Crawford: Sharper Romney thrusts ahead in debate

What a difference a week makes.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney put the lessons learned from his new debate coach on display during Thursday night's debate, besting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the same arena that propelled him to victory over Romney in South Carolina last week, Jan Crawford said on "CBS This Morning" Friday.

"This week, it's been a different Newt Gingrich, a different Mitt Romney," Crawford told Erica Hill, Gayle King and Charlie Rose. "These debates have not given Gingrich this opportunity to really take on Romney and show the voters that he alone is the best candidate to take on Barack Obama. That just hasn't come through yet this week."

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In the final debate before Tuesday's Republican primary in Florida, Romney, under the instruction of a new debate coach, performed in a crisper, sharper and more authoritative fashion, Crawford said.

"He knows he's got to perform," said Crawford. "This state is critical. If Newt Gingrich wins here, it is a whole new ballgame, so he's really got to get down to business and win this thing."

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Meanwhile, President Obama woke up in Detroit Friday to cap his five-state, three-day tour of swing states after Tuesday's State of the Union address. While Mr. Obama continues to push the address' themes of clean energy and manufacturing, the White House has largely left the Republicans' debates alone, Norah O'Donnell said.

"They don't want to interfere with these debates," said O'Donnell. "They think the more the American people watch these debates they get a better understanding of their opponents, the Republicans. This president is trying to stay above the fray at this point."

Above, watch Crawford and O'Donnell break down the presidential campaign

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