!

    October 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  54. Gordo from NJ

    Candy Crowley. She is probably the more conservative of CNN's supposedly-neutral political entourage. She tends to be very aggressive following up with Democrats, while failing to follow up on many absurd Republican statements.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  55. Paul in NC

    His biggest challenge will be digging himself out from under the blizzard of lies Romney will launch at him. In the first debate absolutely nothing Mitt said was true but Obama just stood back and let him pretend he was somebody he's not. This time around Obama must raise the red flag everytime Mitt tells a whopper while at the same time reassuring the audience that he is on their side. If he lets Mitt channel Jon Lovitz again this show is over.-

    October 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  56. Johnny C (from Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack -

    His biggest problem and the one that I worry about most is "Why hasn't the White House told us the truth about what happened in Benghazi?"

    There are three troubling elements to this:

    1) Why did the administration throw the intelligence community under the bus?
    2) The video explanation ... really, this was your evaluation/revelation?
    3) Telling the world (at the UN) that the video was the cause first and not standing up for America's Freedom of Speech first

    I know that his promised "transparency" was a charade, but, now I do not believe what even comes out of their mouths ... this is the most shameful issue that he needs to worry about. Doesn't he think that Americans deserve the truth?

    October 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  57. bob z.

    he can't let romney talk about obama failures

    October 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  58. Overby

    His greatest challenge will be to find a place to hide a teleprompter....otherwise, he'll be stammering and stuttering like he usually does without one.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  59. Pete in Georgia

    Challenge is the right word.
    It would indeed be a challenge to be himself, to be his un-rehearsed, un-packaged, un-puppet like self.
    As it stands it's all so contrived and phony it's laughable.
    He's laughable.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  60. Frances

    Two of the most vital challenges for President Obama. Make sure the people understand all the lies that Romney told, and his many stances on almost every subject. Also, the need for a more moderate Congress that will work with the President, and vote out the do nothing obstructionist tea party.

    Frances
    Escondido

    October 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  61. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, the President has to be strong and dominant without being the "angry black man." Simple, right?

    October 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  62. AB

    The greatest challange to Obama is himself–he's too polite,diplomatic and does not like to fight. He better drop that dispostion and come out swinging at Romney. Obama needs to really clobber Romney with the truth about Romney and the truth about his (Obama's ) accomplishments over the last four years. Obama must make that case tomorrow night to the American people.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  63. Cee. La.

    I want him answer the questions honestly, and without theatrics, the mess we find ourselves in is not easily corrected and simplified... we are so shallow, its pathetic.....Romney had plenty od annimation but not much honesty....

    October 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  64. David

    Dear Jack, you guys in the media are making the severely conservative Mitt Romney, more than he cracks up to be. What i notice during the first debate was a very dignified reserve Obama, versus a craze manic Romney, who was not factual and wrong. My grandmother use to say that you can be wrong and strong, that does not mean that you are right. All the President has to do is to stay on message with THE FACTS and let the people who want to vote for the phoney, go right ahead. He is not going to change the minds of those who already HATE the Black President.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  65. Pete in FL

    No matter. I don't watch the debates; this isn't a popularity or public speaking contest. I've already seen & heard enough of Romney, all his falsehoods and lack of ANY real plans to do ANYTHING other than blame everything on Obama, that I wouldn't vote for Mitt if he was the only person running. Folks, the financial sector of our country destroyed our economy during the Bush years, and guess what, Romney IS the financial sector! A vote for Romney is a vote for 4 more years of Bush. In other words, idiotic.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  66. Gigi Oregon

    It's been interesting watching the different news shows. The networks seem to think it is a draw but you. Jack you act as if it is "doom and gloom days" I'm putting my conservative vote on President Obama for the winner. Like-ability. And trust.

    Romney went into Massachusetts with a 50% approval rating and left with a 38% sounds good up front but...I also like the health care he got the state. To bad he turned against his own plan. Because "We the 47%" like it.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  67. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Trying to convince most of us we belong to that leaching 47 percent including the ninety nine percent, not the one percent who run our country.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  68. RickFromDetroit

    After the first two debates the only thing that any of the four candidates has shown is that the Obama/Biden team has bigger and shinier teeth than the Romney/Ryan team. None of the candidates has provided the viewing audience with any sound answers as to what they are going to do if re-elected/elected to the Whitehouse. The Obama team still has not provided the people with any legitimate answers as to what his future plans are, other than business as usual, and the Romney team still hasn't explained his 20% tax cut with budget cuts.

    Obama needs to address the current economic woes with his solutions to the anemic 1.3% GDP which is for the most part an unofficial recession, and grill Romney with solutions as to how he is going to change this. He needs to back Romney into the corner with his proposed tax and budget cuts and have Romney explain how his policies will affect consumer spending that has, and is anemic at the bottom end of the economy.

    As far as for his foreign policy issues, Obama should do the same thing he did in debate 1, change the subject, since most Americans are more concerned about their wallets than what is happening in the Middle East.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  69. J Walk

    CNN Debate....Crowley....Another BIASED debate.
    Americans deserve an honest, non biased moderator.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  70. Barbara Rudisill

    President Obama will have his greatest challenge in controlling his facial expressions when Romney speaks. I only hope they do not have a split screen again but show both candidates in full view.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  71. sisi

    obama can win the next two debates, it wont change the fact I'm not voting for him again.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  72. fredcaven

    Staying awake.

    It gets real boring watching a debate based on lies and half truths. Yet Obama will be foolish enough to try to argue, though anymore he should just welcome Romney to the Democratic Party the way he's been going. Closing loop holes aimed at the rich? Isn't that just another way of raising what people end up giving the government, or a tax on the back end?

    And we will be foolish enough to try and base a decision based on those lies and half truths. Welcome to America.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  73. Logic N LA

    Obama has to balance dealing with Romney lies and misleading statements without looking like he is attacking him.
    Facts and plans are what Americans want- but the truth is key.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  74. Christine

    I live in Alabama so am a minority Democrat. I would like to see Obama call Romney out on his ever changing policies. I would like him to ask who Romney is lying to: the conservatives who voted for him in the primary or the independents he's pandering to now?

    October 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  75. NC_Right

    What is President Obama's greatest challenge at tomorrow night's debate? His record. Period

    October 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  76. Tom, Switzerland

    His greatest challenge is to come across as trustworthy: Where was his promise for transparency in government when Obamacare was to be past? Where is his promise to shut down Gitmo? Why are people now in federal prison, because they where medical marijuana providers complying with state laws (e.g. Montana), and Obama and Attorney General Holder explicitly promised they would do no such thing. Holder even did so personally in Montana! Why should we continue to trust Obama if even his Attorney General is a flat-out liar.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  77. Mark.....in Houston

    My thinking is that the Presidents biggest challenge is to immediately confront the misinformation coming from the Republican ticket in such a way that the public will at least start to question what Romney says. And in doing so he must remember not to smile or laugh since it seems mannerisms are more important than the truth for many voters.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  78. Cheryl

    Getting Romney to answer a question without ducking or changing the subject seems to be tough for anyone, specifics from Romney is likely not now nor ever going to happen but its fun to watch him squrim.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  79. Nate

    I think everyone is setting up the expectation that Obama will do poorly, but I think he will do well. He is perfect in an arena where you blow a bunch of smoke and don't have to actually do anything.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  80. Ron, denver

    Jack, Obama needs to talk strong in favor of the people who counted on him. He needs to tell it like it is and take Romney down for the liar he is. Hit hard on the Cadillacs, the house with the elavator, the 47%, the 30% of takers, the shredding of medicare and social security and just how wrong the tea baggers are. Then sell his case, but wake up, take off the glove and hit em below the belt just like they did to him.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  81. Richard

    Obama seems too confident and I don't know why. He has a horrible economic recovery if you can call it one the highest gas and food prices ever and wages that are dropping yet he keeps telling people we are making progress. I don't think anyone is going to buy that anymore

    October 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  82. Dale N.M.

    Jack it will be not having a Teleprompter telling him what to say, and when to say.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  83. Sean in Roseville, California

    The president's greatest challenge is defending his record.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  84. Steve

    Obama's greatest challenge tomorrow night will be to explain the security posture of the American consulate at Benghazi. Why in a land rife with Al Qaeda will we expose an American ambassador with less security than a shopping mall?

    October 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  85. Sheila Jackson

    What about all the people on unemployment who will lose their benefits in December??

