“What I talked about last night was a new economic patriotism. Patriotism is rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong thriving middle class,” Obama said, though he didn’t mention his new catchphrase for the fairness doctrine during the debate.

“Now, last night Governor Romney ruled out raising a dime of taxes on anybody ever, no matter how much money they make. He ruled out closing the loophole that gives oil companies $4 billion in corporate welfare. He refused to even acknowledge the loophole that gives tax breaks to corporations that shift jobs overseas. And when he was asked what he’d actually do to cut the deficit and reduce spending, he said he’d eliminate funding for public television. That was his answer. I mean, thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird.”

“It’s about time. We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit, but that’s what we heard last night. How about that?” Obama said, as an audience member shouted “Elmo.”

“Elmo too?” the president said.

UPDATE: Romney campaign response from spokesman Ryan Williams: “In full damage-control mode, President Obama today offered no defense of his record and no vision for the future. Rather than a plan to fix our economy, President Obama simply offered more false attacks and renewed his call for job-killing tax hikes. Last night, Mitt Romney demonstrated why he should be President, laying out the clear choice in this election. We can’t afford four more years of the last four years. We need a real recovery – and Mitt Romney has a real plan to deliver it.”