President Barack Obama conceded in an interview Wednesday his first faceoff with Mitt Romney last week in Denver was a "bad night" for him, but maintained his performance at the debate didn't alter the state of the presidential race.
"Gov. Romney had a good night," Obama said in a sit down with ABC News. "I had a bad night."
"It's not the first time I've had a bad night," he continued.
Following last week's matchup in Denver, most observers named Romney the clear winner, saying Obama seemed unenthusiastic. Many of Obama's supporters wondered why he didn't raise some contentious campaign issues, including Romney's remarks on the 47% of Americans reliant on government support, or his time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded.
Obama said in Wednesday's interview those omissions from the first debate would not be game changers come November.
"What's important is the fundamentals of what this race is about haven't changed," Obama said. "Gov. Romney went to a lot of trouble to try to hide what his positions are."
"One thing, maybe this is because I played a lot of sports when I was a kid and still do, if you have a bad game, you just move on," the president continued. "You look forward to the next one. And it makes you that much more determined. The difference between this and sports is that the stakes are so high."
One of those high stakes is abortion, which became an issue on the campaign trail Wednesday after Romney said in an interview with the Des Moines Register he was not aware of any abortion legislation that would become part of his presidential agenda.
Obama said that remark was "another example of Gov. Romney hiding positions he's been campaigning on for a year and a half."
"He thinks that it is appropriate for politicians to inject themselves into those decisions," Obama said of Romney's position on abortion.
During the primary campaign, Romney maintained he would support efforts to remove funding for Planned Parenthood, a women's health clinic that provides abortion services. Several House Republicans have introduced legislation that would strip funding from the group.
On Wednesday, Romney said he would support removing the group's funding through the federal budget, which must be passed by Congress.