Post-Debate Spin Featured Few Congressional Democrats

Posted October 4, 2012 at 1:50pm

In the minutes and hours after a debate in which GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was broadly seen as winning against President Barack Obama, Republicans relied on a chorus of Congressional voices to herald Romney’s performance.

Sens. John Thune (S.D.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rob Portman (Ohio) were on hand in the “spin room” for television interviews, alongside other prominent GOP officials such as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

But as a consensus opinion jelled on cable that Romney had won, the Obama camp relied heavily on its top aides – David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Jim Messina and Jen Psaki – rather than elected officials.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) were in Denver sitting with Obama’s wife, Michelle, but neither took a high-profile role defending Obama on television or in print stories recapping the instant reactions of surrogates.

Pelosi released a statement saying the “defining moment in tonight’s debate occurred when Governor Romney unequivocally stated that he would not ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.”

Privately, some Democrats defended the campaign, praising the uniform message that was communicated from its few surrogates.

The Obama campaign took several damage control steps today, including a conference call. Reporters at a speech delivered by Vice President Joseph Biden in Iowa reported on Twitter that Obama campaign aides were requiring reporters to be accompanied by an escort to speak with supporters at the event and even go to the restroom.