    October 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  86. Raymon Horsley

    I think President Obama will not allow Romney to butt in this time. The bigger challenge is for Candy Crowley to insist that Romney actually answers the questions instead of raving on about Obama's' record. He really didn't answer anything in debate 1.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  87. upwardquest

    President Obama helped me and a lot of other people keep our homes. He's got my vote, and if you are wise, he will get yours, too. He is far and away better qualified to be President than his unworthy opponent. He deserves four more years!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  88. Steve

    Hanover, Maryland

    Obama's greatest challenge tomorrow night will be to explain the security posture of the American consulate at Benghazi. Why in a land rife with Al Qaeda would we "protect" an American ambassador with less security than a shopping mall?

    October 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  89. ObjectiveGuy

    To think that Obama can make a comeback with one or two strong debates when the voting public has just lived through four years of a completely failed administration is tremendously wishful thinking. Obama will try to attack Romney on his vulnerabilities, instead of running on his own record. He obviously can't do that, because his record on the economy, on unemployment, on the federal debt, and on foreign policy are all awful! America is tired of flowery speeches–we want real action, and we want it now. Obama has not been able to deliver the goods in four years, so why would we possibly think he is suddenly going to do it now???

    October 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  90. Gary in IL

    His record. In the end, criticizing his opponent wont be enough because with GDP growth slowing, gas prices doubled, and Taxmaggedon looming, hitting Romney with cheap shots may feel good for his base, but wont win independents. He needs to show voters why the next 4 years will be better than the last 4 years. What is his plan for shrinking GDP growth? When the Republicans "hold the middle class tax cuts hostage" as he claims, what does he plan to do (his suggestion that he will let all of them expire is probably NOT a good answer)? He needs to get people to want to vote FOR him. That is what was missing. Attacking Romney on Bain and the 47% will NOT get it done.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  91. Ryan

    Obama's greatest challenge are the attacks against Mitt, such as 47% & Bain. Mitt has been expecting the attacks since the 1st debate so he will be prepared and with it being a town hall Obama has to be careful with his image.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  92. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Obama's biggest challenge will be to come out swinging. His rather dismal first performance in debate has given the GOP cannon fodder, which Romney will no doubt use tomorrow night. Obama's best bet is to hit Romney where it'll hurt..his tax returns, Bain Capital, and investments in China.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  93. Aztec Phil

    Jack, his greatest challenge will be overcoming not his performance of the first debate, but the superficial perceptions of the first debate and all others to follow. If one listened to his words in the first debate, he out argued Romney by a mile, but the national audience gave the decision to Romney based not on what he said, but on how great a showman he was in trying to deride and shame his opponent. Like the citizens of ancient Rome, the American public does not want intelligent, well-reasoned argument on the issues; they want a spectacle and the debating stage is the coliseum. If we as a nation cannot restrain this wanton, reckless desire for image over substance, we will get what we vote for, as the elections of 2000 and 2004 have shown.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  94. donna in ohio

    Greatest chanllenge is answering questions on anemia economy and explaining attacks in Libia that was not a demonstration as they continued to report, and who are they trying to throw under the bus.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  95. Bill from Clinton, Maryland

    It would be good if the President tuned in to the Situation Room at 5pm to hear how people will react if he doesn't deliver tomorrow night. Yes he can sting like a bee and float like butterfly but he needs to make sure that Romney doesn't swat him into oblivion.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  96. bryan

    If all it takes is one debate of complete lies to unseat obama then we deserve everything we get

    October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  97. Antoinette Sellitto/Phila. Pa.

    Making it clear to the voters that the Romney administration will bring our country back to the Bush years both economically and in foreign relations. Seniors, college students women, our military and the middle class will be affected by the Romney-Ryan plan to benefit the rich and take from those who are struggling.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  98. Gay Hollingshead

    Libya!! What happened and why the coverup for so long. If it wasn't this close to the election the word "impeach" would be front and center!!!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  99. Guy

    Obama has to learn how to lie. Period.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  100. Patrick Lewis

    Biggest challenge? Debating with someone who stands for nothing. Mitt Romney is a slippery flip flopper who can debate both sides of an issue because he's taken them both at one time or another. He's also a confident liar. How do you engage in an honest debate with someone like that?

    October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  101. Tim from Va.

    Jack,
    His greatest challenge is to convince me and others like me to vote for him again. He needs to bring that passion back into his campaign. Unfortunately, I’m afraid he is just plain tired of butting his head up against the republican wall and it showed in the first debate.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  102. Mary

    If people don't know by now who they will be voting for, then they have not done their homework. One debate of lies does not make Romeny or Ryan qualified to lead this country. President OBAMA is for Women, for getting rid of BinLaden, for restoring our great image in the world, by getting us out the worst recession in decades, by passing Health Care, by respecting womens' rights, by respecting the MiddleClass and being in touch with them. by improving stock maket gains, by improving our streets, bridges, by including all American as worthwhile serving and not only the 47% rich and famous. What has Romeny done? One debate? How about shipping jobs overseas, saving his money outside the USA, buying big homes at the expense of advising companies to fire their people and ruin their lives.... The American people are not dum. They will vote for President Obama for all of the above accomplishments. My vote is for President Obama.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  103. Humble01

    Rise to the occasion and not to break under pressure

    October 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  104. Jeff In Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, tomorrow night's debate will have no impact on me. Today was the first day of early voting in my county. I decided to vote for the team that has a record of success. Easy decision.

    Romney/Ryan 2012

    October 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  105. Lee, Wyoming

    Seeing as you like polls, Jack, here are a couple of quotes from both sides of the aisle.

    "You see, Mr. President, real leaders don't follow polls. Real leaders change polls."
    That was N.J. Gov. Chris Christie at the RNC this year.

    "How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?" President
    Harry S. Truman, the man from Missouri.

    By the way, Jack, good picture today. Looks just like my front yard.

    Here's another quote for you, from me: Vote for Obama/Biden. Kick out your
    naysaying congressmen.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  106. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    getting his boot polished and shiney to kick Romney's butt.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  107. MilitaryAF

    President Obama needs to use 100% correct facts, and hold Romney accountable for the 'inaccuracies' he will present, with irrefutable proof. Romney is in a 'say anything to win mode'. Every time he speaks he contradicts previous statements and positions. Romney doesn't know if he's coming or going. I'm hoping going, going, and finally GONE for the last time!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  108. wilson

    His greatest challenge? No record benefitting America. A failed presidency.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  109. Donna in Ohio

    Greatest challenge is explaining terror attacks in Libia, why they continued to call it a demonstration and who are they trying to throw under the bus.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  110. Guy Mantua NJ

    Obama has to learn how to lie. Period. Can't beat someone who is like a teenager trying to convince his parents he needs to go out on saturday night.....for the library!!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  111. Dan (Charles Town, WV)

    President Obama's biggest challenge will be to not lose ground in stating his own position by spending too much time concentrating on Romney's inability or unwillingness to take one.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  112. RON

    Which Mitt Romney is going to show up and how many positions he changed his mind on since last debate. Have him explain his polices that are different than George Bush's.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  113. gina

    Having to duck and be ready for all the changes in positions Mr. Etch-a – Sketch throws out. It really amazes me how someone can advance while not telling the truth – or for that matter not saying anything. I am independent and I will not vote for Romney

    October 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  114. Mike Wilimzig

    If Obama allows the bulldozing lying machine to roll, the 'game' is over!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  115. RLA

    His greatest challenge is simply his record: Dismal, over promising, filled with blaming of others and trying to label people as "enemies" if they dare disagree with him. He is arrogant and seems unable to speak fluidly without multiple tele-promptors. He became president through personality and coolness but that wore thin quickly. His true personality showed through in his first debate...he seems above everyone and that it's a bother for him to have to even run for office.

    The nation is suffering economically, is polarized, and it appears the USA is looked upon as weak and indecisive around the world. Millions are out of work or have quit looking for jobs and remain frustrated.

    Scary times. His greatest challenge? Barack Obama himself. He just doesn't appear to be a leader and we certainly need one in these times.

    Joe Biden does nothing to help the situation and it is truly frightening to think that Joe Biden, after last weeks performance, is a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    There are so many notable and highly qualified Democrats in this nation. One wonders where are they and why they have let people such as this administration and Pelosi/Reid run rampant on their party.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  116. Derrick

    Are people more concerned about style points over truth and substance? Obviously folks don't care if Romney boasted far right wing promises to get the nomination and now he lies to get back to the center as if it never happened? The better question is how dumb are the american voter?? Obama just needs to be the warrior for the middle class as he has always been and challenge Romney to give specifics and defend his lies

    October 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  117. wanda

    Jack, The president can turn it around. I He can relate to People. Mitt had problems, he said the same thing fifteen different ways and declined to accept any responsible for his prior stances on issues. How do you refute that type of situation-just talk to yourself or maybe an empty chair?

