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Barbara Walters Explains How the Debates Changed Mitt Romney's Image

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Interesting yesterday on The View on ABC, Barbara Walters talking about Mitt Romney and the three presidential debates, and Barbara Walters is explaining here to the audience of The View why Romney did well, why Romney won the debates.  Barbara Walters is explaining the impact that Romney had and why his debate strategy worked.  Now, I want you to understand something as you listen to this.  As irritating as it might be to you, you go into that debate on Monday night, and the partisans have made up their minds.  There's nothing that can happen in that debate, for example, to make you change your mind, vote for Obama, there's nothing.

By the same token, there's nothing gonna happen in that debate to make a committed Obama voter change his or her mind.  Who's left?  Well, these people that are amazingly undecided, can't pull the trigger, don't know what to do, undecided for a whole host of reasons. That's the target audience, and a lot of them, we're told, were women.  So you have to keep that in mind when you listen here, because I would venture to say that the target audience that Romney was aiming for in that debate Monday night was the people that watch The View.  I want you to listen to her and listen to her audience reaction.

WALTERS:  Before these debates, the general impression of Romney was that he wasn't too smart, and that he was very stiff, and that if he happened to be elected president, it would be a disaster.  Now, you know, I don't give my opinions here.  What you have after these three debates is that people feel, whether they want to vote for him or not, that this is a qualified man, this is an intelligent man, and this is a man who we now don't describe as stiff and totally out of touch.  What is the most important thing for Romney is that he's a different person seen by the public now than he was before the three debates.

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH:  I'm looking at the face of the Official Program Observer, Mr. Snerdley, who's got a deep frown on his face.  Why are you frowning at me?  Yes, that was ribald applause.  But I find this fascinating.  I knew people thought Romney was stiff, but I didn't know people thought he was dumb.  That is an albatross around the Republican Party's neck ever since Bush.  I mean, that accusation that Bush was a dumb hick cowboy and so forth because of the way he spoke and the deer-in-the-headlight eyes during TV appearances and press conferences, and they used that to great effect.  Because Bush is not that at all.  He's not stupid. He's not dumb. It's ridiculous.  But it stuck, particularly with a lot of moderates and leftists.  And now apparently Barbara Walters said a lot of people thought the same thing about Romney -- stiff and out of touch, not very smart -- and he's overcome all that.  In these three debates, he's overcome it all. 

This is profound.  What she's also saying and didn't say, that what we knew about Romney was what Obama was telling us about Romney via Obama's TV ads.  And what she's saying here is, we saw a Romney that bears no resemblance to what we were told he was by the Obama campaign.  And the audience on The View, believe me, was the target audience for the Romney camp in that debate Monday night, people that watch this show, people like them, and they all applauded Barbara Wawa there.  I just throw this out to you because it's all part of the mix.  Here is Pat Caddell.  This is last night on Cavuto on Fox, and Cavuto asked him about the last debate.  He wants to know, did it change anything?

CADDELL:  If Obama does not get the traditional presidential incumbent bounce at the beginning of the week, it's Katie, bar the door.  This is Romney's election to lose and until October 3rd he was losing it.  Now he's back into it.  Look what's happening in the states like Pennsylvania, Minnesota, states that have had no money.  If I told you two weeks before the election in 2008 that Indiana and North Carolina would go for Barack Obama, you would have said I was crazy.  This is on the verge of tipping. We're somewhere between '80 and '04 and right now if the president didn't get what he shoulda gotten last night, uh-oh.

RUSH:  Well, he didn't.  He didn't get a bounce out of that debate on Monday night.  It was probably zero impact for either of them.  It's the last debate, it happened, it's gone, nobody's reacting to it one way or the other.  There was some strident reaction during the debate, shortly thereafter, but the overall consensus was that Romney did what he had to do, did it in spades, didn't get hurt. Obama didn't help himself, so Caddell says it's over.  And Caddell is right.  You go look at where Obama is spending time.  These are states that he was supposed to have owned and wrapped up. 

The biggest thing that's working against Barack Obama right now, and I say this over and over again to make the point, you cannot simply examine Obama within the context of this campaign to understand where Obama is with the American people.  You gotta go back all the way to the campaign of 2008 and the first couple, three months of his regime.  That's the Obama that everybody's comparing to, is the 2008 Obama, who was Mr. Perfect, who was Mr. Messiah, who was gonna heal the planet, lower the sea levels, cure all the ills, get rid of partisanship, get rid of racism, the world is gonna love us, and look what he's become.  He has become exactly what he ran against in 2008.

He's become nothing but a mudslinger. He's nothing but a down-and-dirty typical politician, throwing mud, throwing dirt, desperate to hang on, not telling people the truth about things.  He is the exact opposite of the way he was presented in 2008.  He's the exact opposite of the way he portrayed himself in 2008.  If you want to have an understanding of how people who voted for Obama eagerly in 2008 are looking at him this year, you have to include their frame of reference for the guy.  And their frame of reference is not just these three debates. 

Their frame of reference starts with a campaign in 2007 all the way into 2008 and the election.  And even the first couple, three months with the stimulus bill, Porkulus, shovel-ready jobs, all this great stuff was gonna happen.  None of it has.  He's not the person anybody thought that he was and it's been nothing but downhill.  Plus there's no record to run on. He's got nothing that's happened that he can say, "You want four more years of this?"  That's why he is in big trouble in all of these states that should have been automatics, just given incumbency.

END TRANSCRIPT

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