With only a few days until the first presidential debate, both campaigns are working to shape expectations. Senator John McCain, a man who has debated both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, said he doubted the debate Wednesday night would provide a game-changing moment. "I can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention because, frankly, the candidates are too well prepared. They're well scripted," McCain said.
On the foreign policy front, Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod defended the administration’s initial reaction to the violence in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens. “I was kind of shocked to see Representative King attack Ambassador Rice for what she said last Sunday here and elsewhere, because she was acting on the intelligence that was given to her by the intelligence community.” McCain argued that the administration's initial reaction had "certain political overtones."
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt (R) expressed confidence in Todd Akin’s Senate candidacy despite a series of controversial remarks. “I think at the end of the day, that race does largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate." Blunt went on to say that any other Republican candidate would be leading in the polls, adding that "Todd very well may win."
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley discuss the state of the 2012 campaign, taxes, and Todd Akin.
CNN's political junkies take a look back at the week that was and answer the question: Who won? You may be surprised what they say.
Dana Bash, Alex Castellanos and Celinda Lake discuss the expectations for next week's presidential debate in Denver.
Sen. McCain (R-AZ) said the Obama administration's reaction to the Libya attacks show "certain political overtones."
"It was either willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence to think that people come to spontaneous demonstrations with heavy weapons, mortars, and the attack goes on for hours."
Senior Obama Campaign Adviser David Axelrod says the Obama campaign is ahead in the polls because of their policies and not mistakes made by the Romney campaign.
"We're ahead, Candy, because the American people believe that this president has in his mind and in his heart the middle class and how to rebuild an economy that works for the middle class in this country, and that is fundamental in what they're looking for."
Senior Obama Campaign Adviser David Axelrod defended U.S. Ambassador to the U.N Susan Rice's initial reaction to the attacks against the U.S. embassy in Libya.
"I was kind of shocked to see Representative King attack Ambassador Rice for what she said last Sunday here and elsewhere, because she was acting on the intelligence that was given to her by the intelligence community. To say she should resign - she is one of the most remarkable, splendid public servants we have. That's thoroughly irresponsible."
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) debated both 2012 presidential candidates in 2008 and gives us a unique perspective as the campaigns try to manage expectations.
"I think it's going to be excellent. I think both candidates are well-prepared, and understandably, you'll see their surrogates lowering expectations, oh, I don't know how our guy will compete, and that's part of the whole routine."
"I think sometimes we expect a major breakthrough, you know, the comment that - that doesn't happen very often. It happened with Reagan and Mondale. It happened with Reagan and Carter."
"Frankly, I can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention because, frankly, the candidates are too well-prepared. They're well-scripted."
Exclusive: Senator John McCain. He debated both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, and gives us a unique perspective as Camp Romney tries to manage expectations. We’ll also ask him about the Obama campaign contemplating a play for his home state of Arizona, and we’ll get his take on the investigation into the Libya attack and Syria’s Chemical Weapons.
Exclusive: Obama Campaign Senior Adviser David Axelrod drops in to answer questions about debate preparations, swing state strategy, and Obama’s promises
Exclusive: Governor Martin O’Malley & Senator Roy Blunt on what voters want to hear from the candidates during the home stretch. We also expect to talk about the looming fiscal cliff, what Senator Blunt is doing to avoid it, and how it will affect jobs and the economic recovery.
And we’ll round it out with Republican Consultant Alex Castellanos, Pollster and Democratic Strategist Celinda Lake, and CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. We’ll talk about Campaign Ad strategy and how it’s changed in the face of so much early voting. And Dana will give us a preview of her forthcoming documentary on Paul Ryan.
Sunday 9am and 12p ET
Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin on the shifting campaign momentum in the 2012 election.
Sen. Dick Durbin: "The momentum has shifted in Obama's direction and that's a good thing from our point of view."
Sen. Lindsey Graham: "I think if history holds here and undecided voters break against the incumbent as they generally do, this is a very close race, and quite frankly, I like our position."