    By the way tell Piers to stop the hating–He is better that that1

    October 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  118. Thom Richer

    Disproving Romney and the RNC's spin on his four years in office and shouldering the blame for all the nation's woes that in actuality Congress is at blame. Yet, the Right wrongly puts it unjustly all on him. If the blame is solely Obama's, as Romney claims,for Benghazi and the past four years then Bush is solely to blame for 9/11, his eight years and wars we are now in. Obama has been blamed for everything and Congress has accepted no responsibility even when it is ultimately theirs. No one person can be blamed for all that has occurred for the past twelve years.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    October 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  119. Steve

    It looks like President Obama's greatest challenge will be to win the remaining debates and the election, Jack. The first debate has shown that the strategy of hope is only half of the equation. Obama also has to reconnect with his supporters that felt letdown after his first debate performance. If he can do that, he just might be able to salvage his chances for re-election.

    Steve
    Concord, California

    October 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  120. William Barefoot

    Getting over his policies....period

    October 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  121. Dennis in Los Angeles

    His past record and lack of any future plans other than blaming Romney for everything under the sun.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  122. bob

    The election is a bit more serious than a sporting event, which those who promote these fake debates would like to make it. There are far more serious issues to consider than who speaks most articulately. Hitler was an apparently a very effective speaker – not sure he'd make a great president. Romney is a bush clone – a spoiled and coddled son of a wealthy politican who has never had to earn a living or do anything productive – basically a leech. He's hidden his money overseas. He's not investing in America – but would love to wring some more money out of it for himself and his wealthy pals. He's a guy who loves to risk others' lives in military conflicts and others' money in business ventures – but never his own life, the lives of his kids, or his money. Obama is lackluster. A poor choice we are given, to be sure, but only a fool would vote for an unprincipled, hypocritical leech, regardless of how the debates are scored.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  123. Juana de la Gaviota

    Andrew Sullivan says of Obama regarding the first debate, "He threw it away." Obama surely did, just as another hugely talented Democratic president, Bill Clinton, did. They both owe their supporters–big time!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  124. Mike S

    Lake Katrine, NY
    The President has to call all Romney's misstatements, and state what is his better solution is. at the same time he still has to remain a good guy, ncie person.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  125. Deb from Skippack, PA

    President Obama's greatest challenge tomorrow night is to educate his audience what Romney has been running on for the past 2 years–right wing radical ideas. Obama needs to do this delicately so he doesn't look like a bully. Romney is running now to the middle and that isn't what he has been saying for these past two years. You can't run so consistantly on one thing than change your mind at the last minute. I don't trust this man and everyone needs to realize how he is flip flopping to the center. Go Obama please set the record straight.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  126. Jon

    Jack,

    President Obama's biggest challenge in the debate will be calling out Mitt Romney's lies in a way that people can understand and clearly see that the Governor's positions are changing depending on what time of day it is. So long as President Obama points out he is consistent in his views, connects with the audience in such a way that he says 'I lived the American Dream' in contrast to Romney's 'I was given the American Dream,' we can end this surge of the used car salesman and continue moving forward.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  127. Greg Cox of Bremerton, WA

    Obama's greatest challenge tomorrow eveing is his EGO, followed closely by his list of failures....Fast and Furious, Benghasi fallout, getting us out of the wars later than he promised, the rising deficit, his failed Foreign Policy in general, the lack of creating jobs, another year of lackluster Social Security COLA's, inability to be open and honest with the voters, and his diatribe of verbal nuances.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  128. Osilama Abu from Ontario,Canada

    Hey Jack,

    Obama should just be himself,take his time and explain to the American people what he has achieved in the past 3 and half years and what he intends to do to continue moving the country forward through innovative programs like seeking energy alternatives,education,massive infrastructural rebuilding of America,immigration reform and improving the health care program and social security.
    The only person who should be concerned about tomorrow is Mitt Romney,who cannot continue to lie to the American people.There is no hiding place for him tomorrow.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  129. Kim

    President Obama has to answer for his record, or better said, his lack of any record on the economy, jobs or the deficit. A lot of Hope and Change and promises in 2008 from him – where is that hope and change now?? Just saying . . . . .

    October 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  130. MichaelGFVA

    IMO Obama's greatest hurdle is to dispel the perception of incompetence of his administration. It is clear that he cannot run on his record, because people see things going badly. It is quite amazing in and of itself that he may be given another chance if he just delivers a clear, coherent answer to the question: what does he intend to do differently now, and why this will work. So far he did not deliver a compelling answer.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  131. Romney

    Nothing. Undecided are still undecided and decided are already decided.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  132. SHARON GRINDSTAFF

    Come out, be yourself, don't let that stinker get away with even a hint of a lie, and if you need to, be goofy. Well, not really on that last part.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  133. Palmer Gaillard

    Telling the American people we are better off today than 4 years ago. He has NO creditabilty in trying to defend THAT position.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  134. Juan

    This debate'll be pretty close and both sides will think they won.
    The polls will stay about like this until the end.
    Barack has the edge in some key states so he'll probably take it.

    -Juan in Oakland

    October 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  135. BrainTurnedOff

    Obama needs to place Romney back to where he was before the first debate. He has to make everybody forget about the first debate but he can explain his performance that he wanted to be rather with Michelle than with Mitt on that special wedding anniversary night. People will understand.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  136. Darryl

    His greatest challenge is going to be worrying that no one asks him what the heck he has actually accomplished in 4 years other than Obamacare ... and only 50% of the population likes it.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  137. Lordvader

    Shake away the ghost of past debate.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  138. Tom renner

    The president needs to show that you can not trust the GOP. This is no about Rommney vs Obama. It is a choice between Dems or the GOP. Backward with the GOP or forward with the Dems.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  139. Mike A

    Jack, there are no challenges for him. All there is is an opportunity and he needs to seize it. For some reason we want to be perfect, well take the gloves off and be honest, do discuss the 47%... do discuss 14% tax rate for Romeny family and why.... these are real issue.... and yes same for Mr. Obama... what ever happened to the promisses of 2008....

    October 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  140. Chuck from OHIO

    At this point it's to late to matter. Time for another change!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  141. Willie12345

    Obama needs to take his meds before the debate or he'll act just like Biden.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  142. Paul

    What Romney has chosen to do is drift from the game of politics. He plays the game, and he makes no secret of it. Obama, instead, needs to go in the opposite direction. Get away from the game and adopt a platform of total honesty. It'll be a surprise Romney wouldn't expect. The first genuinely honest politician in history.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  143. Kenneth Pitchford

    President Obama has to shock the magic underwear off Romney by asking about things neither mentioned in the first debate: immigration, marriage equality, China's gradual ownership of our country, the GOP attack on unions, on fair elections — come on, Barack, step out beyond Mitt into Democratic territory where "Me too" is an unacceptable response to Mitt's flip-floppin..
    —New York City

    October 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  144. Lee

    Jack – I think his greatest challenge is to reassure his supporters that he's really in the game.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  145. Mark in San Jose CA

    His greatest challenge will be objectively calling out the numerous lies which Romney will continue to tell, while at the same time appealing to America on a personal level to shine the light on the truth about objectives for both campaigns. He needs to impart upon independents why going back to the same old failed GOP policies is a recipe for middle class disaster and how that would undo three and a half years of repairing our badly damaged reputation in much of the world ala GWB.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  146. Mr. MaGoo

    If anyone is basing their vote on a debate, they are not diligent voters.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  147. Terry

    I'm beginning to think it doesn't matter what he does or doesn't do. He seems to have the majority of the people that will vote behind him and seemingly nothing will change their minds. In this case "The Debates" are a waste of everyone's time.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  148. Bill

    I agree with Jack Cafferty. First debate was a must-win for Romney, which he clearly did. If Obama doesn't "win" this one, he would need an incredible showing in the 3rd debate to keep his campaign alive. He's got "the stuff", he just needs to show his knowledge, AND assertiveness...

