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First debate jitters? Obama, Romney camps maneuver for advantage (+video)

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney rehearse for their first big debate Wednesday, both sides are playing the expectations game. Given recent polls, there’s more pressure on Romney to perform.

Monitor correspondent Liz Marlantes has three suggestions for Mitt Romney's presidential debate preparation.
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As the clock ticks toward the first presidential debate Wednesday, the Romney and Obama camps are maneuvering for position, framing the event to best advantage, hearing (but not necessarily taking) the advice of pundits,

The scene was on full array on the Sunday TV blabfests.

"At the end of the debate Wednesday night, Romney has to be a clear alternative," Romney’s former GOP rival Newt Gingrich advised on CBS’s "Face the Nation.”

"He doesn't have to hit a home run,” the former House Speaker said. “But Romney has to be, at the end of the debate Wednesday night, a clear alternative who is considered as a potential president by a majority of the American people in order for his campaign to have a chance to live."

That last dark phrase – “to have a chance to live” – implies a steep uphill path for Mr. Romney, who remains behind in most national and state polls.

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Acknowledging that Romney has had “a tough couple of week,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put more positive spin on how the Republican challenger will do Wednesday night and where the race is headed.

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