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Mitt Romney's jokes can be misunderstood sometimes, so he's working to refine his craft before the first Presidential debate of the season. 

The New York Times' Peter Baker and Ashley Parker report the Romney campaign have been focused on being as prepared as possible for the first debate of the campaign, which happens on Wednesday night. Vice-President hopeful Rob Portman has been the Obama stand-in attacking Romney and getting him as flustered as possible so he knows how to keep his cool under pressure. The idea is to make sure he doesn't come across as cold on the biggest stage of the campaign so far. So, he's been working on his one-liners: 

Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August. His strategy includes luring the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy.

Whether or not his level of preparation for the debate has anything to do with his scattered Convention speech isn't mentioned. That speech was rewritten multiple times, and that Romney wasn't given sufficient time to rehearse was blamed for his lackluster performance. Obama, on the other hand, hasn't had as much time to prepare for the debates. Aides are a little worried his mind has been preoccupied with other things

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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