Sen. Johnson and Robert Gibbs preview Presidential debate - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sen. Johnson and Robert Gibbs preview Presidential debate


MADISON (WKOW) -- Undecided voters in Wisconsin and eight other states are the focus of the Presidential candidates in tonight's second debate.

27 News talked with Robert Gibbs, a senior campaign adviser to President Obama, as well as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) on Tuesday.

Both will attend the debate in New York, but they have very different expectations for the town hall format.

"You're taking these questions through the eyes and the stories of undecided voters, rather than from a moderator, which I think will be important actually I think for both candidates," said Gibbs.

"Mitt Romney's a very personal individual, he's gonna relate very well to just ordinary citizens and so, I expect him to do well, but I expect President Obama to do well as well," countered Sen. Johnson.
Its widely believed President Obama has to do well, in order to stop Romney's snowballing momentum.

"I think tonight what you'll see is a passionate, energetic President that will talk not just about where we've come over the past four years, but more importantly, what do we have to do in the future," said Gibbs.

But Sen. Johnson says energy can only take the President so far.

"OK, he'll probably try that, but again, he's got a very difficult time, because all he has is empty rhetoric and he's got a record that is almost impossible to defend," said Sen. Johnson.

Gibbs says the President can defend his record, he just actually needs to do it this time.

"That first month in the White House, the jobs report had us losing 800,000 jobs that month, you know.  Since then we've had 31 consecutive months of job growth," said Gibbs. 

But Sen. Johnson says those numbers are very misleading.

"The real unemployment rate is 10.7 percent.  Add in discouraged workers its 15 percent, so, its still a terrible metric and I think that's all that Governor Romney has to point out to President Obama's argument," said Sen. Johnson.

The debate starts at 8:00 p.m. and you can watch it live on WKOW 27.

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