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President Barack Obama on debate: 'I had a bad night'

October 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The phrase "game change" is over used in politics. But clearly, the first presidential debate was exactly that. It has caused a drastic change in the polls.

On Wednesday night, President Barack Obama opened up about that debate for the first time in an ABC News exclusive.

Questions from Diane Sawyer put the president in a place Americans aren't used to seeing him: the defensive.

"Gov. (Mitt) Romney had a good night, I had a bad night," he said. "It's not the first time I had a bad night. But I think what's important is the fundamentals of what this race is about haven't changed."

"There's no doubt that I can make a better case, which is why I'm so looking forward to Tuesday," he added.

Polls show a clear shift in momentum towards Romney since that debate. In Ohio on Wednesday night, Romney looked energized and tried to dispel attacks on his honesty.

"It was a chance for people to see what we actually believed," he said to his supporters.

The remaining debates could make a critical difference in this close race, especially after last week's presidential debate.

The stage was being set for the vice-presidential candidates to square off in Danville, Ky. It will be a matchup between 69-year-old incumbent Vice-President Joe Biden and 42-year-old congressional budget guru Paul Ryan.