Presidential Debate, Round Two

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

US President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney debate on October 16, 2012 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. US President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney debate on October 16, 2012 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Anna Sale, It's A Free Country political reporter, reviews last night's town hall-style presidential debate.

→ Post-Debate Resources: Transcript | Fact-Check | Chat Transcript


Anna Sale

Comments [90]

Stephen from Manhattan

Romney's attitude towards women is right out of 'Mad Men' which, I believe, stems from his Mormonism. Mormon women are expected to be stay-at-home moms and defer to their husbands. This article is very enlightening on the subject.

Oct. 19 2012 10:24 AM

Linda Azmitia from Brooklyn --- I second THAT!!
I believe your comment overrides everything - the debates; these phony journalists; pollsters; "analysts; etc.
You've said it well!

Oct. 18 2012 01:47 AM

GREAT job to Brian Lehrer and Anna Sale in backing the president and joining Crowley in debating against Romney. All the more reason to let PBS survive on contributions and donations - not my tax money.

Oct. 18 2012 01:27 AM
Sally from NYC

Regarding Romney's commment on flex hours for women - I would welcome more use of flexible hours. I find his answer incomplete, however - what about women without children? Women in the workforce also deserve equal pay and more opportunity for management and board positions.

Oct. 17 2012 10:07 PM
Tom from New York City

It seems improbable that the election may hinge on the events which happened in Benghazi. As tragic as they were it should not become the privotal point on which the election will be won or lost. Obama's four years of fine foreign policy should not be negated by what may appear, at the present moment, as an errror in judgement. We do have all the facts.

Oct. 17 2012 09:10 PM

@Dubya from SoHo

>>Obamas a nicer dude, Romney is more economically savvy, which is the lesser of two evils? Maybe we let Romney heal our economic wounds for four years and then allow Hilary to smooth out the next eight. ;)

I don't agree that they are evil but I'd choose Obama over Romney any day.

Romney's plan can't heal the economy. He has no intention of putting buying power back into middle class earners wages. Why would I want the same party that caused the damage back in charge of repairing the hole they made? That's madness.

Obama's plan has been largely stalled by the GOP Congress and GOP governors who cut public employment payrolls when THEIR stimulus fund ran out. The squeeze we are in is engineered by the GOP to make Obama look bad so puh-lease don't try to sell the noise that one's a nicer guy but the other is more savvy economically. The GOP is holding the American earner hostage. They had better hope that more voters do not wake up to it before 11/6.

Mitt's expertise is in uncovering locked up value in existing entities - pension plans, land, other assets - borrowing on them if possible and shipping jobs to China where possible. I don't want that mindset in control of the national resources.

I don't want his social positions to have any impact on our Supreme Court.

I don't want his warmed over Bush neo-con team anywhere near our national security or foreign policy.

Romney loses on points.

BTW, to me, a wink means "I'm bullsh*tting." Is that the emoticon you wanted?

Oct. 17 2012 02:43 PM
Harry Engel from Brooklyn

While listening to your show today I was surprised that no one mentioned the bombshell that Romney dropped last night while he was explaining his 20% tax rate for everyone.
While he was explaining how it would affect the questioner and the rest of us, he said that "your income from savings and investments would not be exempt from federal taxes". Sounds great, but consider that Romney and others like him earn the bulk of their income from "Investments".
So, while I will not have to pay taxes on less than $10,000.00 investment income Romney will pay virtually no taxes on 20 million dollars income.
Sounds equitable and we should be out of the debt hole in no time.

Oct. 17 2012 02:41 PM
Lou from Red Bank

I'm looking for a better analogy for Romney's tax plan - Obama compared it to a sketchy investment deal. I'd compare it to a promise to your teenage children that they can go to whatever college they choose, without explaining (or even knowing) how to pay for it. A proposal must demonstrate its feasibility in order to be called a plan. Otherwise it's just a goal, a dream.

Oct. 17 2012 02:33 PM

@kaboom i win

Working backward from your $278,000 per job created and using $900B for the Stimulus package, my calculator 3.2 million jobs. But the stats say 5.2 million jobs. Makes me doubt your numbers.

@Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Why don't you take your trolling BS elsewhere. It doesn't work in the fact based world. Take it to a Fox-infused site that doesn't think that the GOP is full of traitors who put personal gain and party of the will of the people.

