Oh. Snap.

“What the president said is not correct,” Woodward told POLITICO Tuesday. “He’s mistaken. And it’s refuted by the people who work for him.”

Including his own defense secretary. Romney quoted Panetta’s spending cut warning nearly word for word during the debate, only to have Obama mock him.

Woodward reports in his book that White House Office of Management Director Jack Lew and Legislative Affairs Director Rob Nabors took the proposal for sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then it was presented to congressional Republicans.

During the debate, however, Obama said the idea originated on Capitol Hill.

“First of all, the sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed,” Obama said, adding his strongest pronouncement to date on its future: “It will not happen.”

Woodward said there’s a possibility the president was unaware of how the idea came about.

“It’s a complicated process — and in fairness to the president — maybe he didn’t know that they were doing this because it’s kind of technical budget jargon,” Woodward said.

Heh. Isn’t it Obama’s job to get into the “technical budget jargon?” What you have offered is not a defense, Mr. Woodward, it’s a condemnation.