Transcript for Mitt Romney, President Obama Debate: What Do They Need to Do to Win?
Unlikely mitt romney is going to bring up this tape tonight. But the governor is behind nationally. And especially in the key battleground states. Do they think they have to shake things up tonight? Reporter: They absolutely do, george. I talked to a half-dozen advisers over the next 24 hours. And they agree. They have to establish three things. He has to offer a blistering critique of the president. The second thing, though, is criticism within his own party that he needs to offer more details. Forward-looking specifics. Expected to offer a little more about his tax plan. There's been questions about the tax cuts across the board. Which deductions would he eliminate? He's been practicing with that question. They would be surprised, stunned, in fact, if the 47% comments did not come up during this debate. Heeds been practicing on that, as well. And lastly, this is their words, he doesn't have to win a charm conte contest, a charm offensive on this stage. He does need to connect with americans and the problems felt by middle-class families. Jake, one thing romney is likely to bring up tonight. A gaffe by vice president joe biden, where he said the middle class has been buried for the last four years. Reporter: That's right. Vice president biden tried to clean up those remarks later in the day, saying he was referring to the middle-class buried by tax policies put in by republicans. Ones that romney and ryan want to go back to. But criticism of what's happened to the middle-class over the last four years is one that ryan and romney jumped on. Matthew dowd, what is a win for each candidate tonight? Mitt romney has to show up and be confident, compassionate and connect with the audience. But really, he has to put the president on the defensive. He needs to turn this race into a referendum on the president. And the president? I think the president's all about his mannerisms and his style at this point. I think he can't come across as irritable. He can't come acro impatient. He has to act that he wants to be there, maybe with a lot of smyt smiles. He can't come off out of touch. Do you think the moderator, jim leher comes up? I think mitt romney would make a mistake if he brought it up. Let's get to josh elliott
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.