Campaign stays mum on Obama’s debate prep
President Obama speaks on the phone to a volunteer during an unannounced visit to a campaign office in Williamsburg, Virginia. Obama took time out from debate preparation at a nearby resort to stop and greet staff and volunteers at the office.
October 15th, 2012
12:54 PM ET

Campaign stays mum on Obama’s debate prep

Williamsburg, Virginia (CNN) – When it comes to President Obama’s debate preparations at an idyllic Virginia resort, mum’s the word.

The Obama campaign is going to great lengths to keep details of the president’s activities over the last three days under wraps, refusing to reveal nearly any specifics about how he and his top advisors are preparing for the crucial second debate with rival Mitt Romney Tuesday night.

Briefing the two-dozen reporters who followed the president to the picturesque Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, Monday morning, Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki again and again dodged questions about just how the president is preparing, saying only that he is both “calm and energized.”

Moreover, the campaign has sequestered the pool of reporters tasked with following the president in a separate building entirely from that in which the president’s preparations are taking place, ensuring cameras will not capture the president and his top advisors at work.

The few details we do know: Sen. John Kerry has reprised his roll as Romney in debate practice while Anita Dunn, the president’s chief message officer during the first two years of his term, has been recruited to stand in for debate moderator and CNN anchor Candy Crowley.

Moreover, the president - who during preparations for the last debate told reporters he found the practices to be a “drag” – is taking time off periodically and is “enjoying the grounds, walking around and taking in the beautiful atmosphere we have here,” Psaki said.

But questions the campaign refused to answer ranged from how the preparations are different for a town-hall style format to whether the campaign is videotaping the practices so the president can see his reaction expressions.

“I know you are not going to want to answer this…” one reporter prefaced his question after Psaki had fended off a string of previous debate inquiries.

“You are right, I am not going to answer that,” Psaki replied.

POTUS's day 3 of debate prep: 10/15/12
October 15th, 2012
09:09 AM ET

POTUS's day 3 of debate prep: 10/15/12

Good morning! The president continues his debate prep in Williamsburg, Virginia for tomorrow night's debate. Yesterday, he made an outing to deliver pizzas to a local campaign office. He has nothing on his schedule today except to receive the presidential daily briefing. But we won't be shocked if he makes a trip outside Kingsmill, the resort he is staying at to prepare for the second presidential debate.

Topics: 2012 Election • Debate prep • Virginia