Oct. 17 2012 02:19 PM
kaboom i win

stimulus: $278,000 per job created
obamacare: $2.6 trillion and more to come
seeing Obama tell a black man that he is actually better off after 4 years of fiscal struggling: priceless

Oct. 17 2012 12:34 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Obama lost last nights debate.

Only the Obama groupies, lemmings, Eloi, Ministry of Information think that Obama won.

Obama is desperate from losing the first debate, from Biden making his campaign look foolish with his facial acrobatics. Obama interrupted Romney whenever he saw Romney making a good point. Obama whined to Candy that he feared that he wasn't getting the majority of the time.

Oct. 17 2012 12:23 PM
Paula from Springfield

Fact check and reminder. We have been hit with a difficult recession. The economy is growing slowly, because we were a hair away from falling into a depression. Yes, perhaps if Romney takes over, we will see prices go down and numbers reflecting more 'growth'; but at what cost? Vote for Romney if you want 'fast cash' now that will translate to a less educated population, greater income inequality, increased health and violence issues in our inner cities. Vote for Romney to rake in the dough now, kick the bucket down to our children and those of us who will be shopping for insurance with a voucher that no one guarantees will get us adequate insurance. These are issues that affect all of us in the long-term. Let's not be so short-sighted, America. For our future, safety, and economy.

Oct. 17 2012 12:21 PM
Burdened and Frustrated from 53%

Vlodko -

I dont pay 15% in capital gains tax. I dont have capital gains.

I do, however, pay almost 40% in income tax. By the time I get to the end of my very long work week, the government is taking 50% of every hour I work. FIFTY PERCENT. I can't save. But because I'm the prime target of the left, I'm told I have to pay more for the less fortunate. What is fair about that?

I am who Biden is talking about - and at the very least Im who the left is targeting. White, college educated, straight, professional male. You hate me. You want more from me. By the time the government is done with me, I have nothing more to give.

Cue the razzing for the trolls for being privileged and whining. But I have nothing but debt to show for it. Doesn't seem very privileged to me.

Oct. 17 2012 12:10 PM
Eve from NJ

No doubt Obama won the debate. In my opinion, the last debate was a tie although Obama could have had a better closing.

The media, the majority of the time, including Anna Sale today, tend to tar equally with the same brush when it is rarely deserved, i.e.,the president and Romney interrupting the moderator last night. Romney did this consistently and paid no attention to the moderator. I can't recall Obama interrupting her unless it was absolutely necessary, such as the "terror" quote after the ambassador was killed.

I'm not saying Democrats never make mistakes, stretch the truth, or lie, but Democrats do this much less than Republicans. It's time for media to call the Republicans' kettle black when necessary, and not include Democrats when undeserved as it is most of the time!

Oct. 17 2012 12:07 PM

The clear winner was the gallup organization. Let's go back to debates instead of focus groups.

Oct. 17 2012 12:07 PM
Linda Azmitia from Brooklyn

Who won? Who cares? The real questions we should ask ourselved is how did we feel about what they said. Politicians and their speeches/debates have carefully rehearsed trains of thought that aim for our emotions: "What are we passionate about in our everyday lives?" From there on people mostly have kneejerk reactions based on their emotions. I take these moments, to examine my thoughts, feelings and what I believe their goal's are on how to make me feel. I have a brain and use it to make my conclusions and inform myself on the relevant issues in my life and the world. They spend so little time really answering questions that are relevant to me that its more interesting for me to think about who I know that might be gettting a rise from their answers. Come on people, we don't have time to worry about one man/administration/political party fixing our problems. Get involved on fixing things to the extent that you can. Start with your children, marriage, personal finances etc. Sure I have to vote, its my constitutional right and I love it. But I don't have time to blame anyone outside of the realm of my everyday. I do, act and behave in ways to make changes for the best as they come up each day. No President can do that for me.

Oct. 17 2012 12:04 PM
Jane Stuart from Nutley NJ

I don't know how one decides who is a winner or loser of these dog and pony shows. It was interesting to see the reall Mitt Romney show up. A CEO, bully, arrogant businessman, a person who will say whatever is needed at the moment (assumes we are all too stupid or lazy to check his fairytails). he was rude and wrong. Barack Obama came on with facts, genuine poise, and heart. He is a President, a man who is SERVING this country and it's citizens. I don't get that Romney has any interest in serving.

