2012 Presidential Debates: Romney Vs. Obama Round 2 Showdown

David Kerley, John Avlon preview candidate's strategies going into next debate
3:00 | 10/13/12

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Transcript for 2012 Presidential Debates: Romney Vs. Obama Round 2 Showdown
And t-minus three days until the next presidential debate. As the candidates get ready this morning, team obama is recruiting celebrity help. Team romney is attacking what was supposed to be this president's greatest asset, foreign policy. It's "your voice, your vote." And abc's david kerley is in washington this morning. David, good morning, sir. Reporter: Good morning, dan. As of this morning, mitt romney has the mighty mo going into next week's debate. As both candidates are battling for the critical, undecided voters. Governor mitt romney. Reporter: Back on the trail for the candidates. Didn't joe do great last night? Reporter: After no knockout blow in the vice presidential debate. But the romney/ryan team sees an opening. Not the economy, which is improving. But rather, the attack on the u.S. Consulate in libya, which resulted in the death of the ambassador and three other americans. He is doubling down on denial. When the vice president of the united states directly contradicts the testimony, sworn testimony of state department officials, american citizens have a right to know just what's going on. Reporter: Romney was referring to the debate. One of the first questions from abc's martha raddatz. Asking joe biden why there wasn't more security in benghazi, libya. We weren't told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security. Reporter: Who is the we in that statement? Just the white house, says the president's spokesman. This story has such a big chance of spinning out of control, that secretary of state clinton, went before cameras to try and To this day, we do not have a complete picture. Reporter: The romney's team move, part of a search for undecided voters. Team obama is doubling down on star power to sway that group. This morning, releasing an ad narrated by morgan freeman, showcasing what the campaign calls the president's conviction. Later this week, former president bill clinton and bruce springsteen will stump in ohio for obama. And on thursday, the president joins jon stewart on "the daily show." It will be his sixth appearance and second from becoming president. But the performance that really matters is the one that comes next tuesday. The second presidential debate. Mr. Obama headed to williamsburg today, for a couple of days of practice. And mitt romney is doing debate practice this weekend. It is tuesday, the big time we see them in the second debate. Indeed. A lot of democrats, especially, say those adjustments are key. For more on this, we have john avlon, senior columnist for "newsweek" and "the daily beast." Let's talk about benghazi. Is this a potent issue? And does the killing of bin laden not top the attack? This killing in benghazi was at the wrong time for the obama administration. It's been a month since the attack. We haven't brought those killers to justice. That's a real problem. But foreign policy has long been the president's strength in polls. In large part because of the killing of osama bin laden. The benghazi attack doesn't take that away. It doesn't take away winding down the wars that were so polarizing just four years ago. So, while it is a problem, i don't think it takes the issue off the table. And the third debate will be all about foreign policy. And the president said one of the problems the last debate, he was too nice. Can we expect more of a fight on tuesday? And doesn't that carry risks of its own? There are risks with no more mr. Nice guy. The president was being coached to not get in the gutter with mitt romney. To not get angry. But there's risks. And the problem with no drama obama is he can seem aloof. The debate this week is a sign of things to come. The president has to intensely engage, smile, and call out mitt romney where there's points of disagreement. But in a way that keeps the crowd on his side. And david kerley pointed out in his piece that obama -- that romney has really tried to tack to the center after running to the right during the primaries. Is that an opening for team obama? And have they exploited that sufficiently? No. Look, the return of moderate mitt has everything to do with why he's been doing well in the polls. This is a catch-22 for conservatives, right? Mitt romney had to run as a severe conservative to get the nomination. Now, he's trying to tack back to the center. And guess what? It works in the polls. Centrist voters, swing voters, are looking for a candidate that doesn't have the ideological experience. It comes back to mitt romney as a flip-flopper. Someone who is expedient when it comes to policy to create a short-term political goal. It hasn't been exploited by the campaign yet. This is what he said before. This is what he said now. Which time was he telling the truth? We'll see tuesday night. In your opinion, who stands to benefit more from a town hall format? The president draws off crowds. This will be good for him. Nondomestic issues, social issues, that puts mitt romney in a tricky spot reaching towards the center. Tuesday night, we'll have the debate at 9:00 eastern. And tomorrow on "this week," you'll hear from rob portman and beau biden. We're going to turn to "operation dotcom," the police sting that nabbed almost two

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