POSTED: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 6:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Mitt Romney's campaign is riding high. They got a strong debate performance in Denver, and what looked to many like distraction and listlessness from President Obama.
Romney declared his campaign is rejuvenated.
"We're going to take back the White House!" he told supporter Thursday.
Many saw a new Mitt Romney in the debate, in control and assertive. President Obama, meanwhile, kept his eyes and energy low.
At a rally in Denver Thursday the president admitted he was surprised.
"When I got on the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney," he joked.
The president went on to charge Romney changed his stands on taxes and spending, adding "but if you want to be president you owe the American people to tell the truth."
Some feel Mr. Obama owed them a better debate.
"He looked like he was tired, drained," said Obama supporter Ray Barrientos.
"I think he didn't have the practice," added Amy Kobelieusz.
Obama strategists hint their boss learned a lesson.
"He'll review it, and if he wants to make some changes in the next debate, he'll do so," said David Axelrod.
Romney's hoping the debate strengthens his poll numbers in battleground states.
On Friday there's a new factor: A jobs report expected to help President Obama by showing fewer layoffs.