Oct. 17 2012 12:03 PM
Yantad from Bergen County, NJ

I just don't understand this discussion about who wins debates. If you choose candidates based on debates, I am sorry for you.
By now everybody should have made that decision. It is not about how presidential the candidate looks. It is about the
ideology, about the party platform. What is its stand on economic, social and international issues.

Oct. 17 2012 12:03 PM
sbankey from soho

@ Steve from NJ

Excellent comments.

Oct. 17 2012 11:58 AM
horace from nyc

if we're proud of wnyc for their meaningful and cultural contributions, how 'bout a right-handed book as a gift? or at least a choice. it's my right to choose, i thought.

Oct. 17 2012 11:56 AM

So Mr. Burdened from 53%,

Are you saying that the 15% Capital Gains Tax is too low and it's unfair that those that earn Income from Investments and not Labor should contribute to Social Security and Medicare too? Why that's positively HERESY....

Oct. 17 2012 11:56 AM
Daniel from Westchester

Dear Brian, No doubt that Obama won the debate. However, one question that remains ananswered is how long will it take to a country to recover from a economic resecion. Romney continous to bet to his speech of superpower finacial type of hero with unrealistic promises. On the other hand, President Obama does not take enough time to explain the timeframe involve in recovering from the massive financial crises of the last half century.

Oct. 17 2012 11:55 AM
Batyah from Queens

Obama won if for no other reason than the fact that Romney clearly has issues with birds - be they in the wild (last night) or as childrens' TV characters.

Oct. 17 2012 11:53 AM
Dubya from SoHo

Thank you for proving my point. "Acts" of terror. By pluralizing it, he is generalizing. Benghazi was an "Act" of terror and he did not outright say this nor call it a terrorist attack. I GUARANTEE had it been Romney,you would call him out for the same reasons I am.

As an undecided Bipartisan voter, I feel it's a moot point writing in the hornets nest but disheartening to see the same vitriol and turning a blind eye by the left while accusing the right of the very same infractions.

There's very little inherent political difference between the two and comes down to character judgement. Obamas a nicer dude, Romney is more economically savvy, which is the lesser of two evils? Maybe we let Romney heal our economic wounds for four years and then allow Hilary to smooth out the next eight. ;)

Oct. 17 2012 11:53 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

Hearing the suggestion that Romney may have won because he simply "looked human" reminds me of the quote that colored people have to work twice as hard to get half as far. Is the bar really that low for this aristocrat?

Oct. 17 2012 11:53 AM
Mike Dor from Islip, NY

The Progressive Left undecided voters, who voted Obama in 2008, didn’t conceder at all People like me, who didn’t decide yet, if we should vote at all.
So nobody won those televised events, that you call ‘debates’. However Obama lost, because he didn’t deliver the answer, how he will deliver the change, promised in 2008, the whole set of liberal policies, that he articulate in 2008 but never came to implement.
I don’t need the jobs from this government. The only reason, why Liberals may held the power is the rebalancing this capitalist system with the social justice. I didn’t see thisn in the Obama’s adm.

Oct. 17 2012 11:53 AM
Raymond Mitrano from Brooklyn

Jill Stein won the debate.

Oct. 17 2012 11:52 AM
Ali from Manhattan

Obama won, no question about it. He was presidential, passionate, intelligent, clear, and caring. I felt after the debate that I fully understood his vision of the future of our country and that I understood who he is as a person. To be honest, most of Governor Romney's comments scared the hell out of me, not just because they are policies that I don't believe in, but because they are not consistent with the messages of his campaign up to this point. I have no idea what he will do if he is elected, and I plainly just don't like him as a person. While I am disappointed in Obama's record, I trust him, I like him, and I feel more comfort in voting for Obama as opposed to voting for someone who is a complete wild card.

Oct. 17 2012 11:50 AM
Joe from nearby

Romney showed how out of touch he is.

You can't be a president if you're out of touch with the people.

He sees the presidency as a trophy.

Oct. 17 2012 11:49 AM
horace from nyc

people calling in this show will automatically say obama won. right?
but rest assured, there is a mix of opinion around the country.
it's fun being unbiased. they both sound snickety.