    October 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  149. Jim in Illinois

    Telling the truth for a change and giving us some inkling of what he really intends to do.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  150. Paul - Weed, CA

    What Romney has chosen to do is drift from the game of politics. He plays the game, and he makes no secret of it. Obama, instead, needs to go in the opposite direction. Get away from the game and adopt a platform of total honesty. It'll be a surprise Romney wouldn't expect. The first genuinely honest politician in history!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  151. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    Just ask the correct questions. Specifics on closing loop holes, cutting programs, reducing big government. Quote independent sources that say these are not possible mathematically. Show Romney's previous stand on issues and today's flip-flop to pander for votes. Be genuine and the people will make their own opinions.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  152. Lou in ME.

    ...debunking all the BS from the ultimate propaganda machine, the GOP.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  153. rosie

    Not really. most of the people that are going to actually vote in the election already know who they are going to vote for. The independent and swing voters may or may not even vote and they probably are not even watching the debates. All these debates do is fire up the two parties supporters and they are already set in their voting patterns. Waste of time really. Not many if any minds will be changed by this exercise in stupidity.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  154. Samantha

    As long as there is teleprompter, Obama will do fine

    October 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  155. May

    Obama's greatest challenge in tomorrow's debate is telling the TRUTH! As I tell my preschoolers...Say what you mean & mean what you say! Unfortunately, it really won't make a difference to me. Both Romney and Obama stand there & lie with a straight face. Ohhh...yes those very long & boring answers that really don't answer the real question. I refuse to follow the herd that supports them. They Do Not Represent Me! I will vote. However, I will not vote for the football or basketball team captains, because they just so happen to be the popular two choices. Btw...I love reading your articles Mr. Cafferty!

    October 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  156. It's Over

    Mitt isn't McCain. Obama is over matched his day's are numbered.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  157. bill ball

    Jack his biggest challenge is to convince people he has a whole new plan for the next four years. But that will have to be a admission socialist leanings are off the mark.and he will come back to center. I dont see that happening. saugerties ny

    October 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  158. Klancy Schmertz

    The President had nothing to gain and everything to lose, as an incumbent, by agreeing to the debates. I'm left scratching my head as to why he agreed to do the debates in the first place. But he's in it now. He is Commander-In-Chief, and has a fuller command of the facts than anyone else, especially a challenger not privy to sensitive information.
    An aircraft pilot is a PIC, or Pilot In Command. It is a mindset. No matter what happens, a malfunction with the aircraft or navigational aids, a problem with a passenger or cargo, a mistake by another pilot or controller, unexpected weather, whatever, it doesn't matter what the issue is, the PIC is in command and must get the aircraft and its contents on the ground safely. That is the mindset we need of a President. He must be in command. The lives of over 314 million Americans are in his hands.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  159. Milton Platt

    The biggest challenge for the both of them will be telling the truth.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  160. Gary, Iowa

    Does it really matter? Corporate America wants Romney and will do or say anything to make it happen. As for the debate, you don't need to watch – let the professionals tell you how it went. They all seem to have jobs, unlike some
    of us. Of course, it is all Obama's fault. Bush who?

    October 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  161. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    Not to yell out "LIAR!!!"

    October 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  162. California Gary

    His biggest challenge will be in remaining "presidential" while ripping Romney's head off and placing it on a stick for all to see.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  163. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Well Jack, President Obama's biggest challenge is as it has always been and that is, his most appaulding charateristic to cave and fold to Republican interests, even with the majority of USA citizens are standing behind him ready to fight for what is right and just. Like ending Scooter Libby Justice, bringing War Criminals to Justice, and even the public option into health care for example. We all elected him last time because he gave us those campaign promises and stated them with such conviction, it was hard to believe when he then caved in and folded. Like the first debate,here is yet another example of a man on the right side of the issues, but a man who lacks the compassion to at least fight for it. We voted him in for change and then get his message for us, to be the change, but the he our vehicle for change poops out, before we even have a chance to help him win the fight. Regardless of that, he will still, win this election by 9pm Central Time Zone, or 9pm Eastern Time Zone, if we our lucky. God I know we all love to see some spine for a change.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  164. Ronald R.

    Obama's biggest challenge is not becoming bored debating with that dimwit Romney. The conservative media will jump all over it and declare Romney the "winner" again because he seemed more agitated and wound-up, even though they won't listen to what he actually says (if anything).

    October 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  165. Dan from New York

    Jack,
    It's pinning Romney to his tactic of taking every side of an issue and demanding depth to Romney's over-simplification of his budget proposal. If Obama can do that, Mitt will be selling reverse-mortgages on late night TV next year. A job for which he is uniquely trained.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  166. Pete from NJ

    Jack, you are truly the last man standing when it comes to fair reporting in the media. I think Obama's biggest challenge will be to tell the American people why he took more vacation and played more golf than any American president in history.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  167. mary

    I think the president shoud be a no show like the last debate

    October 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  168. John

    LOL what debate? Debating takes natural talent which Obama has shown us he does not have in this area. I feel for his writers because they are going to have to keep that teleprompter churning!

    Will be fun to watch but certainly to remain again very one-sided.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  169. Paul

    Keeping a straight face when Romney lies

    October 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  170. Mark

    is this what we've been reduced to, "A performance, the american people what a performance", so the presidency is going to come down to 3 90 minute performances... wow we are stupid.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  171. Parri ROSEVILLE CA

    What is President Obama's greatest challenge at tomorrow night's debate?

    Getting an word in edgewise when Romney experiences his diarrhea of his mouth again.

    Candy Crowley better not be another Jim Lehrer letting Willard walk all over her like he did Lehrer.

    Obama needs to speak up! Keep with hitting Wilalrd with the TRUTH like he did the last debate.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    October 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  172. Rod99b

    His greatest challenge is to appear as if he is not completely out of his league. It looks like being president is definitely above Obama's pay grade. Sorry , time to let the big boys handle the important stuff kid. Have a nice time in Hawaii. Aloha.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  173. Saboth

    Obama prepared by debating 2 guys at once. One guy was a right wing tea party conservative, the other was a left wing liberal. Now, he is finally prepared for Mitt.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  174. giff

    explain why these last 4 years have resulted in massive debt job loss stangnant ecomony and widespread chaos overseas and a trend of useing less of our natural resources

    October 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  175. OnlyOne

    He needs to remind the people of why this happens to be the "worst recovery" since WWII, as Romney calls it – because Romney's party and Romney's predessors were responsible for the WORST RECESSION since WWII. And, oh yeah, when you get Romney you also get the Republican Party – which means Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and every other tea-party wretch infesting any future administration.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  176. M J

    Obama's biggest challenge is himself......not Romney because, Romey is still looking for Himself

    October 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  177. Hoosier Hillbilly

    Candy has a mean curve ball and just when you know that's what she's going to throw you get a slider!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  178. joe Jarvis

    Convincing the american people that he is not the greatest threat to our country and our economy if he is reelected. But he can't because he wants to repeat four more years of the same.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  179. John

    This is very simple. This is not ricket science. Do the same thing Vice President Biden did with Paul Ryan. Romney is not going to admit he is lying. Just like Paul Ryan. He can get people like Stacey Dash And Lohan to believe him, but anybody with brains wouldn't fall for it. All the racist haters of President Obama wouldn't care if Romney lied either. We nowe have Governor Thompson's of Wisconsin's son on tape. Tea Party Birthers like Donald Trump and cult followers of Saral Palin are Romney's follwers. He is now trying to the Dimwits. Only the intelligent people want be fooled by Mitt Romney.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  180. Jeanne Meadows

    Jack,
    President's Obama's biggest challenge in the debate is to get past the last four years of high unemployment, high gas prices, high grocery prices, higher health care cost, America's credit dropping to AA from AAA, A middle East that is exploding with the Muslim brotherhood that he helped put in power, The Bengazi attacks and the Obama's administration poor handeling of it and down right lies...and to top it all off President Obama is going to have to convince the American people that despite all this he is better able to handle the economy....than Mitt Romney a man who excelled in business, worked well with Democrats as Governor, is respectful and Presidential......I'd say he has about a00000000.1% chance.
    Thank You,
    Jeanne from Hampton Virginia

    October 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  181. Carmag

    Mr. Cafferty. A country is, and special the USA, a gigantic corporation. You cannot put to run a corporation as large and complex as the USA a guy whose only real job experience was to be a politically paid “social worker”. Remember President Harding’s phrase “The business of the United States is business”. Even a hot dog cart street vendor have more experience in business and finances that Mr. Obama.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  182. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    It would be nice if he called the dirty lying Republicans, what they are...Liars ! Just an after thought. Icing on the cake. Kucinich/Boxer 2016, We know they are fighters.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  183. Good Guy

