"People at home saw (Romney) get testy, interrupt the moderator," Obama campaign deputy communications director Stephanie Cutter told CNN.
"My thought is that you're going to find that people watching at home thought he was quite testy," Plouffe added.
5. Chris Christie vindicated
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bothered the heck out of Romney-world last Sunday when he shirked the expectations game and stated flatly that the GOP nominee would deliver an earthquake of debate performance that would turn the presidential race "upside down."
Not on message in the slightest. But it turns out Christie might have been right.
In the post-debate spin room, the very same Romney backers who were hyper-cautious heading into Wednesday night's debate were suddenly sounding a lot like Christie.
"Chris Christie is quite the prognosticator," said Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom.
South Dakota Sen. John Thune said Romney assuaged the Republican concerns about his candidacy -- and then some.
"I think this was a make or break moment for the Romney campaign and he delivered," Thune told reporters. "This is a whole new ball game."
One high-ranking Romney adviser also acknowledged what no one on their team would admit prior the debate: That a poor showing Wednesday could have derailed Romney's candidacy.
"We needed a big performance and we got a big performance," the adviser told CNN. "There's a lot of relief right now."
After the debate concluded, Christie adviser Bill Palatucci made sure to plug his boss.
"Only Chris Christie had the guts to say what he really thought -- that Mitt would shine," Palatucci told CNN in an email.