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October 2nd, 2012
08:49 AM ET

CNN Contributor Ryan Lizza on candidates' debate prep: 'Romney has more work to do because he’s down'

The countdown to the final hours before the first presidential debate tomorrow night begins now. Both candidates are in full prep-mode with GOP nominee Mitt Romney attending one last rally in Denver, the site of the big showdown. It’s unpredictable who will emerge a winner since Romney and Obama came up neck-and-neck in the most recent CNN/ORC poll. Neither has publicly given himself the upper hand, trying to lower his chances at the debate. CNN Contributor and Washington Correspondent for The New Yorker Ryan Lizza comes to “Early Start” this morning with more on the candidates’ debate preps and possible tactics.

Lizza shares his expectations and advice for what the candidates should do in the debates. “Romney needs to do probably three things,” Lizza says. “He needs to talk about specifics,” which his campaign has been criticized for a lack of doing. “He’s gotta address that likability deficit,” though debates are not the best platform for that.  The final thing that Romney needs to do is overcome that famous 47% quote. “The Obama campaign has been hammering him on that, he needs to address that firmly and get it behind him,” Lizza says. “Romney has more work to do because he’s down.”

“President Obama is sitting on a lead,” Lizza says. “His strategy will be to sort of play defense.” Lizza says the other thing Obama needs to do is “lay out some specifics about a second term” a little more.  And finally, Obama has to make sure “that he doesn’t seem arrogant or overconfident," during the debates as he has in the past.

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