Well, he appears to be doing just that. Well, he offered one at the debate. and 1 p.m. In fact, he declared unequivocally that he would not cut taxes at all if they added to the deficit at all.

If so, Obama faces something far more challenging than a good debater in the last weeks of the campaign. He seemed engaged, forceful and punchy. Now, as the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler points out in his fact checking column, for two years Romney has been campaigning on a tax cut that that would cost around $5 trillion over 10 years. Romney is also in favor of regulations, including parts of the Dodd-Frank bill, and repeatedly held up as a model his health care plan in Massachusetts, which has at its center the individual mandate, and on which Obamacare is based. The first four points are actually identical to Barack Obama’s stump speech: he argues for (1) Exports (2) Domestic energy (3) Retraining and (4) Deficit reduction. President Obama seemed passive, detached and glum. Minutes after the Denver presidential debate, the pundits declared Mitt Romney the clear winner. He would cut funding for public broadcasting, which was 0.01% of federal spending in 2012. In a very smart analysis, NPR pointed out that Romney now has a five-point stump speech. Romney talks about small businesses, Obama about national security.

Watch “Fareed Zakaria GPS” Sundays at 10 a.m. Medicare was 13%.. And he was.

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Sometimes the conventional wisdom is right. The Republican Party might hate Obama enough and be frustrated enough, to wink and let him do it.

But what’s more significant than how Romney said things was what he said.

But, anyway that appears to be off the table. He faces a moderate Republican.

Romney’s transformation did not happen overnight. The candidate has been reworking his stump speech. One of his advisers had predicted that once the Republican primaries were over, Romney would erase the image from the primaries and, like an Etch-a-Sketch, just draw a new one. It’s only on the 5th that they diverge. Romney does claim that he would eliminate deductions and cut spending to pay for it but he hasn’t given any details. ET on CNN.

I’ve long argued that Romney is an intelligent man trapped in a party that has forced him to embrace extreme and impossible positions.

By Fareed Zakaria

Romney repeatedly insisted that he was not advocating a big tax cut