President Barack Obama (R) speaks during his debate with Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L), who greets the audience at the conclusion in Denver, Colorado, on October 3, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Nicholas KAMM (R)/SAUL LOEB (L) (Photo credit should read STF/AFP/GettyImages)

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Barack Obama tries to gather more campaign cash today in California, his surrogates are continuing to pound the theme that Mitt Romney’s success in last week’s debate was the result of dishonesty.

Obama strategist David Axelrod told CBS that Obama was “a little taken aback” when Romney, in Axelrod’s words, “walked away from his record.” Axelrod says there will be adjustments for that in the next two debates.

Romney and Obama are both airing new ads saying their positions have been distorted by their opponent. Obama’s ad uses debate footage to argue that Romney grossly misrepresented his own positions as well as Obama’s on taxes. Romney’s campaign has a new ad claiming that Obama is not telling the truth when he says Romney wants to cut $5 trillion in taxes.

Both campaigns are prepping their running mates for Thursday’s vice presidential debate, and trying to keep expectations low. Republican Newt Gingrich suggested to NBC that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan might hold back on any hostility out of respect for Vice President Joe Biden’s status as a senior statesman.

Obama is enlisting help from some of his celebrity friends today on his final western fundraising trip. Romney is continuing a Florida campaign trip.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.