Team Obama was busily spinning Wednesday's debate today, with Robert Gibbs in one breath calling Mitt Romney's performance "masterful, masterful," and in the next slamming it as just that: a "performance" that was at best "fundamentally dishonest," reports Politico. "He did a superb acting job. He did everything but learn tap-dancing," Gibbs said. Chimed in David Axelrod: "It was completely un-rooted in fact, it was completely un-rooted in the positions he’s taken before and he spent 90 minutes trying to undo two years of campaigning on that stage, but he did it very well." Elsewhere from your Sunday dial, as per Politico:
- Newt Gingrich on the debate: "The job of the president is supposed to be to be competent and to be able to articulate what's wrong. Mitt Romney walked over him. The weird moment with Eastwood and an empty chair may turn out to be symbolic."
- Gibbs on Obama's reaction afterward: "I think the president understood that he hadn't performed up to his own expectations pretty quickly after he got off the stage that night."
- Ed Gillespie on the debate: "The Obama campaign reminded me a little bit of a 7-year old losing a checkers game ... they sweep the board off the table."
- Gillespie on Big Bird: "Big Bird would be pretty successful, I suspect, without a federal subsidy. Any father who's gone to a toy store knows that Big Bird is a pretty commercially successful entity."
- Gibbs on Jack Welch's assertion that jobless numbers were cooked: "The notion that somebody as respected as Jack Welch would single-handedly embarrass himself ... We wonder why institutions in this country are failing: because people go on TV and make stuff up. There's a number of people that believe the real unemployment report is somewhere in a safe in Nairobi with the president's Kenyan birth certificate."
- Axelrod on those who believe Welch: “They can join the lunatic fringe of birthers with that. Every single respectable economist has said that is completely nuts.”