Oct. 17 2012 11:48 AM
RJ from New York, NY

No one in "professional pundancy" knows who won?
Last night I heard David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan and Charles Krauthammer all say, on 3 different channels, that Obama won.

Where are you looking Brian?

Oct. 17 2012 11:48 AM
Hell's Kitchen from Manhattan

Romney is completely out of touch. It's like watching Scrooge McDuck onstage. It's always about class, and particularly with the pay-equity quote: Hey, if you're a woman who's a CEO, good news! Romney's got your back! But he cannot conceive of women in any role other than homemaker and those who served on his staff.

Blue-collar women and women who are working poor simply do not exist in his world. Their votes don't matter to him--heck, according to the vote-suppression tactics of his party, they shouldn't even be allowed to vote.

There is no contest.

Oct. 17 2012 11:48 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The Unemployment rate does not take into account the kind of job added. Part-time, low wage McDonalds jobs, not taking into account those millions who have given up looking for a job, 23 million out of work, more people on foodstamps, empty storefronts in Manhattan, rising health care costs, 16+ trillion debt, $4 per gallon gas ($6 in California).

Thats some "growing" economy.

Oct. 17 2012 11:28 AM
Rich P from Long Island

Was I the only one that heard Romney say that government doesn't create jobs and within about 5 minutes say that as President he'll create jobs? Was he saying he'll be president of private enterprise? Holy equivocation Batman.

Oct. 17 2012 11:25 AM

Burdened and Frustrated from 53%

>>And then I have to listen to Biden and the Democrats telling me to pay my >>fair. It's insulting.

Income tax - Obama and the Democrats want the rate on more than a quarter million to go back to 39.6% from 35%.
Payroll tax - Half from employee, half from the employer UNLESS you are self employed than you pay both halves
Health Insurance - Climbing above the rate of inflation
Unemployment Insurance
Union dues - maybe...

Take the two case of a $100K married worker and an $100K 'coupon clipper' - all his income is from dvidends and capital gains - also married.

On the next $1 of income, the worker will give forty cent to the Feds - 25% income tax, 15% in payroll taxes. The coupon clipper will give the government fifteen cents. What's so fair about that?

Oct. 17 2012 11:21 AM
Leo from queens

The economy has improved. It went from losing 600,000 jobs a month and spiraling to a great depression to a slow but steady economic recovery with 100,000 to 200,000 jobs being added each month.

Oct. 17 2012 11:19 AM

rules don't apply to rich kids like mittens. he is as much a bully today as when he beat the kid up in high school

Oct. 17 2012 11:12 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

FLASHBACK: Obama: My Presidency Will Be 'A One-Term Proposition' If Economy Doesn't Improve in 3 years

Oct. 17 2012 11:10 AM
BK from Hoboken

You may be part of the 53% but I don't think Obama is calling for someone making $75-100k per year to pay more. He is talking specifically about people like Mitt.
My wife and I have been fortunate and worked hard and we now squeak into the 1%. What needs some nuance is how this category is treated. I just finished my (complicated) 2011 returns. The AMT cost us another $11,000 this year. I am happy to pay my fair share, but the AMT was created to make sure people like Romney pay up. I paid a tax rate three times what he paid!! I understand and accept my taxes, but the tax code get regressive after about $2 million or so. That is where people start paying less and less and can manipulate the types of income, where its declared, etc. there is a HUGE difference between the 1% and the 0.1%.

Oct. 17 2012 11:07 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Bruce for NJ, Because Romney is technically right - under his plan, women will NOT be prevented from getting contraception, Ferraris, or Jets tickets, - he just doesn't want employers to pay for it if they don't want to, on "religious grounds" - Obama should have followed up, he didn't.

Oct. 17 2012 11:05 AM

As long as we're close reading debate rhetoric...In the span of the 90 minutes Romney pushed energy independence in 8 years and later announced it as five years. Can there be a real position if you don't remember how long it is?
Just more smoke and mirrors.

Oct. 17 2012 11:01 AM
Heather from New Jersey

Romney sounded quite patronizing while talking about women and "illegals". I thought the long commentary he made about "two parent households" was useless in addition to patronizing, since he provided nothing to back up how he (or anyone) could make a change in that department. Also - saying "we have to change the culture of violence" is a throw away comment - patronizing.