    To explain his failed policies and demonstrate a clear vision forward—without blaming others.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  184. guest

    Obama will not win the debate. How can he defend his policies? He has failed us on every front. We the people know what the hell is going on. His economy is deplorable and now we have to question his integrity on Benghazi. Not only will he loose the debate, he will loose the election.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  185. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    His biggest challenge is to call Romney out on his lies this time. He can't allow Romney to etch-a-sketch away his "severely conservative" positions just because so many people haven't been following him until now.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  186. Big Ben

    The devil is in the details. President Obama should get Romney to explain his tax cuts in detail show what deductions he will to dump and the true costs on the middle class. The medical plan Romney wants to replace Obama Care with and when he will have it in place. How is Romney going to close the budget gap in his first year. Explain how many billions of dollar it will cost to go to war with Iran and how we pay for this war. Explain everything how the middle class make $200,000 to 250,000 and how this taxpayer can get in on some of that action.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  187. Saboth

    I laugh when Repubs keep bringing up Obama's "record". Please, tell us about this record. Enlighten me. Let's take it step by step. #1. Deficit. Increase 5 trillion under GW, 980 Billion under Obama. So, Obama is not at fault for the deficit. What else do you have? Unemployment? It's come down over 3% while he was in office. That's like a 30% drop. Pretty impressive. Stock market? Was 6,500 when he came into office, now 13,500. Banks are posting profits, as are auto companies. What else? More people are on food stamps now than before. Yeah, more people go on food stamps when in a recession. Anything else? Oh, he got that pesky Osama and the Taliban is on the run. Any real issues? Oh, you want to pull some shaky conspiracy about an embassy? Yawwwwn. Anything? Birth certificate? Any REAL issues? No? Give it up.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  188. dnokc

    Umh, ah, you know, ah, umh where's my teleprompter?

    October 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  189. Abby AVILEZ

    Thank you for letting us be part of your debate!!! Keep in touch, Please make us this multylayered question reach Mr. Obama then we will finally see what kind of a wood is made out of???????? Respects & Regards ....Abby

    October 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  190. ThePastaSauce

    How to sneak a teleprompter into the town hall meeting so that no-one notices his prescribed answers....

    October 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  191. John

    My advice to President Obama, is not to be nice to Mitt Romney. He got my permission to call Mitt Romney a liar in front of the whole World. Go ahead and let Mitt Romney's supporters Cry A River afterwards. Everytime he speaks a lie, check him and present sources. Start with the 47%. Everytime he claims that he care about the 47%, pull the that secret video on him. When this fool, claim his accountant don't know anything about his deductions pull those secret investments in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda on his butt. Show the American people your back taxes you clown.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  192. Brian

    This make or break for Romney...he's the one that needs to make up ground in the electorial vote count. I think we will know Wednesday morning who the next president will be.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  193. HURRICANEPAUL from Hawaii

    Come on Jack, everyone knows Obama's greatest challenge is getting the debate organizers to let him use his teleprompter.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  194. Betty Ann

    Defending his record (non record!), and his own words.....if I can't turn this around in the next 4 years, I don't deserve a second term! You can't blame George Bush forever....
    Southampton, Bermuda

    October 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  195. Mary

    You must understand the Arab world before Judging what happened in Bengazi. If you have not lived in that part of the world like I did, don't talk and don't judge...........The president will get down to the truth of what happened. Don't undermine our president.

    Didn't live there, don't judge events.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  196. LL

    You guys might as well just say Romney won the election with the way you keep hyping Romney and slamming the President!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  197. Philip Moukhtara

    His deficit increase.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  198. Ron Grimes

    The President's greatest challenge is to convince people that the economy really doesn't suck, and that four more years of blaming George W. Bush is going to fix the remaining problems facing this country.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  199. David Doherty

    If it's anything like the last debate, I would say staying awake could be his biggest challenge.
    Dave from NH.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  200. Perkins, Deluth

    Convincing Vice President Joe Biden put on a curly afro wig and a nice Maybeline brown foundation and go out there
    and show the "real Obama" how to give Mitt Romney hell, Jack

    October 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  201. Vanessya

    Greatest challenge for President Obama......not knowing which Mitt will show up. I believe he was thrown completely off guard at the last debate by yet another Mitt Romney who flat out lied and said whatever he needed to say to look good. Really doesn't matter which one shows up; President Obama can still call him out on what he does know about him: 47%, Bain Capital, taxes, 5 trillion debt, latst flip flop on abortion, etc...... There's enough material to keep Romney dancing all night.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  202. Paul, Louisiana

    Obama needs to focus on telling what he need to do to create jobs, stop the fiscal cliff, work with the non-working Republican congress, and reinforce that he cares for the middle class, that he feels our pain.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  203. Amber

    The President's biggest challenge in tomorrow night's debate is fighting to convince us that he deserves our vote while maintaining Presidential. He let his first opportunity slip away in the hands of candidate Romney; he has a lot of catching up to do!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  204. Nana

    I believe at least one of his greatest challenge will be how he could be aggressive without being like VP Biden.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  205. JP

    Pres. Obama's biggest challenge for tomorrow nights debate will be to not blame Bush for the stomping she got in the last debate.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  206. W. Hyndman Toronto

    The fact that he is an empty suit that has no idea about what he is talking about, has no idea how to improve the econemy and basicly is way about the pay level that he should be at.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  207. Lisa from Californa

    Getting Romney to tell the truth about anything, and getting him to be specific about anything.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  208. Clint

    The President's greatest challenge is that he will be debating a man who doesn't believe in anything, who will say anything in order to get elected. It is impossible to prepare when the guy who you're debating is a living Etch-a-sketch.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  209. Glenn Dozier

    Hey Jack, The best thing he can do is let his Gov. Romney speak first, let him flip-flop, point it out and lay out his specific plans. If the Gov. can not be specific, he got him!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  210. Larry in St.Jo,MO.

    How do you come out strong against a liar? If I were the President, I’d just walk out on the stage and punch Romney right in the mouth. Then walk right back off the stage.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  211. Ken

    He needs to don his Big Bird outfit, and leave the know-it-all professor attitude. He also needs to openly admit, I've done poorly and then sincerely ask for citizens forgiveness and an opportunity to serve four more years.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  212. Gary from Montreal,Canada

    Jack,

    President Obama has to tell us what he is going to do to get 46 million people off food stamps of which 14 million have been on his watch.He has to stop blaming the previous administration for his failures because both parties were at fault for The Great Recession which the liberal media fails to acknowledge.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  213. M. Styranka

    Obama's toughest job is a lame press that thinks it's being objective by dealing equally with two sides, when one of the sides has no credibility. One example is how the press will have one of the 1,800 scientists who say global warming is happening square off against one of the 2 who says it isn't, believing that this is somehow fair or objective. Last week, Joe Biden made some clear points and won the debate with a nervous Paul Ryan, yet a lot of the press called it a draw.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  214. Robert H. Pike, Homestead, Fl

    Jack; If Mr. Obama remembers the KISS Rule, (keep it short and simple) he'll do fine.

    He's also had problems with looking elsewhere; either looking down too much at the last debate, or at the tele-prompters. Keep your eye contact on Mitt or Candy or the audience. Let your face show true shock if Mitt deserves it – don't be so professorial.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  215. Bill in VA

    Greatest challenge will be to keep Romney from talking about Obama's record with the economy, especially jobs, or energy, or foreign policy. But other than that, no problem.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  216. James Artimez

    His biggest challenge is getting Romney to give specifics, speak truthfully and show his "flip flopping through the ages". All this maintaining a "Presidential Posture".
    James in Florida

    October 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  217. Wayne

    To continue to make his lies believable.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  218. Jean, Winnipeg MB

    "long, boring answers"....? There's part of the problem. There is no simple, easy, bumper sticker solution to any of today's very complicated problems, but listeners complain about attempts to give substantive answers.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  219. Obama Mama

    Call Romney out and say what he has professed in the last debate. Make Romney come up with facts and figures. Be on Romney first, about Romneys stance and when saying his view say what the effect is on the middle class in contrast to "whatever" Romney is showing up, moderate Mitt, flip flop Romney or Ann's Conservative, horsey wealthy tax cut Willard.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  220. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Being confident, assertive, commander in chief like, without coming off as an "angry black man", a tightrope no other US president has ever had to walk.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  221. Pam of Charlotte, NC

    I would like to see him explain why the defict has doubled in his first four years, when he said he would cut it in half or be a one term President!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  222. Lisa

    President Obama's biggest challenge tomorrow night is getting his message heard while finding a way to respectfully refute the lies and distortions that constantly and consistently come from the other side. If our president's accomplishments and his plans for moving forward can be relayed without being seen through the lens of the radical right (I can't count the ignorant and untrue posts on facebook that flat out lie about President Obama and his agenda), I believe any thinking person could see that we need to let him continue for four more years. By the way, I appreciate your brand of journalism, Mr. Cafferty.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  223. Chuck

    I think needs Obama needs to draw a clear contrast between him and Gov Romney.he needs to point out the fact that Americans are yet to know exactly what the Romney/Ryan Ticket offers.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  224. John

    and if the Mittster keep running off at the mouth about Foreign Policy and China or Iran, pull those China investments and Iranian investments, the Mittster is propping up the Ayalltollahs with. He'll probably be looking for a place to hide now. Keep it going on him. Hit him on Abortion. He was for it and then he wasn't and then for it and then wasn't. His head will be spinning now. Get one in for Big Bird too. Big Bird is an Icon, more than the Mittster will ever be. Kick him to the curve Pres. he don't want no more. The the 47% will takeover. Application denied fool, you're not qualified to be President. How do you like that?

