Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August. His strategy includes luring the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy.
The New York Times
We also saw in reports that Mitt Romney and his team have been working on zingers and special lines for months. That's not what the President's focus is on. So if you're expecting that, that's probably not what he's going to deliver on.
~ Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki via Yahoo News
I think they are on a search for zingers and one-liners because Romney was scorched by Kennedy in '94 by several of those. But they have to be careful 'cause the President could well have a comeback. In these debate preps you try to game out what the other side is going to say. And you try to see how you can respond. It's always strongest when it's a comeback. Zingers don't work as a cute line. They work as part of the fabric of argument. So in 1980, they knew that Jimmy Carter was going to look at Ronald Reagan and say, 'You were against Medicare' at the beginning. It happened to be true. But Reagan looked at him, shook his head and said 'There you go again.' And it was really not a comment just on that Medicare answer but on everything Carter had said. That's when a zinger works.
~ Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum on Face the Nation, CBS News
It was a HUGE MISTAKE for the Romney advisor to tell the NY Times about him working on zingers. Everyone SUSPECTS these remarks are prepared, but usually it comes out in reportage a bit after the debate so the zinger has impact (one example is Ronald Reagan’s “There you go again..”). Now the fact that he has been preparing to look witty is out there ALREADY and if he says something — even a real, off the cuff zinger — it’ll be dismissed by some. If you know the actor’s script before the performance and then spot him performing it, it takes away some of the impact…
~ Joe Gandelman on The Moderate Voice
1. The leaks out of Romney's debate prep don't make sense. Why tell the NYT you're practicing zingers? How does that help you?— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) September 30, 2012
2. But they do make sense if they're misdirection.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) September 30, 2012
3. Obama has had much less debate prep time than Romney. If Team Romney can get them to use their time to practice defenses to zingers— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) September 30, 2012
4. Then that would be a big win for the Romney Team.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) September 30, 2012
5. But if it's not that, then I'm baffled. Who would bet a campaign on Mitt Romney's sense of comic timing?— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) September 30, 2012
Will Romney end each one of his debate zingers with a triumphant, "Zing"? Please?— Peter Blake (@PKBlake) October 1, 2012
Romney is memorizing zingers | Obama is memorizing facts— Path2Enlightenment (@Path2Enlighten) October 1, 2012
Nothing inspires confidence more than the phrase "Mitt's been practicing his zingers."— Tina Dupuy (@TinaDupuy) September 30, 2012
"Of course I've known hardship. One time I had to clean my terrified dog's diarrhea off my windshield" #MittZingers— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) September 29, 2012
"So, I was out of Grey Poupon..." #MittZingers— Melhi (@Melhi) September 29, 2012
OK, fine. I've never had a Zinger. But I do know the owner of Hostess. #MittZingers— Jeremy Littau (@JeremyLittau) September 29, 2012
our political process is for twelve year olds: romney is supposedly preparing zingers (http://www.huffingtonpost... bit.ly/QubapL— Talk Rational (@talkrational) October 1, 2012
I have some friends who own this country! #MittZingers— David Waldman (@KagroX) September 29, 2012
#RomneyZingersWhatever Reince says, that's my answer.— wisdomseeker (@WisdomSeeker18) September 30, 2012