Both men got into some playground sounding stuff which was disappointing to listen to. Overall, I appreciate Obama's broader visions (broader than Romney's) about domestic issues like energy and immigration. I think his attitude toward most topics is more realistic, and his attitude toward people is more reasonable and respectful.

I heard more whining and pulling of things "out of his butt" in a "me too!" or "so what?" way -- from Romney last night - which was different than the 1st debate where he was clearly coming from a place of confidence. Obama wins for the reason that he backed up as many numbers as I can recall Romney throwing out - in a similar way that Biden was able to provide depth to refute the comments/accusations/misrepresentations of Ryan. All I heard Romney saying was "vote for me! I know how to do things! i've got a 5 point plan! do you want a 7 point plan? I'll get one of those for you too! what else do you want me to say? am I saying it right?" patronizing.

Oct. 17 2012 10:57 AM
MikeInBrklyn from Clinton Hill

I find the criticism by many pundits that Obama did not tell what he would do in next 4 years irksome and a bit ingenious. To me, it is more evidence of the short attention span problem that plagues us.

Obama has said what he want to do in the next four year: finish the work started in his first term. Forward.

The criticism might have value if Obama had an unobstructed opportunity to implement the vision he had put fought in 2008. But we all know that has not been the case. And these pundits know that.

These same pundits would likely criticize Obama, were he to proposed "WPA 2", for proposing a program that will require additional government spending at this where the country is carrying a large deficit. Yet, this is exactly what they are asking for. One can only think the outcry is more about they having something to talk about and less about having a serious debate about the country's future.

Given that the implementation of Obama's vision has been severely stymied by both congressional obstructionism and world financial conditions, I think it is perfectly proper for Obama ask for the opportunity to finish the work started to put the country back on solid footing for future growth.

After all, why did Bloomberg engineer a third term?

Oct. 17 2012 10:49 AM
Dee from montclair

Romney keeps saying he knows how to fix things, but he never says how and the same with Ryan. He knows how to fix things for himself that's for sure. Where are the details? At least we can examine the Obama record and see where he is trying to go. With Romney, we'll have a White House run by corporate America (and they already have too much influence). If Romney and Ryan win, the middle class can kiss the middle class goodbye. The wide gap between rich and everyone else will just get bigger. Neither of them are specific, because they don't have policies. Just like Ryan doing a photo op in a soup kitchen, all show, no truth. Empty nonsense.

Oct. 17 2012 10:48 AM

Let's face it: These two candidates are different: one is a millionaire hundreds of times over who has had everything handed to him and -- intelligent and hard working as he may be -- has demonstrated over and over again a willingness to enrich himself at the expense of the less fortunate. He has also repeatedly shown a willingness to change his campaign pledges to suit the political winds.

The other candidate is a mixed-race, minority American who had to make his way in life -- including during his Presidency -- facing all the rancor and prejudice that entails and without any of the advantages his opponent had. He comes from common origins and got where he is largely through merit and hard work. His talent and record as an academician are exceptional. In his first four years as President he inherited the worst economy in 80 years and a foreign policy situation that was overextended and lacking in ideological support from our allies. He's gotten us back on track -- in general -- in both those arenas, despite unprecedented open hostility and noncooperation from the other major political party.

There really isn't a choice.

Oct. 17 2012 10:45 AM

mittens 5 point plans is the same old deal

Oct. 17 2012 10:43 AM
fuva from harlemworld

It's bugged how "big-govt"-haters completely relinquish the influence they can have on it. I mean, the Tea Partiers exemplify the possibilities for citizen/voter control over govt. Why is this lost on so many who, by not leveraging this collective resource, make themselves that much more vulnerable to the vast resources of corporations?

Oct. 17 2012 10:42 AM

One person in our group claimed that when Romney talked about his five point plan, he only held up four fingers (with thumb behind the palm). While this seems appropriate for a candidate having difficulty getting numbers to add up, I did not see it. Did it really happen?

Oct. 17 2012 10:42 AM
Eliot from Manhattanville

Both debaters talked beyond their time, but several times, Romney seemed to be trying to tell the moderator how to do her job during the follow-up segments. It served only to underscore his failure to answer questions the first time. It was also his Rick Lazio moment.