    October 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  225. dsangiovanni

    Show that Romney is very good hiding thing from every body. That he keeps flip flopping like he can get away with it...That he made a lot of money and doesn't want US to check his tax returns to see how good is he hiding and avoiding things..That what else he is going to hide being the president of US, or how a guy with a lack for empathy thinks that majority of people in USA are lazy and no good enough for him ....

    October 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  226. g

    he,ll have to take the channel flipper away from mitt early in the debate

    October 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  227. Pearl Magilicutty, New York

    President Obama's greatest challenge at tomorrow nights debate is....Michelle. How do I go home to my wife after that performance. He might fear Michelle's response more than anyone else's .

    October 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  228. Melvin Farris

    Himself! For nearly four years I have been stating that Obama is to weak. Every time there is an important difference between the Democrats and Republicans,....he folds. He just is not a leader. A leader enjoys taking charge. Considers confrontation a rewarding challenge. Uses the bully pulpit to take his case to the people he is leading.
    Obama is a nice guy. But he is no leader. I would give 10 to one 1 that all the Democrats who voted for Obama over Hillary during the 2008 primary's wish they could go back in time.
    Melvin Farris
    Davenport, FL

    October 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  229. Gary P

    The President's biggest challenge will be to perform well enough to have you (Jack Cafferty) say something positive about him on Wednesday. I would fall out of my chair if that happened.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  230. Rick

    Jack, I think the biggest challenge the president has for tomorrows debate is to convince Governor Romney to not show up.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  231. Randerxxon

    Obama's biggest challenge tomorrow is trying to keep from laughing out loud in Romney's face while he continues to tell the same lies that Ryan told last week. If they contineu to lie long enough, it's their hope that the crazy people that are following them will continue to believe the hype!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  232. Larry in St.Jo,MO.

    How do you come out strong against a liar? That's the Republican strategy, just lie and play childish shout-down games on stage, then call it a "win".

    October 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  233. shadowkirby27

    His biggest challenge is nobody is focusing on issues that make people avoid the Republicans like abortion and women's choice policies, homosexuality etc. Also, nobody is talking about how during the Republican primary Romney moved way Right to win the nomination, yet now is talking like he's Left of center. Hypocrisy! Everybody is blind.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  234. wayne

    Getting Romney to tell the truth.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  235. Bahrum

    The whol Middle East want Mr. Obama as president. They do not like Mitt Romney. He is not a good politician when he says I will CARPET BOMB the whole IRAN. This is a bad gesture where the world is in turmoil. Bottom line we cannot change PRESIDENT at this time. Obama administration must complete their work. You cannot heal a broken leg in two weeks!!??

    October 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  236. justine

    President Obama's greatest challenge is defending one of the most deplorable economic records in American history. He will have to justify why anyone would consider giving him a second term since there is not even a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel. If his record existed in private business, he would be forced to step down. The company would go into crisis mode with a emergency board meeting and give him a parachute package to resign. Their way to stop the financial bleeding and allow someone else to turn situation around. In no business environment would someone with this type of record be allowed to continue. As taxpayers we are the shareholders. America's stock is falling fast. Let us rescue it before it becomes worthless.
    Second challenge: he needs to decide who middle class is. And both him and Biden need to get their figures straight because income thresholds and ranges keep changing. Like a shell game gentlemen

    October 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  237. George, Dallas, TX

    His biggest challenge will be getting himself to tell the truth! That would be interesteing. But, who would know the difference now – he's told so many!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  238. Jacob

    Hello Jack,His hope and change was just a message, he could not deliver. Gas price is high ( people need $ 200 minimum to go to work) Food price is high ( because Gas price and Inflation) . I am all for job hugging the earth do not put food on my table. He is a good speaker but not a Good President, He is good family man and Romney is too but president do not know how to lead. How can he say ( I will lead and He did not done in last 4 years. I was all for Obama in 2008 but not now, he like to do change but do not know how to.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  239. shadowkirby27

    His biggest challenge is nobody is focusing on issues that make people avoid the Republicans like abortion and women's choice policies, homosexuality etc. Also, nobody is talking about how during the Republican primary Romney moved way Right to win the nomination, yet now is talking like he's Left of center. Hypocrisy! Everybody is blind.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  240. Mark L M

    I want to know how Obama can win a debate, after he spent weeks lying to us about the terrorist attack in Libya, and his liberal agenda has taken our economy backwards with 6 trillion in deficit spending, more american's than ever not even looking for a job, which is not being discussed in the unemployment numbers, a doubling of gas prices, and thousands less in take home pay since the time he has taken office.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  241. Larry in St.Jo,MO.

    How do you come out strong against a liar?

    Bring one of those canned warning horns. Hit that sucker and watch Romney jump right off the stage. Two can play at kindergarten.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  242. WR Jones, FL

    Obama's greatest challenge will be to convince voters that the person he framed as an evil rich guy, the one that did not show up last debate, is not an invention of election politics, not a lie with which to define Romney unfairly. Obama needs to show some real proof of his accusations or he will look even weaker than the last debacle of a debate.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  243. Ready

    Blame the Republicans for everything, accept no responsibility. Demonize Mitt Romney as an evil rich guy and at the same time try and start a class war between rich and poor. Oh wait, he's already been doing that.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  244. Eric

    Mr. Obama's greatest challenge is how to convince a majority of the people that his presidency has not been a total failure...despite the mounting evidence to the contrary. He has to take responsibility for his policies and what they have done to our country and offer solutions.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  245. Richard Harte

    The President has to remain likeable. He had to charm his town hall audience like President Did during his town hall debate

    October 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  246. Larry in Houston

    What is President Obama's greatest challenge at tomorrow night's debate ?

    Answer : He really needs to explain to the voters that this country was about ready to fall over that proverbial "fiscal cliff" with the hemmorging of 800K Jobs per month, when he came in office. people have a tendency to forget, I guess. I remember like it was yesterday – when that good for nothing Henry Paulson stood below those steps, along with the worst president we've had in the history of this country, telling the american people that they needed "787 BILLION Dollars" for a Bailout, ( they called it TARP) to make it look good, I guess) Then McCain had to temporarily "suspend" his campaign to go to Vote for this thing, saying "all hands on deck" and blamed Obama for not suspending His campaign, or rather not taking time out to do the same. I mean, this country was on the verge, Jack. I remember it like it was yesterday. This is what happens when reagan / bush 41 – & dubya was in office. As a matter of fact, I haven't heard a peep out of either Bush's – but I'll bet you a dollar to your dime they are paying attention. Last thing I heard was when Bush 41 endorsed Romney back in January, or something like that.

    May the Best Man Win – 2012
    Hillary – 2016 ( with a surplus in – 2018 )

    October 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  247. James. New Jersey

    We all know that CNN is partial to Romney.Even when the President was ahead in the polls it was still what does Obama have to do? Romney doesn't have the election locked up as you suppose. All the President has to do is be himself and call Romney out on every lie and every deception and every flip flop. The President is a better debater and his policies are better. He just needs to communicate it.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  248. H. Rose

    It is for someone anyone on CNN to say nice things about President Obama for once. It is always Willard that gets the nice words. Don't you think that the President has feelings too. He might not be wealthy but come on be nice.........

