Political Analyst: Mitt Romney Will Receive 'Some Level of a Bump'

Matthew Dowd on why he believes the former governor will remain competitive after the first debate.
3:00 | 10/03/12

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Transcript for Political Analyst: Mitt Romney Will Receive 'Some Level of a Bump'
It was started out two Matthew Dowd whose aid ABC news political consultant -- your title right. Various things you -- think yes but you have -- in the past. Vice presidential candidates for these debates if you had Mitt Romney. If you were -- within his sphere of influence what would you be telling him to do tonight. Well yes to be aggressive without being mean and if I were using one word that I think that I would try to use over and over and over -- -- Mitt Romney which I would -- accountability. I would basically say elections are about holding accountable for your record. Mr. President you try to deflect from your record let me let's go through that record -- this is what this election is about is whether or not you should be held accountable for the record you have I would be using accountable. A lot. And how about the reaction on defense we talked a lot about how probably needs to go on the offense but don't you have to really scripts and and practice. Being on the defense of without looking like your defense well -- actually. Thank you both of them happened -- that but I think there you -- apt to see around the offense and compared to a you know way Baltimore Ravens. President Obama defense and I think that deep. This is as much pressure on the president as it is on Mitt Romney because when you have a lead I was there working for George Bush in 2004 when you have a lead. And then -- don't perform well you lose at least it's it. Drastically affects your whole campaign and everything about because he basically said -- if we do well for a put this thing -- -- that pressure. The ability to go on defense that I think the president has to do and stay calm cool collected -- being assertive I think is equal to what Mitt Romney had. But you know some some have said that actually what mr. Obama needs to do tonight is just not making a big mistake. Because he had does have the lead in Romney's got this as you said this really tricky balance. Having to draw contrast while coming across as somebody who connects with people -- use that term to three scenes. You talk. And compassion confidence in connection I think that's actually how Mitt Romney will be judged in the state and to a degree how the president will be -- in this debate. I think one of the things that we're gonna look at a lot -- the camera shots when Mitt Romney is aggressive and assertive and attacks the president and his record. What is what is the president's facial reaction mannerisms in the course of that reaction and a lot of that will tell us a lot of what about what's happens debate. And whether somebody gets a bump out of this debate also. About what you did in year old managing the -- because that's almost as important as managing the debate. But a lot of people are gonna watch this debate tonight there's no doubt about it but they're a whole bunch of people we're not gonna -- -- the only way they're gonna know what happened is. They're gonna either watch. That news -- -- arts or they can watch good morning and watch Good Morning America for sure and -- -- -- or Nightline the C Jon Stewart so how do you. Makes you heard that your candidate comes out is well. In that. Medium as he did actually on the state which. Actually in the end the importance of -- -- three days conversation happened post tonight tonight is extremely important six container -- people watching -- but actually a lot of people and if their information three days following. One of the things that I think people misconstrue. Is that you can only spin if you have something to spin. And I remember in 2004. I wasn't getting ready to go out there and spend. Bush lost badly we all know and I was like there's always been this deal so we better just get on to the next -- -- -- -- can't -- -- showed -- he was fine get out of there. You can't you could only spin it there's a moment that allowed -- to spend. And the best thing that allows you -- is if it's a moment that -- something you've already been talking about so that it Mitt Romney looks disconnected Mitt Romney doesn't look compassionate. You can -- that are the president looks somewhat aloof and you could benefit if there's not those moments that feed it you can't really -- something -- enough. -- For Mitt Romney comeback narrative more talk about. How the media is gonna deal with this over the next three days -- story for weeks now -- in Romney's -- -- -- lagging. Doesn't the media love a comeback story and won't -- -- sort of an -- to those moments where he. Looks strong time. America loves a comeback story we don't love a comeback story where -- would be nothing more than what over the next 32 days that we've sort of now going to a new face for Mitt Romney it's competitive. He may take -- lead I actually think what's gonna happen is that it actually happened. Out from tonight I think. Absent some major air by Mitt Romney. He is going to get some level of bump out of this debate in this race is gonna go from whatever just to -- three or four point race to probably even -- by this weekend I would guess that's gonna happen because. As we've all talked about the challenger by standing next to the present United States automatically elevated to a different level than when he was before tonight and that when that happens. You for those few people that are left that are still switching back and forth he'll probably get a bump out of the question then becomes. Is it does he have something to use out of this to sustain himself for the next thirty days and keep. Keep that ball and that is a question we obviously don't know that have to be substantive tonight and not just with cereal they only last briefly Matt thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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