Oct. 17 2012 10:41 AM
Al from Marine Park


Oct. 17 2012 10:40 AM

@Dubya from SoHo

Gimmeabreak. The President characterized this particular instance in the phrase '...acts of terror...'.

You guys shot your bolt on this mis-reading of his actual words with ' didn't build that..'.

It's Romney and the Right who are on shakey ground with this one. But go ahead.

All I see is another case of FauxNews syndrome - believing what you hear on a propaganda channel rather than making up your own mind.

Oct. 17 2012 10:39 AM
Dubya from SoHo

Obama did not outright call it an act of terror. Read or listen to the whole transcript, he generalized the U.S. not tolerating acts of terror towards the end of his speech.

Oct. 17 2012 10:35 AM
marylou kavaler from NYC- Manhattan

I would not vote for Romney for two reasons: Women: the US Peace Corps sends young women all over the world to serve. The Mormons do not send women on missionary work. WHY NOT? They seem to keep them pregnant and in the kitchen, instead of doing life enhancing activities. Second: I would not vote for anyone who games the tax system with expensive accountants and tax lawyers and has off shore accounts to avoid taxes on money made in the United States. Those are the tactics of shrewd businessmen, not for the presidency of the United States.

Oct. 17 2012 10:34 AM

Romney's campaign has already swung into 'Lie your head off' mode. Most campaign's don't hit that until the final two weeks. 'Round the time when Bill Clinton's would go hoarse.

Yesterday's debate combativeness is a clear sign of the Romney strategy. Capture some 'angry black man video' to be viralized on FoxNews. The SNL skit of Rupert instructing Mitt on what it takes to win almost writes itself.

Obama has at least one arrow left in his quiver...The weak recovery is certainly not JUST his fault. A Congress that fails to act in a timely fashion on his plans and initiatives ensures that the pain of the recession lasts longer than it should. No jobs action out of the House means that the deficits are deeper than they need to be. If the American people want to change that way that Washington works, they need to elect candidates who care more about achieving good outcomes for the country MORE than good outcomes for their donors or their party. You want better government? Elect less partisans who can behave like adults.

Oct. 17 2012 10:33 AM
Jan Mullen from East Brunswick NJ

President Obama won the debate. Romney was such a poor governor of MA that he knew not to try for a second term - it would never have happened. As for the ratings of MA schools, they were top schools long before Romney became governor- think Harvard, MIT. He did nothing to help public schools yet he wants to take credit for the relentlessly liberal MA mindset, in which public education has been a priority for decades, if not centuries. He should be ashamed of himself, but that's not an emotion he's capable of feeling.

Oct. 17 2012 10:33 AM
Burdened and Frustrated from 53%

I find the spin on the 47% to be so intellectually dishonest and insulting.

Im fortunate enough to have a job, yes. But when I look at the amoun of money taken out of my check every week - money which I would make a significant difference in my finances - it hurts. And then I have to listen to Biden and the Democrats telling me to pay my fair. It's insulting. I pay more than my fair share. It's time for everyone to pay their fair share. That's the heart of the matter that Romney was getting at (I am not a Romney supporter, by the way, just hate the spin).

Please, before you waste your time, I am we aware of the benefits I receive from paying those taxes.

Im also well aware that there are many people unable to pay theor fair share but I find it hard to believe that it's 47% of the population.

On a ship, there are no free rides. Everyone has to perform their duties, from the cook to the captain.

Oct. 17 2012 10:32 AM
John A

I'd give Romney the edge in control of tone-of-voice. Only.
Thought it was a good match and glad the (R)'s got called for economics Yet Again. That there was a question asking Romney to Renounce Bush was just great stuff, though the answer didn't seem worth remembering.

Oct. 17 2012 10:30 AM
Steve from NJ

The fact that you are all here, agreeing with each other over and over about how horrible Romney lies, is really telling. You need to step outside of your insulated East Coast world, and put yourself in the shoes of the OTHER half of America. If you really and truly believe that these issues are so cut and dry, then you are fooling yourself.

The fact is that the posts here are all preaching to your own choir. And guess what, Binders full of Women is not going to make anyone who is truly undecided switch over. You need to look at the substance of these issues. Trying to support your candidate with "the other guys LIES LIES LIES" is just silly. It's just not that cut and dry.