    October 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  249. Don in Boca, Florida

    Syria dropped bombs in Turkey for the first time the day of the last debate. We never know what the president has to deal with at any given time. Obama’s day can be impacted by so many things especially as the Middle East is in turmoil since the Arab Spring. His biggest challenge for the debate is prioritizing his time so he can be ready to debate and give his best and show what he is really made of.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  250. Larry in St.Jo,MO.

    How do you come out strong against a liar? Candy Crowley should have an off button for Romney's mic to use when he starts getting high on himself.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  251. Matt

    Obama needs to admit that he is in over his head when it comes to leading our country. He should resign for the good of our country.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  252. judy from arizona

    independent i am. Obama supporter 4 loooooooooooooong yrs ago. This time substance to issues, & specifics & that fighting spirit. Look @ us & President Obama we need you!!!!!!!!!! Still on the question side of who gets my vote.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  253. Mike T.

    He must say "In the first debate, Mr. Romney said what you WANT to hear. Tonight I will focus on what he will REALLY do based on his OWN WORDS and his ACTUAL POSITION on the issues."

    October 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  254. Nancy

    Defending his administrating failure on Libya crises and talking about the future. How it will be different than the last 4 years.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  255. Greg Rockford, IL

    Summing up Mitt Romeny's contradictory positions on every issues and lies within the time allotted to him within the debate.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  256. OnlyOne

    The sad truth is the better actor will "win" the debate – and the "undecided" electorate. Of these, Ted Koppel (I think) once remarked that if they hadn't yet made up their minds, to please stay home and let people with actual convictions decide.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  257. rc

    Reading these comments, I can't help but wonder how Obama will reunite the country he divided. I am used to campaign rhetoric, but I have never seen it where it's almost sacreligious to admit that you agree with any point that the other party makes. Surely there are only a few fervent believers that agree 100% with the right or the left. However, in this election that's the only people being heard. Sadly the great uniter was not to be.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  258. A Glover

    Which Mitt Romney shows up and dealing with conservative Candy Crowley who will try her hardest to not let him complete what he is saying as she loves to talk over people. Not a good choice for moderator.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  259. rickincanadia

    Biggest challenge; not over-using the word Malarky.
    Maybe keeping a straight face in the face of Romney's whoppers.
    The VP debate was Fred McMurray scolding Eddie Munster. "Eddie, stick to the facts".. "I won't I won't I won't!!"
    In this debate, hoping someone asks Mitt how he got a $100mil 401K etc.. Cayman accounts.. the list goes on.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  260. Larry in St.Jo,MO.

    How do you come out strong against a liar? Put Romney in a sound proof box and when his time is up, shut of his mic and watch him bounce around in there while the President makes his point.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  261. Richard Texas

    You know Jack i often wonder why if a guy is so lovable and so eloquent why it takes over a billion dollars for him to get elected? Apparently Obama is not as big a hit as he thinks he is or his campaign fund raisers are on the take. Obama's biggest issue is the economy. It is in the toilet and he and all his democrat friends are not making it any better after 4 years. If the American people do not see a future with him then the man is toast come election day.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  262. Larry in St.Jo,MO.

    How do you come out strong against a liar?

    Let candy Crowley have taser.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  263. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    First, he must determine which Mitt Romney is on the stage. Then, lay out his plan for the next four years in detail. Call Romney on his overwhelming ability to be on every side of every issue. Ask Romney how he now feels about the 47% of us he earlier stated to his rich audience are "moochers." Ask clearly if Romney plans on bombing Syria or Iran, as he proposed, and take us into another Republican Middle-Eastern war. Demand an answer to that question. And, while doing all this, speak to Romney in a manner which shows you to be the decent gentleman that you are.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  264. citiznunited

    If Mr Obama is not willing to forcefully fight for his policies, then why should I do that for him? I want the president to put his Man Pants on and take Romney to the proverbial woodshed. Demand accountability on the first few lies of Romney, then after that he can just call them more flip flops and distortion of the truths. He can then proceed to lay out his accomplishments, and do so by talking over Romney's rude interruptions. Man up Mr President. I for one want to see the fire in your eyes

    October 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  265. Bob in CA

    Obama's greatest challenge will be cornering Romney between his recent "moderate" positions and his historical "severe conservative" comments throughout the campaign. Obama has an aversion to such "in your face" confrontation, but he needs to be specific and turn the questions back on Romney: "So which is it, Governor, do you stand by your donors, or do you stand by America?"

    October 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  266. Dave in WA

    The media is so desperate for Romney to win they are trying to civince the public that one debate is an entire campaign.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  267. Steve,NY

    Reading some of these comments I concluded that all the lies are coming from the Obama supportes. Romney is the most honest man while Obama is the Mother of All Liars. How come the Liberals can't see that. They must be on another planet or have their blinders on. Obama has created more debt in 4 years than Bush in 8 years. How come the Liberals can't see that, and Jack you release these lies on your blog. How can you do that and sleep nights?

    October 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  268. Annette O

    I watched his previous town hall debate with McCain last night. President Obama talked to us, right through that living room screen, not "at" us – was not giving political bullet points, but just simply talked to Americans. There was no "jabbing" at Senator McCain. It was real and genuine. Romney has a problem with being real & genuine, at least to me. That town hall 4 years ago convinced me to vote for President Obama.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  269. Stephanie in Seattle

    His biggest challenge is his record and his arrogance. Romney could surely run circles around obama in the "brains department". The truth really is his biggest challenge even though his strategy is to call Romney a liar. Like obama himself said...when you don't have record, you attack your opponents character.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  270. Laurie

    Explaining his position and why it is best and explaining why Romney's position isn't good. This is what Pres. Clinton can do so well – explain. The American people can understand if it's explained to them.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  271. Cary

    Apparently President Obama needs to foam at the mouth to get votes. Romney offered nothing new but he offered his same tired plans with conviction which made voters swoon. It's proof yet again most voters are sheep. Obama has accomplished far more in three and a half years than Bush Jr did in 8 years and yet he has to defend himself against a corporate raider that keeps telling people he's going to reduce or get rid of Social Security and their health care and they still want to vote for him. I guess Obama needs to leap across the stage and get Romney in a headlock and choke him until he passes out like in Big Time Wrestling to get the red neck vote. He also might want to slap on some white face. Anyone that thinks Romney is ahead due to issue and not race are kidding themselves!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  272. Kevin H

    People who smugly say that all Obama has to do is attack on Bain, the 47% comment, or prove him a liar on things from the first debate and he will win...underestimate Romney...and Obama for that matter. With all this time to prepare, obviously Romney has answers prepared for certain well known attacks. Obama knows that. And Obama knows winning is going to take something more. The question is whether Obama can bring it... He is without a doubt going to be 100% improved from last time. (And hopefully more aware of the fact the camera is on him when he is not speaking.) Since I am pro-Romney, I hope Obama is underestimating Romney as much as his supporters are. But, I know that isn't true. While I don't agree with Obama, I respect his capabilities.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  273. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I think Obama's biggest challenge will be not allowing Romney to challenge him on foreign affairs which Romney has no experience. If Obama can control that subject the rest should be a cake walk for him.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  274. Anthony

    Obama needs to attack the real Romney, which is the one who keeps changing positions. He should stop trying to find common ground with people who disagree with him on principle. After Republicans disowned the individual mandate in the healthcare debate, which was a Republican idea before Obama adopted it, Obama should know better.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  275. Logan

    His biggest challenge will be the empty chair occupying the Oval Office for the past 4 years.

