The second Romney-Obama presidential debate took place on Oct. 16, 2012 for an hour and a half at Hostra University, a private school in Long Island, N.Y. with moderator Candy Crowley. Crowley announced the presidential candidates as they walked to their podiums at center stage against an all American background of red, white, and blue with stars and parts of our founding documents. Eighty-two undecided voters sat around the stage with three hundred Hostra students.
The atmosphere was electric as millions and millions were glued to their TV sets with friends and family. To many the event matched any fight, football game or other sporting event.
In a very contentious debate it did not take long for the candidates to start pointing fingers and blaming others for the nation’s problems. The two bounced around the stage in an almost combative manner which was reminiscent of a fight or a couple of cavemen jockeying for some prize or trophy.
Although perception is in the eyes of the beholder, most media believed Obama won. However, if that be the case, some would give a lot of credit to Candy Crowley the moderator for the victory. She interrupted Romney 28 times and although she claimed to be watching the clock closely allowed Obama an additional four and one-half minutes speaking time; something that would never happen in a sporting event where there would be fights to the death over a second.
More significantly Crowley interjected herself square into the fray by making a finding of fact incorrectly on a crucial issue on Banghazi, Libya making her a lead story.
Romney, whose party has accused the White House of botching the crisis, quickly pounced. He claimed it took Obama two weeks to deem the violence terrorism.
According to Obama he responded the very next day after the Sept. 11 attack that Banghazi was a “terrorist act” during an appearance in the White House Rose Garden.
The debate’s moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, then interjected and agreed with Obama, saying “he did in fact, sir.” Crowley noted that Obama denounced the “acts of terror” during his Rose Garden appearance and then, despite Romney’s protests, moved onto another topic.
However, Crowley later acknowledged that Romney argument was correct in its essence, even though Obama did use the word “terror.” “(Romney) was right in the main,” Crowley said on CNN in the hours after the debate, “but picked the wrong word.”
She later said that Romney was “perfectly right that it took weeks” for the White House to give a full account of the attacks. The baby’s head is out on the so-called Banghazi cover-up and will gain legs as we get closer to the election.
President Barack Obama says the responsibility for what happened at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, falls to him and to no one else. Republican rival Mitt Romney says the president’s team either didn’t know all the details – or didn’t tell the truth – about the death of four Americans immediately after the attacks.
Obama says he wants to find out exactly what made possible those four deaths and calls Romney’s response offensive and designed to score political points. Romney says the attacks represent the unraveling of Obama’s foreign policy.
Other issues include education, jobs for college graduates, assault weapons, and immigration, and how Romney differs from fellow Republican George W. Bush on energy policy, pointing fingers and often speaking over one another.
Obama listed small-business tax cuts, health care legislation and financial regulation as measures that helped stabilize the faltering economy. Romney says Obama chiefly has failed to meet employment targets.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both say their tax plans would benefit the middle class and spur job creation, and both are suggesting their opponent’s plan would do the opposite. Romney says cutting tax rates across the board would spur job growth.
He says bringing rates down makes it easy for small businesses to keep more of their capital and hire more workers. But Obama, who supports raising tax rates on upper incomes, says Romney’s proposed tax cuts and his calls for increased military spending would add trillions to the federal debt. Obama said to Romney, a former businessman, quote, “You wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal.” He says the American people shouldn’t accept that deal either.
The FiveThirtyEight forecast had Mr. Obama gaining slightly on Wednesday, estimating that he had an 86.1 percent chance of winning the Electoral College on Nov. 6 — up from 84.7 percent in Tuesday’s forecast.
This came despite the fact that it appeared there actually had been a modest shift back toward Mitt Romney in the polls even before the debate. In a forecast this week — an estimate of what would happen if an election were held immediately — Mr. Obama’s projected margin of victory in the national popular vote had fallen by about one percentage point between Sunday and Wednesday.
By D. Lindley Young