I believe that Big Business is horrible. It is very inefficient. It is wasteful. Anyone who works for a huge company knows about the red tape associated with doing anything. And there is no bigger business than the US Government. People are sick and tired of wasted dollars, inefficient use of money, and political lies on both sides. If you make $1,000,000 a year and pay 15% in taxes, you still put $150,000 into the garbage that is government. So to some, big government needs to go. And that's all that matters.

Oct. 17 2012 10:30 AM
Karen Schifano from New York, NY

I felt that Obama clearly won, from the first fifteen minutes on- he was strong, clear, made common sense arguments and ripostes that were spot on. Romney seemed more desperate, trying to Billy, and still vague on his positions when pressed. Obama needed to reassure people and he did. Plus Romney's binder comments were so lame, obvious and demeaning. He doesn't get the women issue at all. I do feel that the economic numbers coming out between now and election day will be key.

Oct. 17 2012 10:28 AM
Victoria from NYC

Obama won, no question Brian. You seem biases and your questions are often tainted with your personal opion.

Oct. 17 2012 10:27 AM
Resident NY from NY

Romney definitely answered the questions more precisely. No question to me that he is the more competent candidate and won the debate again.

Oct. 17 2012 10:26 AM
Sonali from Brooklyn

Obama won, hands down, why is this even a question? Romney lost big time by either being totally misinformed or totally lying about Benghazi.

Oct. 17 2012 10:25 AM

President Obama won this debate not only on style but on substance. He was concise and direct in his come-backs. The professorial, deliberate approach was abandoned to fit the "sound bite" generation. This is a crucial election and is about winning - and the means, alas with many facts in check, are often thrown out in favor of aggressive retorts.

Oct. 17 2012 10:24 AM
Cassandra from Brooklyn

Obama came out on top for sure last night. I was genuinely shocked by how condescending Romney's answer about equal pay for women was. The fact that he said "IF we're going to have women in the workforce" as if there's any question about it in this day and age. He sounded stuck in the 50s, as if the only concern of women is cooking dinner and babies. I was disgusted.

Oct. 17 2012 10:24 AM
Ally from Manhattan

I'm from Ohio, but live here in NYC. My thought was that Romney lost the debate, simply because he was so whiny and insistent on it being "his turn" which is not a Midwestern personality character trait. It's childish. He also tried so much to get Obama to incriminate himself -by constantly asking him questions and addressing him directly, vs making his own arguments and not turning the mic over to someone else - which seemed weak and he lost his composure when things didn't turn out his way. I don't think the debate style Romney showed last night would not be helpful in meetings with international leaders.

Oct. 17 2012 10:24 AM
scotty from west village

The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats will be honest when their candidate gets destroyed in a debate and Republicans will not. The analysis from Repubs last night and today prove this. Romney looked like the parody he was trying to avoid, rude, entitled, and out of touch.

Oct. 17 2012 10:23 AM
Rct from NYC

Obama won. He had to show swing voters and women that Denver was an aberration - that he was merely having a bad night. That was enough to stem the tide. The votes that were leaning Romney anyway will stay with Romney, but Romney picked up no "soft Obama" voters last night. Romney's behavior toward Crowley was off-putting. He was the loud-mouth kid who won't sit down in class, not the one with the right answers.

Oct. 17 2012 10:23 AM
Ryan from New York, NY


I wish a homosexual citizen could ask a question- we had women, African Americans, yet no one wants to bring up how hateful the Romney Ryan campaign is to others. When are we going to talk about hate?

Oct. 17 2012 10:23 AM
Erica P. from NJ (in exilium)

"Have you looked at your pension? Have you looked at your pension? I bet you $10,000 you haven't looked at your pension. $10,000?"

Oct. 17 2012 10:22 AM
romcom from nyc

agree with Anna S.
I only got turned off when they spoke over Crowley. Candy was just shut up on the side behind a podium at those moments, though CC did have her moment when she called romney out on Libya terror attack and the audience applauded.

Oct. 17 2012 10:21 AM
chris from manhattan

Obama kicked his ass. shocked that this is being portrayed as a draw not only by gloria borger but by this show. show me where romney even got in one good shot??? the media wants to keep it close so why admit that obama won? very disappointing coverage.

