The debate falls just three weeks before the November 6 election.
Polls show the economy and still-high unemployment remain the top issue in voters' minds.
Millions of Americans are already casting their ballots through early voting, leaving little margin for error and even less time to recover from any debate blunders.
Mr Obama is working on more pointed and aggressive methods to target Mr Romney for what the president's campaign views as the former Massachusetts governor's willingness to shift his positions to make them more palatable for voters.
While Mr Romney prepares for the debate, his campaign has released a new television advertisement using video images from Republican running mate Paul Ryan's debate last week with vice president Joe Biden.
The advert, titled Fiscal Discipline, features clips of Mr Ryan saying the government "can't keep spending money we don't have." His comments are juxtaposed with videos from the debate of Mr Biden laughing.