Obama on 1st debate with Romney: ‘I was just too polite’

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) after the Presidential Debate at the University of Denver on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) after the Presidential Debate at the University of Denver on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama used two words to describe his performance at last week’s debate against Mitt Romney: “too polite.”

The president called into the Tom Joyner Morning Show Wednesday to assess how he did against his Republican challenger and why he didn’t go on the “attack” as some of his supporters would have preferred. The call-in lasted about eight minutes and Obama said that everyone will see “a  little more activity” at the second debate next Tuesday.

Below is the president’s response to ‘what happened’ during last week’s debate:

“Well, two things.  I mean, you know, the debate, I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite, because, you know, it’s hard to sometimes just keep on saying and what you’re saying isn’t true.  It gets repetitive.  But, you know, the good news is, is that’s just the first one.  Governor Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term.

…And, you know, I think it’s fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next one.”

LISTEN to the full AUDIO of Pres. Obama’s call to Tom Joyner here

When asked of the ‘tightening race‘ with Romney, President Obama recalled 2008′s presidential results, reminding callers he “only beat” Sen. John McCain 53 to 47 percent in the popular vote. Obama said this upcoming election was “always going to be a close race,” and his team “internally” understood that all along.

The president was also asked about the perceived lack of voter enthusiasm, particularly among African-Americans, in this year’s election.

“We are doing registration and…early voting in a lot of states…and our numbers are actually higher than in 2008,” Obama responded.

Obama wrapped up his call to the TJMS reminiscing with the show’s host about critics during the 2008 race and how his campaign overcame that.

“How many times did everybody say that somehow we weren’t going to win?” he asked.

The president was much more succinct in his final point:

“As I say in some of these e-mails that go around with my picture on them…I can’t quote the entire thing but… ‘I got this.’”

The second presidential debate is next Tuesday, October 16 at 9 pm/est.

Follow theGrio’s Todd Johnson on Twitter @rantoddj