Oct. 17 2012 10:21 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Oh this equivalency with the alpha-male-ism is false. Romney absolutely started it; he set that tone by coming for the prez.

Oct. 17 2012 10:21 AM
Jenny from Brklyn

If Romney invaded my space like that I would've thrown a drink in his face.

And the rule was that the two men could NOT address each other - which Romney broke immediately - Candy should've stopped that.

Oct. 17 2012 10:20 AM
Armaggedon from Hades

What a RELIEF to see both men scrapping to show who was more desperate to put aside public lands for oil drilling.

HERE we have an environmental approach I can get behind!

Oct. 17 2012 10:20 AM
Kelly from Brooklyn, NY

Obama clearly won the debate. Mitt is a liar.

Oct. 17 2012 10:19 AM
Seth Pickenstiff

The women of love "Real Housewives of...." are the ones who really enjoyed this debate. Maybe women have finally achieved equality with men and we're all worse off for it.

Oct. 17 2012 10:19 AM

what is it with people looking for the gaffes so they can start a cool hipster interenet they think that is being politically active?

Obama did much better in this debate...much more aggressive, challenging Romney.
Romney did nothing outstanding but didn't screw up. he didn't hurt himself.
If anything it tightens the race between to parties than will spend money we don't have on wars we don't need and social programs that make people more dependent on the gvt.

Oct. 17 2012 10:19 AM
The Truth from Becky

Not amused by the "binders" comment just more proof that he is a big neanderthal and how he regards women...the pension thingy, oh well you started it!

Oct. 17 2012 10:18 AM
Jay F.

Too bad president Obama has no concrete plans for the future.

Oct. 17 2012 10:17 AM
L.L. from NJ

If Romney did such a good job as governor of Massachusetts, then why is it a projected blue state for the presidential election?

Oct. 17 2012 10:16 AM
michael from brooklyn

Romney came off as a bit of a rich snot. Lets not forget the "binders full of women". I'd call that a gaff.

Oct. 17 2012 10:15 AM
Nancy from Manhattan

Romney obfuscated but, worse, out-and-out lied with this "bankruptcy" business with respect to the auto bail-out. The upshot is, Romney advocated letting the industry fail (die) while Obama saved the industry. Romney's a liar, about this and so many other things.

And by the way, I found Romney's treatment of the moderator to be offensive. His interruptions were completely rude.

Oct. 17 2012 10:14 AM
Tom Pinch

As any experienced debater knows, never ask your opponent a question. Romney just looked petulant. After badgering Obama again and again, he then took on Candy and looked like he wanted to punch her. sad.

Oct. 17 2012 10:14 AM
Xtina from evillage

Really? Romney didn't make any gaffes? Binders full of women much? It's catching fire.

Oct. 17 2012 10:14 AM
ethan from bk

that "i don't check it that often" line had me in stitches. and of course we can't forget women in binders.

Oct. 17 2012 10:12 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Wow, Romney really came for the prez yesterday. Have we ever before seen a debate opponent be so confrontational with a sitting president? At first, I was offended. But then I thought better of deference to politicians...I think O made and explained the case well, and I was really impressed with his composure.

Oct. 17 2012 10:11 AM
Xtina from evillage

Really? Nobody's sure who won? Nice false equivalency there Brian. I think eveyr poll so far has said Obama won. NOt that hard.

Oct. 17 2012 10:07 AM

Each candidate was stellar at explaining why America is doomed if his opponent is elected. #betterbewateronthemoon

Oct. 17 2012 10:03 AM
Bruce from NJ

I don't understand why neither Pres. Obama nor the media pounced on Gov. Romney's delcaration that under his health plan, women would NOT be prevented by employers from getting contraception. Isn't this a pivot hiding in plain sight? The Catholic Church has delcared this a violation of the religious rights of employers. How did Gov. Romney get asway with this?

Oct. 17 2012 09:52 AM
Ron Sanecki from moved from NJ to NY

Another mix of fact, opinion, theory, belief (ugh!), and LIES!
If we don't start demanding clear distinctions between these kind of statements, our government will suffer more than it is already.
We should demand "answer the question" from our media people.
Answer first, then expand on it.
A serious debate should not be sold as a drama sport show to the public.
Our day to day lives are affected by the voting decisions we make.
This is serious stuff.

Oct. 17 2012 09:43 AM

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