In public and private settings, President Barack Obama had some fun at his own expense.
With his widely panned first-debate performance.
“I’m a big believer in closing the deal,” Obama said last night at a campaign fundraiser with about 150 guests at wp24, Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in Los Angeles, the guests including George Clooney, Harvey Weinstein and Seth MacFarlane. “You will see me working as hard as I’ve ever worked” through election’s end.
Noting that he was celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary the night of his first debate with Republican Mitt Romney on Oct. 3, the president said: “There was some speculation as to whether that had an impact on my performance.” (Laugh line.)
At a fundraising concert with 6,000 guests, Obama thanked Jon Bon Jovi, Katy Perry and others who“perform flawlessly night after night” adding: “I can’t always say the same.”
The White House says Obama gets the criticism of his first face-off, and will take it to heart for the next, on Oct. 16.
“I think the president understood that he hadn’t performed up to his own expectations pretty quickly into — after he got off the stage that night,” Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday.
The president “is his harshest critic. He’ll look at that tape and make the adjustments he thinks are necessary,” David Axelrod, one of Obama’s senior campaign advisers, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.