Obama: Romney ‘a good debater,’ ‘I’m just ok’

Looking to his first face-to-face clash with Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama told a cheering crowd of supporters in Las Vegas on Sunday that his Republican foe was "a good debater" while he himself was "just ok."

The Democrat, addressing a crowd of 11,200 packed onto the soccer field of Desert Pines High School, said Wednesday's debate ought to be "a serious discussion" about boosting economic growth and helping the middle class.

The media is focused on "who's going to have the best zingers" and "who's going to put the most points on the board," he said, looking to manage expectations for what could be a punchy back-and-forth. "Governor Romney, he's a good debater. I'm just ok."

"But what I'm most concerned about is having a serious discussion about what we need to do to keep the country growing and restore security for hard-working Americans," Obama said. "That's what people are going to be listening for. That's the debate that you deserve."

Both camps have been trying to shape the expectations for Wednesday's debate -- the first of three pitting the presidential candidates against each other.