Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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Obama, Romney, both more aggressive during second debate, on Long Island
HEMPSTEAD - In stark contrast to the first presidential debate, President Barack Obama took Governor Mitt Romney to task in their second matchup of the election season last night at Hofstra University in Hempstead.
During this second debate, CNN’s Candy Crowley had an at times difficult task keeping both candidates on track and on point. The town hall style debate saw pre-selected members of an audience comprised of 82 undecided voters chosen at random by the Gallup organization pose questions to the candidates.
With topics spanning everything from equal pay for women to gun control and the recent terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney presented two distinct and clear choices for the American electorate.
During the 90-minute debate both candidates who repeatedly spoke over one another. The moderator took this opportunity to highlight their differences and their approaches to governing.
Governor Romney repeatedly questioned the president’s accomplishments and what he said was Obama’s failed promises from the 2008 campaign, including immigration reform, a promise to bring unemployment to 5.4% and cut the deficit in half during his first term.
Governor Romney cited that some 23 million people are still struggling to find a job nearly four years after the President took office.
“The president’s policies have been exercised over the last four years and they haven’t put Americans back to work.” Romney continued, “The unemployment rate was 7.8% when he took office, it’s 7.8% now. We have not made the progress we need to make to put people back to work.”
At the same time, the president took the governor to task on his evolving stances on a litany of issues since his first campaign, most notably his proposed tax cuts.
“…Governor Romney stands here, after a year of campaigning, when during a republican primary he stood on stage and said, ‘I’m going to give tax cuts’ - he didn’t say tax rate cuts, he said tax cuts to everybody” referencing back to the governor’s earlier statement that he would, “…bring the [tax] rates down.”
Governor Romney has proposed across the board tax cuts, while the president advocates tax cuts targeted for the middle class while raising tax on some of the wealthiest Americans in an effort to resolve the ballooning national debt.
By far the most heated exchange of the evening came when Crowley asked the President, “Does the buck stop with your Secretary of State as far as what on here?” referring to the September 11th attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including the U.S Ambassador.
“I’m the president and I’m always responsible,” retorted Obama. “The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people…that this was an act of terror…”
Obama than chastised the Romney campaign for lodging accusations in the aftermath of the attacks that, “anybody would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own,” calling the governor’s accusations, “offensive.”
Governor Romney followed up with a statement indicating the president did not refer to the events as an act of terror. …It took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”
Crowley quickly corrected the governor about the president’s statement following the attacks to spontaneous applause from the audience.
While the president was more forceful throughout this debate, Governor Romney was equally prepared to tackle the issues facing the American people and the President’s record.