DENVER — Looking for a quick recovery from a disappointing debate, President Barack Obama questioned the identity of the "real" Mitt Romney on Thursday, suggesting his Republican rival had not been candid about his policy positions while on stage.
"Gov. Romney may dance around his positions but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth," Obama said at a post-debate rally.
Obama's aggressive stand came as his campaign conceded he will have to adjust his debate style. Wednesday's night event was widely viewed as a win for Romney and a lost opportunity for Obama to connect with the American people as national polls had showed him with a slight advantage heading into their first debate.
Obama said that when he reached the debate stage "I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn't have been Mitt Romney," Obama said, adding that the "real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage last night said he didn't know anything about that."
The president also accused Romney of misrepresenting past statements on education and outsourcing. In tough comments, the president said Romney "does not want to be held accountable ... because he knows full well that we don't want what he's selling."