    The pressure is really intense on Obama, this time he can't even feign altitude sickness – but he'll have some other imaginative excuse for choking.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  276. joan

    I am tired of you guys all asking what these people should in the debate. They just have to show ready to promote their visions as clear and honest as possible. Obama is more honest than Romney so he should do better with outlining his policies. I would really like to know what really happen to Mr. Obama at the last debate. It does not make any sense. He is asking people to fight for his policies and the country and them he went sour infront of everyone and let them down. Why? I know Romney lied and he probably did not want to deal with it, but he should have., He needed to defend his policies... and strong. I am appalled at how many people don't seems concern about Romney's lies. Is the world changing so much that we don't care about the truth. This man is going to run the highest office in the World. This man could become a dictator, that is what dictators do.. They pull the wool over your eyes.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  277. OnlyOne

    Jack, I'd rather answer the question about what America's greatest challenge is. And that is, in my opinion – how can we keep elections from being decided by uninformed, fickle swing voters that sway like reeds in a wind. I'd really like to see a minimal level of IQ and knowledge. For example, if you think the President is a muslim, your vote should not count!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  278. David Canterbury

    His greatest challenge is to show the diffrences between him and Mitt Romney like the current employees of Sensata in the state of Illinois whose jobs are being outsourced to China by Bain Capital RIGHT NOW1

    October 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  279. jeff t

    i'm just glad the president has weighed in on the niki minaj and mariah carey fued. i was wondering when he'd show leadership on the issue. i mean geez. he's said almost as much about libya.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  280. Peykan Peymani

    I think his greatest challenge is controlling his ego and NOT acting like Biden in the debate……even though that is exactly what is expected of him from his base!!! and his second greatest challenge is focusing on his agenda vs. fear mongering.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  281. Patrick Murphy

    The President needs to stand erect and pointedly confront Mr. Romney on some of his many secretive ways, including foreign bank accounts, past year's taxes and why he decided to sit out the Vietnam war in Paris, when his countrymen were doing his bidding on the battle field.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  282. Janelle in CA

    If the truth counts for anything now-a-days, I counted President Obama as the winner of the last debate. With Romney sliding up the poles, I get a picture of how the old “snake-oil” salesmen were so successful. Obama’s greatest obstacle, besides being too polite or perhaps fatigued from working hard as our President? Something he has no control over. The part of the human brain that can be tricked by double-talk and vagaries. “Hi-Ya-Hi-Ya-Hi-Ya”! Step inside and see the World’s Strongest Man! Only $2000 a peek!” “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” But maybe that is only 53% of people. Or hopefully, less than 50%. Hope reigns eternal.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  283. Mary

    Seriously? Make or Break? it all hinges on a debate? what have we come to as a nation that things are now decided on sound bites instead of actual stances on issues? I am so disappointed in the media these days, they all sound the same...jumping on whatever bandwagon rolls by instead of reporting actual facts, they report "stories"....I for one will vote for the person who actually shares my ideas...not just vote for who looked better on T.V.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  284. Keith in LA

    Making someone not in the 47% forget his proven record

    October 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  285. MBW

    Romney's latest tactic is to intimidate Obama from blaming the current state of the economy on the previous Bush
    Administration. Romney wants to keep Obama on the defensive. But Obama should continue to compare the previous Administration, which was a disaster, to the progress he has made since he took over. Obama should continue to stress the 700,00 job losses a month at the end of the Bush Administration with the continuous job gains which have occurred during his Administration. He should compare the near collapse of the financial system under the Republican
    Administration with the recovery of the financial system under his Administration. He should stress that the Benghazi
    incident was nothing compared to the intelligence failure that led to the 911 attacks against this country. He should
    stress that the wars he is trying to end were started under a Republican Administration. Finally, he should ask the American people whether they want to continue the progress they have made or return to the quagmire of the previous
    Republican Administration.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  286. beevee

    There is not really any challenge for president Obama in the debate tomorrow but he needs agressively paint Romney and Ryan as two pandering to the rich sleeze balls who will do nothing to the middle calss and the poor in the country.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  287. William Ash

    I thought Biden's display was refreshing. When Ryan couldn't answer the plan question, I had the same reaction. And Biden's abortion response was profound. I'm a Republican who will be voting for Obama simply because he doesn't treat me like an idiot. Romney and Ryan hide their numbers, run ads like the brick commercial (with a 2% loss in manufacturing represented with a 50% cut and China's 25% increase represented with a doubling wall), and think I can start a business with money that my parents a scraping together to get by. If he wants to win, Obama needs to call them out at this Town Hall Debate. We all should be insulted that politicians think so little of us that we would fall for these lies and misrepresentations. Small businesses shouldn't be scared. If they make less than $250,000 a year, they likely have fewer than 50 employees, and are exempt from the penalties of Obamacare. But these tactics have us clutching on any medicine man selling his snake oil. Yes, we want a president that will fight China's floating currency and will bolster a suffering middle class. But don't whiz on my leg and tell me it's raining. I want a president that will level with me. I know we need to pay more in taxes to get out of debt, but I also recognize that there are so many not living off of each paycheck, but making promises based on the next paycheck. Tell me what I need to do as my part, and show me I can have confidence that you will do yours. That makes up about 53% of the debate, the other 47% is up to him.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  288. Brian from NM

    He needs to talk about his record and what he's going to do to make the next 4 years better than his first 4 years instead of just saying don't vote for Romney. Why should we vote for Obama, he hasn't made that case yet.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  289. Marjorie

    Arrange to have FACT CHECKS on a split screen for every utterance especially when Romney spews.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  290. @Carmyn

    The president must convince us that he isn't aloof: he'll give as much effort to meet with members of Congress or Netanyahu as he does in meeting with his family for dinner at 6:30 every night!

    October 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  291. Joan

    You guys keep asking the same question over, over, over. Mr. Obama will do just fine. I bet you even if he win tomorrows debate you guys is going to say he was too aggressive. He was not Presidential enough. blah blah blah.. You guys should be talking about the lies that these candidates are telling especially Romney/Ryan. Are they going to continue to pull the wool over peoples eyes. It will be scary when these guys get into the house. How are the American people going to know what is the truth?

    October 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  292. Dave, Kissimmee, FL

    I agree with Mr. Sullivan, he is his biggest challenge. He has to prove that he is fighting for me, not letting a multi-faced liar walk all over him and the country. Since I’m not a multibillionaire, I can find nothing likable, whatsoever, about Romney. We all know what he stands for and who he will protect if he wins. Obama blew the first four years and he blew the first debate. But worse, he has to go twice as far just to get back to even. I rather see Biden stand in for Obama against Ronmey tomorrow night. Since that won’t happen I may sit this one out.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  293. Larry in Houston

    I never was a huge Obama fan – I was for Hillary all the way – but I didn't give a dime to Obama – another "biggest challenge" would be to try to go into the "foreign affairs" scenario, which Romney isn't too familiar with, especially with all his remarks that he's said about great britian & the list goes on. If Romney pulls it off, believe me, the voters / the democrats the independents / & Some republicans in this country will Hold Romney's feet to the fire. I mean, he's flipped on several issues, y'know. When he was debating his own party, cain newt backman & etc – he came off like a true conservative, but Look at Romney Now – pitiful I say, pitiful. LOL – If he reverses roe v wade – he will put this country in arms, or something.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  294. Nick

    Obama's biggest obstacle during the next two debates will be his own ego. He inexcusably underestimated the first debate, then tries to throw Hillary under the bus for the Libya debacle, after being caught trying to downgrade it. He refuses to hold press conferences. Without a teleprompter and a dismal four year record, this sorry president's only recourse is to call his opponent a lia. Wake up, America!r

    October 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  295. Jim

    Obama's biggest issue is and will be to run on his record. Romney as a president is an unknown, but Obama must answer for the things he promised and didn't get done. Whether fair or not, that's life. In this case Romney has the advantage. It's a well known fact Obama does not speak well when away from the teleprompter. He'll need to show confidence and professionalism... not the college professor or community organizer mentality.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  296. John

    LL, Romney don't have my vote. I live in a swing state. I just want President Obama to knock him out for me since I can't be in the arena with that liar. I like rejecting people like Mitt Romney. I don't need him, He needs me. It will bring him and Queen Annie to Earth.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  297. Tyrone, NY

    We can tell the talking points for Romney have been studied. For the economy just look at your 401k from Bush you lost 40% now mines handled by ING yields 11%! Wages are controlled by your company that is doing well now but. Of even paying you a 3% raise. There is the issue no one has extra cash to consume things. As for securing the embassies surely you all saw the Republican from Utah clearly say the Republicans voted NO on monetary increases on the notion "we have to have priorities"????? So please remember that when you go on your Benghazi rants. Forget that Ambassodor Stevens family asked you right wingers to stop using the death for politics. Finally Romney has nothing to stand on in regards to consistency on his record especially after being absent for 417 days as Govenor of MA man that is more than one year! Leader by absence and of course it was never one of the Mondays he met with democrats.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  298. Loren, Chicago

    Himself. He is running a campaign that tinpot dictators from Latin American countries run–the dictator is never responsible for his nation's economy, it is the fault of enemy countries destablizing our country; he is never responsible for foreign entanglements, they are inherited; he is never responsible for his dictatorial behavior, he is responding to the will of the people.

    When President Obama understands that he is the President of all of the people of the United States and not just those who voted for him, then we might have a candidate worthy of the task. Until then, he might as well just be the Mayor of Chicago, or the President of Venezuela.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm |