President Barack Obama knew he did poorly in his debate last week with Mitt Romney, senior strategist David Axelrod told Bob Schieffer Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."
"Well, I think the president understands -- you know, the president is his harshest critic. And without getting into detail, I think you can assume that he's reviewed the tape, and it will inform -- it will inform how he handles these subsequent debates," Axelrod said.
Schieffer asked, "Do you think he was ill prepared? Some are saying it was the people that prepared him. You were in the room most of the time.
"I was one of the people who prepared him. I'm happy to take whatever responsibility people want to assign to me.
"I think it was more what I said though. I think he went thinking that this was going to be a discussion about the country's future, and he was confronted with this kind of gantry-esque performance on the other side just serially rewriting history before his eyes."
Gantry as in Elmer Gantry, the fictional evangelist, Schieffer asked.
"Yes," Axelrod said.
Gantry is the character created by Sinclair Lewis in his 1926 novel. Actor Burt Lancaster won the 1960 Academy Award for best actor of portrayal of Gantry in the film.
Axelrod is not making a flattering reference.