GOP Sends Mixed Messages on Romney Debate Expectations

The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From ABC News:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, never one to be shy when it comes to speaking his mind, today predicted that Mitt Romney would turn the presidential race around in the upcoming debate with President Obama.

Romney, who is down in new polls both nationwide and in the battleground states of Iowa and Ohio, needs to do well in the debate Wednesday in order to gain momentum as the campaign heads into its final stretch.

Christie said that was exactly what Romney would get in his head-to-head matchup with the president.

“I have absolute confidence that when we get to Thursday morning, George, all you’re going to be shaking your head, saying it’s a brand-new race,” Christie told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”

The problem is, Christie is off script. The Romney campaign is trying to lower expectations, and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan led the charge.

“President Obama is a very gifted speaker. The man’s been on the national stage for many years,” Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday,” repeating a line he’s been using on the campaign trail. “This is Mitt’s first time on this kind of a stage.”

Of course, Ryan was not saying that Romney won’t give voters a clear reason to support him over Obama: He said Romney will offer a “choice” during the debate.

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